Portofino is a colourful, popular attraction on the Ligurian coast. It is a picturesque fishing village and magnet for the glitterati. Located in a green setting accessible by boat or along a narrow, tortuous, single-track road cut from the cliff face. Watch the boats or the sea or the seekers of eternal youth. Castle Brown and an attractive phare (lighthouse) grace the headland, which is reached by a long climb up a narrow path and gives splendid views over the harbor and the Mediterranean coast.
Looking west over the phare. This beautiful building is decorated in white, orange and yellow and looks outstanding set among the greenery. The cool wind from the sea is refreshing in the midday sun.
The harbour from Castle Brown. Originally it would have contained fishing vessels and perhaps a ferry-boat but today it is a haven for yachts, speed-boats and a fast ferry that goes along the coast taking tourists around.
Water-front panorama. The beauty of these multistorey buildings is enhanced by the simple earth-pigment colors used to wash the rendering. The location is pretty good too.
The square in Portofino is where the visitor can pause for a while before selecting another cafe, restaurant or shop to browse. It's an excellent place to sit and sip coffee and watch the world, or at least this part of it, pass by.
Sestri Levanti, to the west of Genoa, is a small, picturesque fishing port with a headland and two bays. Sestri is easily accessible from Genoa airport by a local train service. The architecture is interesting and beautiful, with decorated buildings and narrow streets to shade the sun.
Early Monday morning in Sestri, before most people are up, (except people going to the conference center near the bay) is very peaceful.
Sestri is quiet out of season but is popular with italian and european tourists and, so far, has resisted the urge to become 'an attraction'. The place itself, how it is now, is the attraction.
The Bay of Silence is a haven for boats, swimming and just sitting. The old church and building on the headland opposite have been gracefully restored into an auditorium, where concerts are often given, and an international study center. They are both in a perfect setting.
The Bay of Silence is to the east of the headland and sheltered from the prevailing west wind. It is also a haven for fisher-men of Liguria. This man didn't have a landing net or any other paraphernalia of fishing so I think he was more interested in the relaxation that fishing produces in a pleasant area rather than landing a fish for 'sport' or the pot.
At lunch time all the nonfood shops close and most people, except foreign tourists and we english, head for a ristoranti. Many of the restaurants feature locally caught fish and the fish in pasta with a white wine and cheese sauce is delicious.
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