“Ed ecco, all’improvviso, scoprirsi un’insenatura nascosta, di ulivi e castani. Un piccolo villaggio, Portofino, si allarga come un arco di luna attorno a questo calmo bacino.”
(Guy de Maupassant)
To conclude the panoramic tour of the Gulf of Tigullio we have Portofino. According to Pliny the Elder, the village was founded by the Roman Empire with the name of Portus Delphini due, perhaps, to the large presence of these marine mammals in the Gulf of Tigullio.
The landscape is distinctive with its promenade, the colourful houses overlooking the beach, which is small and curled up due to the jagged coast, full of pines and maple groves, with the usual chatter of tourists in the background when the streets come alive in the evening. Perhaps Portofino is the most ancient heritage in Tigullio, with shapes and colours that are still reminiscent of the past.
If you arrive via sea, it will look as if you are docking in a small harbour of thugs in one of the worst Puerto Rican coasts, with the threatening jungle lurking all around; au contraire, Portofino is anything but threatening. At dawn, the sea is tinged with the colours of the houses, like an impressionistic painting left to chance at the mercy of the waves. However, despite the ethereal calm and the serene atmosphere that permeates the streets, everything here reflects worldly life.
The common feature shared by all the villages in Tigullio is the unconditional desire to give without expecting anything in return, as well as to entertain visitors. Furthermore, the carefully selected events, which are specifically intended to enhance the beauty of the Gulf day and night, are like lighthouses guiding tourists looking for emotions.
Food & Wine
In Tigullio, just like in the other villages of Liguria di Levante that we have covered, the cuisine always lives up to the region it belongs to.
Among the different meat dishes we must mention the tomaselle, veal rolls stuffed with meat, eggs and aromatic herbs, and the stewed lamb with artichokes. Mushrooms are the real protagonists of the cuisine of the Ligurian hinterlands, giving flavour to meat dishes but also complementing fish dishes.
Fish has a place of honour in the restaurant menus of Tigullio. There are so many recipes: mixed fried fish, fish salad, Genoese red mullet, sweet and sour stockfish with pine nuts and raisins. “Mussels” are always present, either prepared with marinara sauce or stuffed with meat, cheese, eggs, marjoram. We cannot forget the queen of Ligurian seas: the anchovy, which is served fresh (stuffed anchovies are particularly exquisite) but can also be preserved.