Nostra Grande Avventura Italiana~Portofino

OK, so we knew it was bound to happen it was only a matter of time…we finally took a wrong train on the way to Portofino.  We got off and lugged our suitcases down the stairs into the subway to cross under the tracks in order to get onto the other side…and hauled said suitcases back up the stairs to the correct train tracks.  We have very few regrets from this whole trip, but one of them was that we wished we would have thought to have worn pedometers or Fitbits to track OUR mileage on this journey.  I will tell you we both lost weight on this trip and you will understand why near the end of our stories when we reveal exactly how many miles we traveled on our adventure.  So, back on the correct train to Portofino where you actually have to get off in Santa Margherita Ligure and go by either ferry, bus or cab to Portofino.  We chose ferry as Daniela had hinted to us how beautiful it is to see these small fishing villages from the waters perspective…and she was right!

The Ligurian Sea


Entering Portofino


It was a very short distance from the shore to our hotel.  And once again, steps, and plenty of them.  Marie chose to wait at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the hotel front.  I ventured up and into this grand old hotel, Hotel Eden, to check us in.  I was greeted by a very nice short Italian man named, Francesco.  I was informed we had reserved “the cheapest room in the hotel which is on the roof and up those stairs” as he points to a spiral staircase leading up to who knows where as I couldn’t see the end of it!  Francesco then tells me if we would RATHER have a room right on the first floor by the desk and not do those grueling stairs we could, but for a higher price of course.  I told him to wait a moment while I went and spoke with my friend outside.  Well it didn’t take even one complete sentence out of my mouth before Marie gave me the green light to fork out the big bucks and NOT have another STEP MASTER set of stairs to climb.  So two happy weary ladies checked into the Hotel Eden in the comfort of the first floor!  As was the case with a small room it was very hot so we tried to get the AC to come on, but it didn’t seem to be working right.  I went to ask Francesco about it and he followed me back into our room saying, Senora, eeets weentur out there…you no need this…I open windows for you” as he grabbed the remote from my hand and threw open the windows.  I guess October 30th is “weentur” in Portofino and there is no way you can use the AC.  Lesson learned.  (Smile)

Stairway to rooftop!


Beautiful Gardens of Hotel Eden


We spent a beautiful day/evening walking the cobblestone pathways around the shore line, browsing in shops and people watching.  Such an array of people in these little villages.  We heard many languages besides Italian being spoken.  We saw tour groups following their leaders. We saw one very happy group of people participating in a wine tasting event.   We saw dogs of every size being walked about.  We saw people simply enjoying the ambience of such a beautiful place.


Castle overlooking village


Portofino becomes magical at night


Dinner at a sidewalk cafe


The next day we took the city bus back to Santa Margherita to connect with trains to get us back to Milan.  On this bus we met a fun couple from Cananda, Frank and Mary, who were celebrating their 20th Anniversary!  They were on a cruise ship and had just gotten off to spend the day on shore.  Marie told them about the Flight Crew, gave them a card and invited them to come on to the site as we would say a special hello to them from here!  We really didn’t run into too many American or English speaking people on the entire trip.  It was always fun when we did.

Happy Anniversary Frank and Mary!


So back to Milan we go…  we are very excited about our day coming up with Daniela in Brescia!





51 thoughts on “Nostra Grande Avventura Italiana~Portofino”

  1. Jane, your really been a great adventure, maybe the pedometer would seek a break to recover !!
    Honestly, when you told me your program so intense I had doubts that you would be coming to the end, you’re very brave.
    The landscape seen from the sea is truly priceless and houses a colorful side by side all are beautiful.
    Good thing you’ve moved to the ground floor, so you have spared forces to come to me.
    I had a great desire to know you and the next reading will be like reliving that day of a month ago.

    1. It was totally do-able because we were in ITALY…somewhere we had only dreamed of seeing!! Tired yes, but a happy tired. Yes, on to Brescia! 🙂

  2. Oh Jane, everything and every place you describe, sounds heavenly. You and Marie must take another vacation after your Italian vacation just to rest up. Thank you guys for bringing us along. Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving day. Can’t wait for the next chapter.

  3. You certainly had a great adventure Jane! You and Marie must have been exhausted with all the climbing and walking but you had the most beautiful views and experiences. To do this all on your own is amazing, very brave and adventurous. And thanks for sharing this trip with us.

    1. Margaret, the steps and hills are what we really felt. A vast amount on our time was walking on flat surfaces as well. That was rest up time before the next hill on the horizon!

  4. I’m Planning a trip to Sicily, home of my grandfather,
    within the next year or two and your trip updates are going to be very helpful. Thank you!

    1. Sandra, I am so happy for you! Are you going to do the entire island or just certain areas? You will truly love the beauty that island holds. When we flew into Palermo they let us off the plane on the tarmac and we took a shuttle in to the terminal. We stepped off that plane and there was this huge mountain…RIGHT beside the runway! Interesting. We understand why each of the guys loves going home as their homes and surrounding countryside are very different in many ways than ours. Some, a little challenging like the narrow roads, but the warmth and friendliness of their is a priceless treasure.

      1. The airport is located at Punta Raisi and the mountain is Monte Pellegrino overlooking Palermo

  5. Marie and Jane, I have lived vicariously through you both on your trip . Thank you for all the beautiful photos, even the stairs ,!! On another note for anyone in the S Florida area wpbt2 will be airing the Il Volo concert Notte Magica at 9 p.m this evening 11/26.

    1. Marion…so glad you have enjoyed the journey right along with us! That’s great your PBS station will air the special. Very sadly, ours is not!

