The pretty village of Portofino is a classic Italian fishing port with brightly painted waterside boutiques and restaurants contrasting with the with impressive sprawling houses painted in shades of ochre, clinging to steep mountains. It was a spot we simply had to visit for the final day of our Belmond FAM trip, and certainly was one we won't forget.
The Belmond Splendido and the Belmond Splendido Mare are two of the finest hotels in Portofino, working alongside each other to create magnificent events. The Splendido Hotel sits imposingly high above the bay with stunning gardens and terraces making it an obvious choice for elegant weddings. It also offers a doggy day spa - perfect if you want to include your pets in your visit to this blissful retreat. A pleasant downhill stroll takes you into the village of Portofino where in pride of place, just a pebble's throw from the water's edge, is the Splendido Mare; a lovely spot for a rehearsal dinner or small wedding.
First up was a masterclass in making pesto at the Belmond Splendido Mare Hotel and Restaurant. We used local ingredients - Parmesan and Pecorino cheese, pine nuts, garlic, sea salt, olive oil and fragrant basil leaves - and made Pesto the traditional way with a pestle and mortar so as not to cook the ingredients with the heat of a blender.
The narrow roads in this region hug the coastline, so we took to the sea to explore some of the bays only accessible by boat or on foot. The Belmond have their own speedboat that will pick you up from the dock at Portofino and can arrange additional boat charters if you have a lot of guests. It is a glamorous and exhilarating way to visit the neighbouring towns and secluded bays.
We also paid a visit to La Cervara, a former abbey on the coastal road to Portofino.
Grand decor, marble floors and sun-kissed gardens are the perfect backdrop for a wedding celebration, plus they offer exclusive use for ultimate privacy.
The photo opportunities were simply breathtaking.
A huge thank you to Eleonora Rioda
of Venice First and to Belmond for organising such an enlightening trip across Italy.
Find out more about all our Italian venues here