Photo Spots Portofino
Sophisticated, glamorous, and drop-dead gorgeous are just a few ways to describe Portofino, a true Mediterranean gem and one of Italy’s most beautiful places. In the Italian Riviera, squeezed between the Ligurian Sea and the verdant hills of Northern Italy, Portofino is an old fishing village with stunning pastel-coloured buildings housing many restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. Life mainly revolves around its ancient harbour, where jet-setter yachts anchor and visit some of the best places to take photos in Portofino, including, the Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta where sloping streets stem to offer you breathtaking views. 😍
Here at Flytographer, we easily connect people with trusted photographers for fun photo shoots and have captured over three million memories worldwide. Today, we asked our local photographers in Portofino to show us around all the very best spots for pictures. Here are their top five tips for places to take photos in Portofino.
Andiamo a Portofino e viva l’Italia! 🇮🇹
- Portofino Town. An ancient fishing port with pastel-coloured buildings facing the marina and the clear Mediterranean Sea.
- Church of San Giorgio. This simple church with stunning views symbolizes hope and resistance to the region.
- Castello Brown. A fairytale-like castle built high in the hills and a favourite spot for wedding ceremonies.
- Portofino Coast. The coastal region surrounding the old town has many hidden gems and secluded beaches to explore.
- Camogli. This tiny seaside village has a scenic church and a medieval castle by the sea.
1. Portofino Town
The most celebrated spot in Portofino Town is the lively Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta, also known as the Piazzetta, which faces the city’s scenic harbour. That’s where you can nail the perfect shot, capturing the colourfully painted buildings and the boats and yachts moored in the docks—a Portofino classic! 😉
A few steps from the Piazzetta is the Museo Del Parco, a hillside, open-air museum with a diverse display of classic and contemporary sculptures. This is another hotspot full of photo ops, especially if you capture the many artworks displayed in the garden with the stunning Mediterranean scenery as a background.
On Via Roma, Portofino’s main road, you can stroll through the glamorous boutiques lining the street and then choose one of the many superb restaurants for fresh seafood and fine Italian wine. 🍝 Once you’ve had your fix of Cucina Italiana, head to the picturesque small alleyways and roads that climb up the hills. As you do so, you can’t miss the Church of San Martino, a century-old church of Romanesque-Lombard style with a striped facade and a beautiful bell tower. A picture on the stairwell is another classic but do also go inside for a peek at its exuberant interior with marble columns, stunning frescos, and crystal chandeliers.
Extra tip: Portofino Town is well known for being an exclusive destination, meaning the prices of accommodation can be very high. But a day trip from Genova (also known as Genoa or the birthplace of the focaccia and pesto!) is a more affordable alternative. Genova is also a great base to explore other dreamlike destinations like Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure, and the tiny coastal fishing village of San Fruttuoso. 👍
2. Church of San Giorgio
The tiny Church of San Giorgio is modest, yet it doesn’t lack any charm and importance. Its lovely yellow facade and the white and black pebbles forming the stunning floor mosaics in front of the church are highly photogenic. Inside you’ll find the relics of St. George, the patron Saint of Portofino. Legend has it these relics were brought to the town by sailors who returned after the Crusades in the Middle Ages. The church was built in the 12th century, but it suffered several destructions and reconstructions—including getting hit by a bomb during the Second World War. Standing in its elevated position today, it became a symbol of resilience for the entire region.
Speaking of position, from the church, you’ll get terrific panoramic vistas of the Ligurian Sea, the Portofino harbour, and the colourful houses that paint the little town. This is undoubtedly one of the best places to take pictures in Portofino. 📸
3. Castello Brown
Another building in a privileged position, overlooking Portofino’s marina, is Castello Brown, a bucket list spot filled with Insta-worthy corners and vistas. Completed in the 15th century, the castle is surrounded by fairytale-like gardens with flower beds, cypresses, pine trees, and gorgeous pergolas—combine all this with striking views of Portofino, and you have a true Italian gem. The beauty and romantic allure of the gardens make Castello Brown the perfect place to take photos in Portofino. No wonder they’re extremely popular with couples getting married. 💍
The castle’s interior is as magical as its exterior. It displays original furniture, stunning gothic windows, wooden roofs painted with images of saints and rulers, and a staircase covered in gorgeous majolica tiles. Everything is on museum display now, and you can explore the building’s iconic rooms (one of them named the “Dolcevita” room, for obvious reasons), where you’ll see images of some illustrious visitors like Walt Disney, Hemingway, and Liz Taylor. Liz, by the way, spent not just one but eight honeymoons in Portofino. 😮
History buffs will also love going up the castle’s tower, where a multimedia installation titled Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow explains the history of how the small town came to be.
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4. Portofino Coast
Sure, Portofino is stunning, but not everything is about the old town itself. There are many gems to explore near the city—many of them sitting right by the coast, which is dotted with other small fishing villages and incredible hidden beaches. There are different ways to explore the Portofino coast. You can do it by car, boat, or even kayak. The latter is a great way to get up close to the rugged cliffs as you find your way exploring. 🚣♂️
A must-visit is Paraggi Beach, a mere 20 minutes from Portofino. This little beach of crystal-clear waters is a snorkelling paradise with corals very close to the shore. Paraggi is also the only sandy beach close to Portofino, so it’s perfect for lazing and basking under the sun and taking some pics, capturing the dazzling sea and lush hills.
To the other side of the coast, more gorgeous beaches await you. Spiaggia dell’Olivetta is one of them, a tiny beach that looks like a secret heaven, and it’s indeed remote: it sits on the foothills of Brown Castle, reachable on foot or by sea. Further down, on the western tip of the peninsula, is the still active Portofino Lighthouse, from where you’ll get unforgettable views and the fresh ocean breeze. Sunsets are particularly Insta-worthy, when everything is tinted in golden hues. ✨
On the peninsula’s west side, a 30-minute drive from Portofino, Camogli is a seaside village that will delight you in every sense. The town also has a lovely marina and historic pastel-coloured buildings close to the shore, forming an idyllic background. You can stroll the seaside promenade feeling the chilled-out vibes of the place as you try to pick one of the many-starred restaurants.
The true postcard attraction of Camogli is the 12th-century Church of Santa Maria Assunta, a baroque structure on top of a rock facing the ocean. One of the best places to take photos in Portofino is standing on the far end of the rocky shore of Spiaggia Libera with the beautiful structure behind you, framed by the sea and the bright buildings of the village. Another important symbol of Camogli is Castello della Dragonara, also known as Castel Dragone. 🏰 It was first built in the 12th century, also on a cliff, as a defence structure. With its medieval look and the waves hitting the rocks, the castle is remarkably photogenic and another excellent spot to watch the sunset.
Up for a bit of adventure? There’s a popular three-hour trail connecting Portofino to Camogli, cutting through stunning Mediterranean vegetation and ancient olive trees. If you have the energy, it’s one of the best ways to explore the magnificent nature of the Liguria region. 👌
Capturing Memories in Portofino
Together with the nearby Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast to the South, the coast of Portofino is among the best near-shore regions in Italy—and, dare we say, Europe? The city’s unique charm will also make a great impression on you, and it will be hard not to fall in love with it. To make your visit to Portofino even more incredible, book one of our local Flytographers and let them capture all your magic moments in this Italian paradise. 💚
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Flytographer was a great way to capture memories that actually include everyone! Even moms, who are so often the family documentarian. It was a wonderful experience.”