Ligurian coast / Portofino

Sunday greeted us with an overcast sky and stong winds. It had cooled down considerably from 30 degrees in Torino previous day to 20 degrees which was not too bad since we had quite some driving to do.
Well, actually the drive to our next hotel in Riva Trigoso would only have taken a bit over 2 hours, but we made several stops on the way. After all, that's what a road trip is for!

Firts we took the highway down to Genova. The winds were so strong at times that I had to slow down the car. But it was a nice drive anyway through a green landscape with many blossoming trees. The view changed from the planes of Torino to a lot of hills which meant countless tunnels on the way.

In Genova we drove through the city to get an overview. At the historic harbour we spotted an impressive old wooden sail ship - the kind you see in pirate movies. My boyfriend's inner child was awakened immediately and we stopped to get a closer look. It was open for visitors, so we went on board.

It was an old childhood dream come true for Olivier and I also found it pretty cool. Not my preferred choice for a next cruise though!

A lovely painted building by the harbour
Instead of taking the highway, we drove the rest of the way along the coast and through a lot of pretty villages.

This also allowed us a little detour to visit the famous Portofino. A very small road with many curves leads to the most expensive park garage I had seen so far on this trip (but it was guarded, which was good because we left all of our luggage in the car).

It's a photogenic place!
View up to the Castello Brown

I found Portofino to be much smaller than I had expected. But it really is very pretty. And it has a castle overlooking the harbour which we visited of course.

Panoramic view from the castle:

After paying 11 Euros for just 2 hours of parking (they take it from the living!) we drove on to our hotel in another small village by the sea.

I have to say that driving down the Ligurian coast gave me a new understanding for the designer Versace. Many houses here have trompe l'oeil decorations painted on their pale orange, yellow and pink facades with green shades that seem to have influenced his style. People here like colors and ornaments!

After a short nap we took a little walk down to the beach but it was still very windy and cool so we finally went to eat our first pizza on this trip - my first big meal actally, up until then it had only been snacks and ice cream. But then, ice cream is one of the reasons for visiting Italy :-)
Then we got a good night's rest because we had an exciting day in San Giminiano and Siena ahead of us.