This tour of the surroundings or territory of Portofino is aimed at discovering the three “pearls of the Tigullio". What are they? Read on and get in touch with Tasting Tours to book your place.
The tour starts in Rapallo, the oldest town in the area and located in the most sheltered part of the Gulf. Evidence of its history can be seen in its castle, a seafront fortress built in the 16th century against Saracen invasions, the Medieval bridge which, according to legend, Hannibal crossed during the 2nd Punic War, and the several Baroque steeples reaching up to the sky.
After a walking tour of the historic centre and visit of a popular deli shop on the main street, we’ll move to Zoagli (hamlet of Rapallo) and visit the Cordani silk factory (closed on Tuesdays and Sundays) whose handcrafted products include Jacquard velvet woven on Jacquard looms built back in 1801, as well as the fabulous plain silk velvet that was already being worn in the 1500s by Genoese aristocrats.
This factory provides fabrics for some of the most world-famous fashion designers (i.e. Gucci, Valentino, Prada etc.). Some time to do shopping in the show-room, an old villa overlooking the Tigullio gulf, where you may find a wide range of fabrics including silk, cotton, linen, viscose and embroidered tulle.
From Rapallo we’ll move to Santa Margherita Ligure, a Roman town which has been transformed from an old fishing village into an international resort. From the 19th century, it has been attracting important visitors including royal families, political and industrial leaders, and celebrities. Precious artistic artefacts are preserved in its Romanic and Baroque churches, in Villa Durazzo, set in the middle of a splendid park by the sea, and in the enchanting Cervara Abbey.
Time at leisure to have lunch in one of the several seafront restaurants, then depart for Portofino. On the way there, have a look at the tiny sandy beach of Paraggi, then arrive in Portofino. Very popular with VIP’s of any kind and known all over the world because of its small square, this tiny town has been capable of keeping throughout the years the old, picturesque aspect.
Enjoy a walking tour of the village: visit the Divo Martino’s Church, originally built in the tenth century, the St. George’s Church and the Brown Castle, surrounded by a Mediterranean garden featuring a wealth of flowers and rose-gardens. You can then have a walk up to the Lighthouse from where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the coast. Finally, take a rest on the old “piazzetta” surrounded by little coloured houses, the pointed-arched porticos along the quai, the pier, and the elegant boutiques.