Church of San Giorgio (Chiesa di San Giorgio)
The original 12th-century Church of San Giorno was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in 1950. Dedicated to Portofino's patron saint, whose relics were brought to the city after the Crusades and are conserved beneath the church’s altar, San Giorgio is set on the very tip of a tiny rocky outcrop just outside of town. Stroll to the church from the center of Positano to escape the crowds that invade this former fishing village in summer and take in the sweeping views from its tiny piazza. Portofino is a popular day trip and shore excursion from the nearby port city of Genoa, and active visitors can opt to join a guided kayaking tour of the Area Marina Protetta di Portofino—the marine reserve that protects much of the surrounding coastline—to explore this picturesque area by sea.
Things to know before you go
- Sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable shoes are recommended for day trips to Portofino, where much of your time will be spent walking outdoors.
- Be sure to bring your camera to the scenic overlook at the Church of San Giorgio to capture the exceptional views over the harbor and coastline.
- Modest clothing covering shoulders and knees is recommended for entering the church.
- The walk to San Giorgio has some steep stretches and a flight of stairs, so is not accessible to wheelchair users.
How to get there
The Church of San Giorgio sits just outside the center of Portofino, about a 5-minute walk uphill from the central piazza. The town can be reached by bus or ferry from Santa Margherita Ligure, where the nearest train station is located. Traffic to Portofino is strictly limited, so visit via public transportation or a day trip that includes transportation.
When to get there
Portofino is a resort town, and many shops and restaurants close during the winter. Time your visit for spring or fall when the town is lively but the summer crowds haven’t reached their peak. On April 23rd, the town celebrates the Feast of San Giorgio with a bonfire, procession, and fireworks.
Portofino’s Pristine Marine Reserve
Portofino is surrounded by the Area Marina Protetta di Portofino, a marine reserve that covers around 865 acres (350 hectares) of the sea along the Portofino coastline where water sports and fishing are restricted to preserve the rich marine life and coastal flora and fauna. One of the most popular spots in the marine reserve is Paraggi Bay, where boating is prohibited but visitors can kayak, swim, and snorkel to explore the coastline, or relax on the sandy beaches.