Our summer trip this year found us docked off shore at our first port of call and my favorite, Portofino. We tendered to the charming dock from the Oceania – Sirena. I was instantly in love with the beauty of the quaint seaside town.
We maneuvered into the port passing many large mega yachts and sleek sailboats occupied by bronze colored men and women tanning on the decks. There were also many small fishing vessels dotting the cove with nets and baskets hanging from the sides. The tender left us at a small dock in the center of town. The town was just starting to come alive in anticipation of the daily cruise visitors. As we walked through the town we saw small shops, fruit vendors and cafes busily preparing to start the day.
My dad mentioned that he had been here before, and recalled a most memorable lunch at the famous hotel on the hill. We all decided that this would be our lunch spot today. The Hotel Belmond Splendido was now in our sights for a lunch that I will never forget. When we got to the center of town we inquired if there was a van that goes up to the resort, there was and we waited there until we saw the van enter the town square. The short ride up to the property revealed spectacular views as we climbed up the hillside. I was instantly in love with the view, the style, and the charm of this lovely resort.Portofino, Italy. The site was formerly home to an Benedictine monastery which was ransacked so many times by Saracen pirates that the monks abandoned it in the 16th century. The four-story high building subsequently fell into disrepair. In the 19th century the property was purchased by Italian aristocrat Baron Baratta, who renovated and converted it into a family summer house. In 1901 the building was purchased by Ruggero Valentini who transformed it into a hotel which opened in 1902. Since its inception, the hotel has played host to various famous people and noble families. The 1950s witnessed the discovery of Portofino by American visitors who made the hotel their accommodation of choice. Among the visitors from this time to the present have been the Duke of Windsor, Winston Churchill and Rex Harrison.in 1952, Clark Gable in 1953, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Groucho Marx and Ava Gardner in 1954, Fredric March in 1955, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in 1967.”
We made it to the outdoor terrace, passing many flowers, lemon trees and hibiscus. The view looking over the bay was spectacular, and the blue water so inviting. We started with snacks and the most wonderful White Peach Bellini’s I have ever tasted!! Absolutely without a doubt recommend this if you are ever in Portofino!
- 2 medium-size very ripe unpeeled white peaches, halved, pitted.
- 2 tablespoons (or more) lemon juice.
- 2 tablespoons (or more) Simple Syrup (click for recipe)
- 1 750-ml bottle chilled Prosecco.
Puree peaches, lemon juice, and syrup in blender. Taste; add more syrup or lemon juice, if desired. Pour 2 tablespoons puree into each of 6 Champagne flutes. Fill with Prosecco.