Portofino is a pretty spectacular place to wake up.
A little jewel nestled in the rocky Italian coastline, the deep inky blues of the sea dance and change to pale turquoise in the blink of an eye, and back again.
The green hillsides seem to sway in the breeze, trees dancing around golden villas, peeking out into the landscape.
Yachts bob in the bay and little Fiats race along the winding costal road.
We looked out over breakfast, and watched the gulls bothering the local fisherman, trying to catch a breakfast of their own.
We stayed at the Splendido hotel, which has incredible views over the bay.
I’m not sure I’d stay again, but it’s a very pretty little spot to grab a bite to eat and feast your eyes on that view.
And we did have a marvelous time having breakfast together in our pjs!
Later we popped downstairs for a dip.
And planned our assault on the pretty little seaside town.
I slipped into a silk dress and we stepped out in search of an adventure.
Meandering down the hill, through fragrant gardens, and snaking along the coastal road, heading for the town.
Stopping off to lust after villas along the way.
Naturally Julia bagged the pink one, so I’ll settle for the ochre.
Each keen to explore different sides of the town, we put our heads together and decided to go our separate ways for a little while.
Promised to keep an eye on the time,
and meet again later for rosé and gelato.
While Jules and Thomas headed for the cliffs, keen to get a bird’s eye view of the town, my chap and I made for the water.
Strolling out across the cobbled port, to look back and see Portofino in all her glory.
Portofino is all about understated luxury.
The very high-end hand in hand with life’s simple pleasures.
Pretty little flags dance in the sea breeze, circling yachts and wooden fishing boats.
They sit happily along side each other and neither looks out of place.
This same sense of relaxed inclusion extends to the people of the town, the visitors and the understated style seen around the town.
Like a simple navy dress and straw basket, worn with a marvel in timepiece engineering.
The IWC Portofino watch is timeless, classic, and beautiful, without being flashy.
Much like Portofino itself…
…it has nothing to prove.
I put a lot of thought into what sort of “grown up” watch I wanted to invest in.
When I saw this Portofino with its navy blue strap in the shop in Venice, it was love at first sight.
A few little hints of diamonds, pearl face, moon-phase display, not too bling, not too plain. Something to wear forever and hand on one day.
The fact it’ll always remind me of this trip and this place…
…well that’s just priceless.
We saw off the afternoon at Winterose, a beautiful little wine bar on the harbor.
Here we could people watch, boat watch and generally enjoy the comings and goings of the funny little town.
Shortly followed by the others, who must have sensed them!
This one can sniff out an olive from a mile away.
Two doors down there’s a little gelato place, so you can double your pleasure.
As the sun began to set, we too set off.
This time ready to explore a few of Portofinos’ famous shops!
As night fell, the town slowly twinkled into life.
Like all of the very best ladies I know, she’s a butterfly in the day and a firefly by night.
We took a table at Strainer for supper.
A little restaurant at the far side of the port, it’s the perfect place to watch the town from afar.
Especially as we happened to have turned up on the night of San Giorgio (the dragon slayer).
Once every spring the town fishermen come together to build a bonfire in the main square.
For days it grew and grew, made of fishing boats, saplings, fences and drift wood. Finally lit as the church bells rang out.
Flames climbed high into the night, sending a cloud of glittering smoke up into the stars.
The firelight danced across the water and we could hear the sound of drums beating, the crowd cheering and singing out, drifting across the bay.
Drawn like moths to a flame we went to join in.
A vast crowd surrounded fisherman at a grill, serving up free fish to the hungry revelers.
The intense heat from the fire filled the square, pushing people away towards the edges.
We felt it prickling our cheeks as we stood and watched in a sort of primal awe.
Children ran through the square, couples danced and old men stood back, staring into the dying flames.
Portofino, you stole a piece of my heart at daybreak and swept away the rest by nightfall.
What a magical place!