NORTHERN ITALY

The Beginner’s Guide to Portofino

by Kiiri @ Italian Fix

what to do in portofino

Looking for what to do in Portofino? Get straight up advice from someone who lives in that neck of the yachts.

Portofino is a fab day trip from the Cinque Terre. You can easily hop on a train from any Cinque Terre village and head north. More insider train information in our guide here.

We’ve asked Portofino insider, and Italian Fix guest contributor, Kaitlin King to spill the fagioli. Kaitlin writes …

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I first arrived in Portofino aboard a private, 5-story yacht sailing from Monaco. I ate at the finest restaurants, played in one-thousand-euro-a-day beach lounges, and popped champagne with celebrities. “Wouldn’t it be a dream to live here?” my travel companion sighed, dreamily. “Yes, it would.”

Today, I do live here — kind of. My small flat is just down the road. I get to Portofino by bike sharing, spend my days hiking, and splurge on 9-euro Aperol Spritz aperitivi so I can get the free snacks. Truth be told, I came to Portofino the first time as a tutor for a world-traveling European family. I lived the high life with them, enjoying a fairytale tourist experience. Then I fell in love with my waiter, returned after my tutoring gig was over, and today enjoy more of a local, Italian lifestyle.

Here’s a peek into the affordable side of this beautiful former fishing village, and the secret spots that both the posh and the proletariat frequent.
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Cinque terre to impose limits to Italy tourists with ticketing

Is Italy about to impose limits on Cinque Terre tourists with ticketing? Friends — it’s just not happening.

This past week the travel industry was in a share-storm (is that a word?) with news about a limit being imposed on the amount of visitors allowed into the Cinque Terre starting in 2016.

We’ve been getting emails and messages from our clients, as well as from concerned travelers who had their hearts (and in many cases travel plans) set on coming to visit these five little villages this spring and summer.

People are even trying to cancel hotel rooms!

Before anybody panics, here’s what’s up:

The number of visitors to the Cinque Terre will not be limited in 2016.

But what about all of the articles? Publications like The Guardian, Travel + Leisure, and Condé Nast Traveler claimed on Wednesday (February 17th, 2016) that Italian officials had announced that no more than 1.5 million visitors would be allowed into the Cinque Terre this season, down 1 million from the 2.5 million that are estimated to have passed through in 2015.
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one day cinque terre

Are you heading to the Cinque Terre just for one day?

Here are my best tips for your upcoming sprint.

Secretly, I do think the Cinque Terre warrants more time. But let’s just work with what you’ve got my friend.

What to do in the Cinque Terre for 1 DAY:

If it’s hot and sunny

  • For swimming: Jump in the water at my favorite swimming spots: a) the marina in Manarola b) the beach in Riomaggiore c) the beach in Bonassola (definitely go here if the water is rough at the other two places, or you prefer a sandy beach and more space). In Bonassola, I like to splurge 20 euros and rent a sun lounger and an umbrella. FYI: Italy has many private beaches so you can lounge in comfort with chairs, umbrellas, food, drink, and showers. It’s a VERY easy luxury to get used to. That is, after you get over resenting the fact that many of the prettiest Italian beaches are a pay-to-play situation.
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