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Monday, August 30, 2010

Portofino-Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

So we decided to go to Portofino this weekend. It took us two hours to get there, cost us 19 Euros in tolls on the autostrada and just over 10 Euro for parking. All in all it was WONDERFUL! Portofino is known for being frequented by the rich and the famous. The town itself is very pretty but there isn't much to do there if you don't own a yacht and you have a two year old! You pretty much drive through a big series of LONG tunnels to get there from Genova as you pass through all the mountains, it was pretty cool.

I would like to throw out there that a LOT of these pictures were taken from the passenger seat of the car and therefore are not really what I want them to be. But I've posted the ones that turned out all right here so that you can get an idea of what our day on Sat looked like. Plus Richard took quite a few of them when we were up on the cliffs, I told him I'd give him credit!! :)

I would REALLY like to return to Portofino next summer for a few days, maybe stay in Santa Margherita. We didn't see anyone famous there that we recognized this time!

This was on the way to Portofino, a really old Abbey of some sort partially hidden behind the fields

Same Abbey, different view

The Italian countryside as viewed from the Autostrade A7!!! I like how it looks like an old painting :)

Typical scene here in Italy, laundry hanging to dry everywhere. They are very resourceful on where they put their laundry lines!!! This is in a tiny village that we drove by on the way to Portofino, near Genova

Sea mist/fog came rolling in as we neared Genova and we were really hoping it wouldn't stick around!!! Made for some great pictures though :)

Another valley coming into Genova

This one is kind of blurry but I just loved how the trees looked on the ridge

This was the winding road going toward Portofino on the peninsula. It was VERY tiny in spots and I honestly thought I was going to have a heart attack I was so scared on the blind corners!!! I love the little red cooper in this picture and the way the light is coming in from the side.

The harbour in Portofino, some of the boats that are used to get OUT to the big boats are INSANE. Seriously I'd take one of their shuttle boats and be happy!!!!

Looking into the harbour, you can see some of the bigger boats on the right.

The big boys in the background

The church and then the square around the harbour. It was pretty amazing, the buidlings were all brightly painted but then all the cool little details that you see are actually PAINTED on!!!

I WANT THIS BOAT!!!! Norm I took this picture for you because I knew you would appreciate it!!! If I could have paid to go for a tour of this thing I would have! The GIGANTIC yacht to its left was flying an Aisle of Mann flag like the one we saw in Vancouver! It was the size of a small cruise ship

This one is CANADIAN!!!! YAYYYY If you look really closely you'll see the Canadian flag sort of folded up but flying. Its out of Nova Scotia. It aslo had the Ferrari flag flying. I wonder whose yacht it is!?!?!

The end of the harbour

Reese "sailing" the hostess stand at one of the outside cafes :)

Ahhhh me and my tree pictures, I just liked the contrast!!

After climbing five billion rickety little stone steps we got to the top. Castle Brown, which was indeed brown but was far to pretty for such a boring name!!! This was the view. Freaking amazing hey!?!?!

Someone's yacht coming from the mainland. An old house down in the foreground, I think its part of the castle grounds.

The little cottage up near the castle. It was so pretty and quaint I had to take a picture of it.

The cottage from the other side.

More trees :) This was on the path back down to the harbour, which was much more picturesque and gentle than the stairs!

The castle gardens

A cool covered archway that Reese and I explored on the way down.

Waving hello from inside the arch

The Portofino harbour from above

Reese and I with the harbor behind.

And another try

Reese being carried so she wouldn't ruin the people in front of us who were taking pictures hiding in the bushes!!!

Reese who has had quite enough at this point and decided that she didn't want to hold my hand anymore while walking on the cliff paths....yeah sorry kiddo, no other option here.

So the other option is being carried!!!! Notice the look of serene calm on my face!! hahaha yeah right at this point she was on my last available nerve :)

Small boats to big boats and the piazza surrounding them.

The mermaid statue at the end of the path right by the end of the harbour.

There isn't really a beach in Portofino so everyone just swam at the boat launch!! And sunbathed all around the boardwalk! Or on their fancy boats of course!

Yes....random pink meercats!!!!

The crazy fish swimming in the harbour. Reese was quite excited!

The village streets in Portofino. We had lunch at Nicola's, a sidewalk cafe and it was REALLY good!

Reese and Richard maneuvering the streets. The stores were all high end ones, so there was Gucci and Prada etc etc etc.

On our way back from Portofino to the mainland on the scary roads again!

Cute little apartments by the side of the road

Silhouette of the harbour

View from the coastal road back toward the mainland and Santa Margherita

The crazy houses

So this was how small the roads were, you had to maneuver around each other, if it was just cars on the roads it would have been ok, you'd each hug your corners and there would be a few near misses but it would be all right. BUT NO.....there were mopeds parked ALL down the sides of the roads, and then there were the mopeds that were weaving in and out of the traffic on the blind corners and THEN to top it all off there were freaking cyclists and PEDESTRIANS strolling all over the place. It was INSANE.

View of the bay and the crazy houses through the trees

And again :)

The "Beach" in Paraggi. There were about a billion people squeezed as tightly as possible into the smallest beach ever!!! And there were umbrellas EVERYWHERE so I'm not sure how you'd sunbathe!!!!

Cool little vine covered cottage in Paraggi

The crazy roads again

The coast line. I want to stay in that house up in the far right corner and eat breakfast on that patio!!!!

Two guys randomly sitting on the top of a rock out in the ocean

Maybe they were cliff diving??? They looked like they were having fun!!

Two guys fishing at the side of the road

More beaches crammed in wherever they could make them work! ANY available area for sunbathing is just crammed with people!

Santa Margherita

The upper town

Some CRAZY house that we saw which was all Arabian nights, we think it was a private residence, pretty awesome


Karen August 30, 2010 at 1:10 PM  

Gorgeous photos as always!

Andrea August 31, 2010 at 3:11 AM  

wow I love portofino! it looks like a picture postcard. love you dress too Rachel

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About Me

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Milan, Italy
I am 34 years old, married to my wonderful husband Richard and mother to a beautiful 8 year old daughter named Reese. We lived in the suburbs of Calgary until January 2010 where I worked as an ER Nurse. Then my husband was transferred to Vancouver for a 6 month temporary project. Our blog Tripping over the Sidewalk told all about our adventure living on the 30th floor of an apartment building in the middle of downtown Vancouver. Then we moved to Milan, Italy for 18 months, Ciao-Eh was the online forum for our Italian adventures. We moved to Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates in January 2012 and lived there for two and a half years. Sandscrapers, Souks and Sand is the blog of our adventures in the Middle East! We are now happy to be back on a little acreage just outside of Calgary where I'm sure more adventures await!!!!



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