Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Classy Portofino

This vacation was fraught with planning struggles, from what the vacation would actually be to Nathan having work conflicts up until the day before we were due to leave. We actually couldn't book our hotels until two days prior to departure, and even then, it was done with crossed fingers. Having finally figured out that we would be driving our own car to Provence with a stop along the Italian Riviera, we had planned to go to Cinque Terre, a beautiful, region consisting of five (cinque) villages along the coast. However, Cinque Terre experienced devastating landslides last year, and one of the main attractions, a coastal hike that links the five villages, is not yet fully opened.
Portofino Harbor
We decided, for now, to hot-foot it up to Provence with just a quick, easy, one night stop. As you may remember from the photos we uploaded while on vacation, we ended up in beautiful, Santa Margherita Ligure. I'd hoped for Portofino, mainly because it makes all the glossy mags as THE place to be. Leaving Santa Margherita Ligure on our first full day of vacay, we headed north on the two lane, coastal road to at least see Portofino. I cannot even imagine how horrific that road must be in the summer since as it turns out, there is one way in, one way out. But with almost no cars on the road on a beautiful, Thursday morning, we were able to enjoy the bright, green-blue water and colorful buildings along the way. Landing in Portofino and parking in the lone car garage, much to our surprise, we found Portofino to be incredibly SMALL! In fact, there seemed to be more space given over to the parking garage and parking lots (lots for people with mysterious, "I belong here" stickers rather than for people such as us) than for actual shops and restaurants. Now admittedly, the one block pedestrian zone is quite adorable, and the harbor even more so. Adorable and tiny. There is a lovely walk that circles the harbor, and lining that walk, my favorite thing about Portofino:

Never let it be said that Portofino is not a classy town, because if neon pink meerkats topping a columns aren't classy, then I don't know what is.

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