View Full Version : Genoa or portofino, need advice
February 8th, 2010, 08:45 AM
We will be docked in Portofino for 10 hours. We have narrowed our choices to spending the day in Portofino on our own or taking an 8 hour long ship's tour to Genoa, traveling by boat, then motorcoach. A basic overview will be given in Genoa, with visits to three churches/museums to highlight paintings and sculptures. (We will be spending three days in Rome prior to the cruise and will be going to museums there.) The length of the trip to Genoa would preclude us from seeing Portofino. Which would you choose? Why? Thank you for any input. I realize these are two very different choices, and I'm so over-researched by now that I can't think straight. Please share your insights and advice. Thanks.
February 8th, 2010, 09:30 AM
I have been to both, Genoa and Portofino and can say unequivocally that if those were my two options I would stay in Portofino. However, I was in Genoa many years ago, when I was very young and less of a tourist than I am today. So I don't know if I missed what the city was supposed to be about, but I remember being very underwhelmed. OTOH, Portofino is just lovely and the thought of spending some hours just relaxing there is very appealing.
February 8th, 2010, 11:11 AM
Given a choice of the two, I would opt to stay in the Portofino area. Take a bus to Santa Margherita and stroll through the central area. They have some bakeries with pastries that are to die for. Outdoor market is great too. Have lunch there (far, far less money than in Portofino.) Bus back to Portofino and explore the town (not very big).
February 8th, 2010, 12:22 PM
I study in Genoa for 6 months and visted Portofino multiple times. I like Genoa not for its sight seeing but for its uniqueness. Genoa does not overwhelm visitors with historical sights. As a port city it has a more industrial feel than other cities in Italy. To me the beauty of Genoa is traveling the winding roads and seeing the city from the hills which surround the city. The museums and sights you will see in Genoa will pale in comparison to those in Rome.
Portofino is a fantastic, almost fantasy destination. I agree with the GSPLover to take side trip to SM.
February 8th, 2010, 12:35 PM
The irony of the excursion is that its more common for ships to dock in Genoa and offer tours to Portofino! Genoa has some charm, but it is not generally thought of as a major tourist destination. Portofino, on the other hand, is a small town that is often the destination for jet-setters, yachters, etc. Portofino can be easily explored on foot (no need for a tour, guide, etc) in a couple of hours. We agree with the other post that suggested grabbing a bus to nearby St Margharita Ligure, which is a slightly larger town relatively close to Portofino. Again, there is no need for any kind of tour. Just ask at the local Portofino tourist office (or in any shop or cafe) where to grab the bus. Consider this port a laid-back relaxing day where you just walk around, browse some shops, enjoy an outdoor cafe, etc.
February 8th, 2010, 06:00 PM
It sounds pretty much unanimous! Portofino and Santa Margherita it is; DH will be thrilled. Thank you all for your input; it's much appreciated.
February 12th, 2010, 12:04 PM
You should also check into taking a boat from Portofino to Santa Margharita instead of the bus. There are boats that leave regularly from the Portofino docks, so don't have to climb all the way to the top of the hill to get the bus.
February 12th, 2010, 05:59 PM
Thanks for the tip ~ perhaps boat in one direction and bus back for a different perspective. It should be much easier walking down the hill. Heck, by the point in the cruise, we could probably just roll down the hill.:D