Castello Brown


A flight of stairs signposted 'Salita San Giorgio' leads from the harbour and past the Chiesa di San Giorgio to Portofino's unusual castle, a 10-minute walk altogether (do confirm it's open with the tourist office before setting out, as the castle often closes for private events). The Genoese-built bulwark saw action against the Venetians, Savoyards, Sardinians and Austrians, and later fell to Napoleon.

In 1867 it was transformed by the British diplomat Montague Yeats Brown into a private mansion. The fabulous tiled staircase is one of the showpieces of the neo-Gothic interior, while there are great views from the garden. For a better outlook, continue for another 400m or so along the same track to the lighthouse (Faro di Portofino).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Portofino attractions

1. Villa Durazzo


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2. Abbazia di San Fruttuoso

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The hamlet's sensitively restored Benedictine abbey was built as a final resting place for Bishop St Fructuosus of Tarragona, martyred in Spain in AD 259…

3. Santuario di Nostra Signora della Rosa

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You’ll gasp audibly when entering Santa Margherita Ligure’s small yet lavish baroque church, not just at the truly dazzling array of gold leaf, frescoes,…

4. Lungomare Vittorio Veneto

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Rapallo's scenic seafront promenade hosts a daily parade of locals and visitors. This is also the setting for the Mercato del Giovedì (Thursday market).

5. Centro Visito Batterie Silvio Sommazzi

3.42 MILES

This free visitor centre provides insight into the military installations scattered in the surrounding hillside. The 202nd Batteria Chiappa guarded the…

6. Mercato


Camogli's Wednesday market is a big draw, with vendors spreading their wares on Via XX Settembre, Via Schiaffino e Piazza Schiaffino.

7. Baia del Silenzio

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This small beautiful bay lies hidden just behind the historic quarter. Go early or late in the day to enjoy this photogenic seascape without the crowds…

8. Museo Archeologico e della Città

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Spread across the 3rd and 4th floors of the photogenic Palazzo Fascie, Musel delves into Sestri Levante's past with interactive exhibitions and displays…