"Portovenere - Our Favourite Place in all of Italy!" Top 5 Page for this destination Portovenere by timtrina

Portovenere Travel Guide: 160 reviews and 401 photos

A Magical Hideway on the North-West Coast of Italy

Upon departing Venice, we headed off to Milan where we had a booking at Hotel Serena. This booking was made 1 year in advance, and as with all other bookings we had made, we had re-confirmed before leaving Australia.

We drove for approximately 4 hours in heavy fog / rain, and finally found our hotel. We pulled up out the front to find scaffolding surrounding the outside of the hotel. Tim suggested I go inside to find out where we could park the car, as Imi was tired in the back seat.

As I went up to the front door, there was a big handwritten sign saying "Chuiso" (Closed). I noticed people inside and knocked on the door - they let me in. There were a few ladies inside with their expensive fur coats on, talking to men who I can only assume now were architects. The entire foyer had been "gutted". I asked if the hotel was closed - they said "Yes" and turned their backs on me. I interuppted them again and said we had a confirmed booking. They just looked at me and turned away.

Furious I went back to the car. Tim asked where we were to park the car - I said to just get the hell out of Milan, and proceeded to tell him what had happened. It was just after New Years, and everywhere was full.

So.....we drove for 3 more hours in the dark, and it was pouring with rain. We called many hotels in many different cities along the way - all fully booked.

We then decided we'd just head up the Cinque Terre until we found somewhere.

Although Portovenere is not one of the towns in the Cinque Terre, it is very close. Only a few minutes from the huge Naval port of La Spezia, we look back now and realise that Milan falling through was a blessing, as we would never have thought to visit this most beautiful little town that has become our favourite place in all of Italy.

We stayed in a lovely hotel "Hotel Belverdere", situated right on the water, with wonderful caring and accommodating staff. Please be sure to check out the Accom tip for more details.

Chiesa San Pietro

I will be doing a full travelogue on this beautiful old church - very Spanish / Gothic in style. It is situated at the very edge of the coastline, and the walk there through the beautiful historical village of Portovenere is never dull - you feel like you're in REAL ITALY - this is the only place we ever felt like this.

Castello Doria

Right next to the Chiesa San Pietro, you can't miss the Castello Doria. Thought to be built around the 1200's, this was a military castle / fortress. The entry fee was only 2,10 Euros each ( ,50 Euros for Imi), and you're able to fully walk around inside the castle at your leisure, as well as walking up on top of the roof, which was quite a scary ordeal for me (Being afraid of heights). Be warned - there are no railings, and if you're trecking up the roof in high winds like we were, it can be quite un-nerving.

There will be a number of travellogues in our Portovenere page, as we took so many beautiful photos, we must do this lovely town justice.

Love to hear comments from you all :) Trina

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Quaint Village, Friendly Residents, Spectacular Scenery
  • Cons:Absolutely Nothing At All :)
  • In a nutshell:No trip to Italy would be complete without visiting Portovenere
  • Last visit to Portovenere: Jan 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (16)

Comments (14)

  • jewels63's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2010 at 4:19 AM

    Hello fellow Queenslander - I am so looking forward to going to the Gulf of the bi-polar poets - on our 3 month trip...

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo
    Apr 9, 2008 at 2:26 AM

    Nice page. Ciao!

  • Amitu's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2005 at 8:21 AM

    I cant believe i missed out on this place while my visits to Italy. Your pages make me wanna go back there right away. Fantastic write ups.

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Jan 7, 2005 at 10:30 PM

    In the words of a famous Aussie TV show - "What's not to like!" Back for some more.

  • Nov 21, 2004 at 12:16 AM

    Hard to believe a stroke of bad luck could turn into a stroke of such good luck. That photo of Imi looking through the San Lorenzo Arch should be in a travel mag, so cool, what a stunning frame & background.

  • rozehill's Profile Photo
    Oct 24, 2004 at 11:00 PM

    Your descriptions are very apt for Portovenere. I had just a few hours there but can identfy with how you felt being there! Fanastic presentation....

  • quartinb's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2004 at 3:24 AM

    ,,,bad milan experience, turned out okey, driving yu towards Portovenere! Imi is a very lucky girl travelling with daddy & mummy,,!

  • Sweetberry1's Profile Photo
    Oct 9, 2004 at 1:45 AM

    Sounds like you were obviously meant to find this gem of a place.. Lovely page and beautiful photos.. ;-)

  • Biljana's Profile Photo
    Oct 5, 2004 at 2:32 AM

    Wow your story certainly shows that sometimes a mess up in your plans can create a wonderful experience in the end. Portovenere is beautiful as are your photos! I am just amazed that a place can be that sunny in the middle of winter.

  • myriam_c's Profile Photo
    Oct 1, 2004 at 12:29 AM

    Thanks for your nice comments on my Portovenere page. I agree that it's a beautiful little town!

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