I have been super excited to write this blog post since before we even officially booked anything. I have wanted to visit Portofino so badly since I was fourteen. The reason is kind of dorky but I am not ashamed!
When I was fourteen, my dad put me in charge of looking into hotels for our trip to Universal Studios in Orlando (I should have been a travel agent). I stumbled across images of their Portofino Bay Resort and immediately fell in love. We ended up spending a week there, and after my dad told me that the resort was based off of a real town in Italy, I knew I had to visit it.
Portofino is located in northern Italy along the Italian Riviera. I have been to the French Riviera many times and love it, and the Italian Riviera gave me a similar vibe. Then again, I knew I was going to love this city before I even visited it.
Tor and I took a 2-hour train from Milan to Rapallo (we took a Frecciabianca train and sat in first class, which I highly recommend). We then took a taxi into Portofino (about 15 minutes away) and arrived at our hotel – Belmond Splendido Mare (more on our hotel coming up in another post!).
Champagne and berries awaited us in our room, which to our surprise had a gorgeous terrace overlooking the bay and town of Portofino.
We wasted no time in exploring the town. I skipped ahead of Tor many times, anxious to check out every corner of this precious little city by the bay. Laundry hung outside windows, kids were playing a game of tag by the boats, and everywhere I turned someone was gobbling a delicious gelato.
We grabbed a late lunch by the water, indulging in focaccia pizza and white wine. Focaccia and pesto originated in this region, so we only felt it was appropriate to enjoy some while we were there.
But dinner was the real star of the visit. Our hotel was kind enough to arrange dinner reservations at Restaurant Strainer at the other end of the bay with a gorgeous view of Portofino at dusk.
I relied on TripAdvisor a lot during our Italian honeymoon, and this restaurant had high reviews based on one special dish – their truffle pasta. Freshly made pasta is tossed around a Parmesan cheese wheel to get it nice and cheesy before being plated. Then, a fresh black winter truffle is shaved on top along with fresh black pepper and voila, you have my favorite pasta dish from our trip!
Like my style icon Kate Middleton, I like to research my looks so they pay homage to our destination in some way. Since Portofino is by the sea, I went with a nautical look for our first day there.
I fell in love with this skirt the moment I saw it, and it’s under $70. And what better way to tie in a nautical outfit than a navy striped shirt?
There’s another Portofino post coming so stay tuned for more!