Portofino, Italy, harbor
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Portofino iStock.com / Poike
Portofino, Italy, café
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Portofino's Waterfront iStock.com / CaronB
Portofino, Italy, San Giorgio Church
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Church of San Giorgio iStock.com / Franco Fojanini
Portofino, Italy, waterfront boutiques
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Waterfront Promenade iStock.com / Manakin
Portofino, Italy, boats
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Local Fishermen's Boats iStock.com / mushisushi

Portofino

Italy, Bruschetta Bruschetta iStock.com / Lisovskaya

Arriving in this Italian port town is nothing short of magnificent. Pastel-colored houses border the harbor, and cafes spill out onto the sidewalk. When ascending the cliffs, the views only get better. The Italian village is small enough to venture out on your own, but ships coordinate exclusive olive oil and wine tastings.

What We Love

The Views: There are numerous vantage points to soak in crashing waves and harbor views. Arm yourself with your camera (or your smartphone), but be sure to take it all in yourself, not just through a lens.

Church of San Giorgio: Behind this yellow-facade church with a decorative square and simple interiors is an old-fashioned cemetery brimming with flowers.

Best Known For

Castello Brown: The medieval castle is surrounded by lush gardens and has a sweeping vista, a collection of relics, and gallery space.

Hotel Splendido: This former monastery represents storied Italian Riviera glamour; grab a drink or lunch on the pergola-shaded terrace. Don’t be surprised if you see a celebrity or two. Just be sure to keep your cool.

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Who It's Best For

Couples: Every corner and craggy cliff of this town deserves a scenic snapshot of some sort; it’s a real scene-setter for hand-holding and secret smooches.

Italophiles: This is a quintessential Ligurian coast town, impossibly pictorial and alluring. (It’s also a lot easier to get to than the Cinque Terre towns.)

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Inclines Are Steep: These rocky heights are not for the out of shape; wear your walking shoes and expect some stair-climbing and huffing and puffing.

Ships Need to Tender In: Large ships can't dock right at the shore. Beware that on days when the sea is rough, your ship may cancel this port stop.

Lisa Cheng

Lisa Cheng is a New York-based writer for ShermansCruise who also writes for Travel + Leisure.

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