DAY 3 | (October 20, 2020 / May 3, 2021)

Today, we’ll take 2 side trips from Monterosso. Since our perfect virtual weather allows it, we’ll take a 1.30-hour boat ride along the scenic Ligurian coast past the 4 other Cinque Terre villages to Portovenere. Later we’ll travel by train and taxi to elegant Portofino. 

Portovenere is sometimes mentioned as the 6th village of the Cinque Terre and is known for its charming colorful harbor and a medieval fortress and chapel which create an atmospheric backdrop to open-air concerts in the summer. Click here for a touching performance by Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo. And for a video and message of hope Andrea just recorded with his cute little daughter Virginia click here. »

The 12th-century chapel of San Pietro built on a rocky outcrop in Portovenere

View of the Ligurian Sea from the loggia at the Chapel of San Pietro

Exploring back alleys in Portovenere

Lots of fun details to photograph in Portovenere

Due to its beauty and mild climate, Portofino has long been a destination for the rich and famous and has historically attracted many celebrities and artists. From its humble beginnings as a fishing village, its picturesque harbor now mostly shelter expensive yachts.

Castello Brown is a lovely villa and museum located high above the harbor. The film Enchanted April (you can find it on Amazon Prime) was filmed here in the same location where the author of the book stayed in the 1920s. The view from the Castello gardens is stunning — well worth the 30-minute climb.

The picturesque harbor of Portofino

RECIPE FOR DAY 3

What is genuinely local in Cinque Terre cuisine?

ANCHOVIES: Especially the fresh anchovies (acciughe) from Monterosso are famous in Italy for their outstanding quality. Locals eat anchovies raw with a trickle of olive oil and lemon, stuffed, fried, or cooked with potatoes.

OLIVE OIL: Thanks to the ideal conditions, the olives that grow in the Cinque Terre National Park they produce superb olive oil.

AROMATIC HERBS: Basil, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram are used for seasoning most of the dishes you taste here.

LEMONS AND LIMONCELLO: You’ll find acres of fragrant lemon groves in the Cinque Terre, particularly in the area around Monterosso. The tasty limoncello liqueur is made from the lemon peels.

Want to try your hand on a couple of typical dishes? Try Zuppa di Pesce (Fish Soup) and Pan Dolce for dessert.

Join us again tomorrow when we explore the other 4 Cinque Terre Villages.

Buon viaggio — ci vediamo domani!