Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 5 - Portofino

Portofino, Italy, is known as the resort of the rich and famous, but there is much more to see here than just people. Portofino is a picturesque, half-moon shaped seaside village with pastel houses lining the shore of the harbor. Portofino has shops, restaurants, cafes, and luxury hotels. Portofino's crystalline green waters reveal a myriad display of aquatic life. A castle sits atop the hill overlooking the village.

Castello Brown is a house museum located high above the harbor of Portofino, Italy.
The castle's site is well suited for harbor defense, and appears to have been so used since the 15th century. According to the Record Office of Genoa, cannon batteries were constructed on the site in the early 16th century, and military engineer Gian Maria Olgiato drew up plans for a full fortress circa 1554. The resultant castello was completed by 1557, and in 1575 was instrumental in turning back an attack on the town by GiĆ² Andrea Doria. From 1622 to 1624 the structure was enlarged, and in this form it survived for a century and a half, until a 1798 attack by the English (during Napoleon's reign) destroyed its little tower. The fort was then abandoned after the Congress of Vienna in 1815.

San Giorgio Church 

Wait? What?  A Rhino? This is only one of the many "weird" sculptures in the Gardens apparently.  We had to get back so we didn't see the gardens fully.