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 its open with the tourist office before setting out, as the castle often closes for private events). The Genoese-built castle 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.