Parco Naturale di Portofino

About 50 kilometers north of Cinque Terre, about halfway Genoa, is the Parco Regionale Naturale di Portofino. This peninsula owes its fame to the towns of Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino in particular, that some people have described as the St Tropez of the Italian Riviera. The village was founded in the 10th century. The small harbor was used mainly for fishing. In the 19th century it became a haven for wealthy aristocrats from all over Europe.

Portofino trail mark However, we are particularly attracted by the Parco Regionale di Portofino, which is littered with footpaths on and around the Monte di Portofino (altitude 612 meters). We leave the mountains aside and opt for the coastal road that runs from Camogli to Portofino and is marked with two red circles

We start at the village of San Rocco, where we leave the car in the parking lot and buy a sandwich in the bar 'Pippi'. The trail goes right of the church and passes after 200 meters at the bar 'dai Muagetti’. Too early for a cocktail, but we keep it in mind for the way back!

The path runs through the foliage forest, high above the coast without too much difference in levels. Just past the "Batterie" a sign warns that at the Passo del Bacio it becomes dangerous (see on the cards at the bottom). In some places the road runs over the rocks and for the sake of safety heavy chains are fitted for your guidance. The following four kilometers cost us two hours effectively. It is not really dangerous, but a good condition, sturdy walking shoes and dry weather are really necessary. Do you have the slightest fear of heights, don’t take the risk.

trail from San Rocco to San Fruttuoso San Fruttuoso

Halfway through the walk we pass to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso. On account of the strong wind no boats are sailing to Portofino from here (only from Camogli) making it here blissfully quiet.

The abbey is dedicated to San Fruttuoso, a bishop of the third century, who during the persecution of Christians was exiled with two of his deacons. On ancient maps, the point is also indicated by a dragon, a symbol that probably was used to keep superstitious robbers at a distance.

For a lack of boats we are obliged to walk another two hours before reaching Portofino, starting with a steep climb just beyond the abbey. We however barely feel fatigue; the more we enjoy the beauty of flora and fauna.

Fauna in Parco Regionale di Portofino Fauna in Parco Regionale di Portofino Fauna in Parco Regionale di Portofino Fauna in Parco Regionale di Portofino

The walk ends at Portofino, which already can be seen from some distance from the walking trail.

Portofino harbour

Here also, due to the lack of boats we have to return return to San Rocco by bus. After two transfers and one and a half hours later we arrive back in San Rocco, where we 'restart' the walk to the bar 'dai Muagetti' to enjoy the sunset over the bay of Genoa.

Bar Dai Muagetti in San Rocco

In good weather there is a boat every hour from Rapallo, via S. Margherita to Portofino and to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso. From Camogli also goes a boat to the Abbey of San Fruttuoso.

Maps

Parco regionale di Portofino map


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