  6. Marie and Jane, you two are very brave souls. I on the other hand am a wimp. I have only gone with tour groups, but I know it is not the same. There is just a little time that you can explore on your on so not so much interaction with the locals. If there is a next time, and I can convince a friend to do it on our own, I would even attempt to drive some. The time we went to beautiful Assisi, we walked UP to the hotel, not being told how much UP there was. We would have taken a taxi if we had known. So lesson learned: Ask how much Up there is. BTW we were the 3 oldest on the tour. Can’t wait for your next episode.

  7. Ladies, I love reading your blog! My friend and I have similar adventures in Italy with the trains! Our travel from Venice to Florence was daunting but allora, we wete heading to see Il Volo for a Notte Magica. And it was.

    1. Have you ever seen Andrea Bocelli sing I Found My Love In Portofino! Beautiful! I kept humming that song in my head the whole time we were there.

      Thank you all for the nice comments!

  8. your inside stair picture – I couldn’t tell what was up or down ! So glad you could make this trip. I’m imagining it as I read along …

  9. Well Jane as I mentioned in previous comments you ladies are an inspiration for tackling this adventure on your own. What beautiful pictures . And as you strollled the streets observing so many people dining alfresco, I bet you got that Magical Feeling. What a gorgeous place Portofino is! Can’t wait for your next edition!!

  10. Jane, Another great story! I remember how beautiful Portofino was when I watched the Andrea Bocelli PBS special that was filmed there. I finally get to watch Notte Magica tonight on PBS, I still have’nt received my DVD from Amazon yet( are you listening Amazon?) I can’t wait to read about your adventures with our dear Daniela, please make it soon!

    1. Jill then tonight you will finally see the video of NOTTE MAGICA, I am very happy then you can tell us your opinion.

      Yesterday was a guest FLIGHT OF EDICOLA FIORELLO, and were fun and good, you have to see.

      1. Daniella I just saw that interview with FIORELLO. The Guys were having a great time. Much laughter! It was good to see them so relaxed & having fun.

      2. Daniela, That was a very funny video!
        I made a mistake about seeing Notte Magica tonight. I was looking at the wrong program guide. Because I belong to Las Vegas PBS, they send me their program guide,
        but it is not the same as the one in Hawaii. Las Vegas sees Notte Magica tonight, and I see mine next Saturday. So one more week to go.

      3. Annette is a unique laugh, too funny and smart.
        Today and tomorrow the guys are recording a new show House Party, the Volo card came to me was the opportunity to participate as an audience but turns to Rome and we were warned too late. Sin.

  11. Jane and Marie, it is understandable why the guys love being home. It is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this amazing adventure. I am sure this is a trip you will never forget! On another note, for those Crew members who live in the SF Bay Area Notte Magica will be televised on PBS several times during the week of Dec 11. Here is the schedule:

    Il Volo Notte Magic

    Upcoming Broadcasts:
    Duration: 1:25:11 STEREO TVG

    For Notte Magica, taped beneath the stars in Florence, Italy’s incredible Santa Croce Square, Placido Domingo joins Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto, and Gianluca Ginoble of Il Volo in a concert event, with the dream of reigniting a love for operatic music by audiences. With the support of Placido Domingo, Il Volo once again takes flight in a humble and beautiful tribute to the artists that have inspired their craft. Songs range from works like “Nessun Dorma” to American favorites like “My Way”.
    Upcoming Broadcasts:

    KQED Life: Sun, Dec 11, 2016 — 6:30pm Remind me
    KQED 9: Sun, Dec 11, 2016 — 6:30pm Remind me
    KQED Life: Mon, Dec 12, 2016 — 12:30am Remind me
    KQED 9: Mon, Dec 12, 2016 — 12:30am Remind me
    KQED Life: Thu, Dec 15, 2016 — 9:30pm Remind me
    KQED 9: Thu, Dec 15, 2016 — 9:30pm Remind me
    KQED Life: Fri, Dec 16, 2016 — 3:30am Remind me
    KQED 9: Fri, Dec 16, 2016 — 3:30am Remind me
    KQED Life: Sat, Dec 17, 2016 — 4:00pm Remind me
    KQED 9: Sat, Dec 17, 2016 — 4:00pm Remind me
    KQED Plus: Sat, Dec 17, 2016 — 8:00pm Remind me

    1. Bravo Jill, good idea.

      It came the proposal by IL VOLO fan club to come as an audience in Rome? They sent the mail to those who have the card. I wonder to know if they sent her to all.

      1. Hi Daniela, I got the invitation to come–which I thought was funny seeing that I live in Canada!
        A big hello and hugs!

      2. Daniela, I got the notice by email yesterday and I live in Boston USA. It seems the late notice was because the tv station was waiting for confirmation for the appearance by Il Volo.

      3. Hello Daniela, I have the card and got the email about House Party. It was in Italian and I had to translate it. You know the translator is not always accurate, so it was difficult for me to understand exactly what it was about. Finally it came to me that it was an opportunity to be part of the audience. Unfortunately I live in USA so it was not possible.

      4. Perfect, I see that the communication has come to all those who have the card. Of course it was very little warning time for us in Italy, let alone for you in America !! All the girls who live in and around Rome today will be present as an audience, lucky them.

  12. Daniela, No, I did’nt get any mail from them. I just read about it yesterday. It probably does’nt apply to all countries, as they would have to let us know way in advance to be able to get there in time.
    Maybe it’s only the people in Europe that get the mail, because it would be easier for them to get there. So, for me I can only get the discount on merchandise.

    1. Jill sure, it was just to see if you had come the invitation.
      I read above that you have to wait a week to see NOTTE MAGICA, torturing !!

  13. Wow, such beautiful pictures. Well, you shared our pain in getting on the wrong train! My story to come! 🙂 I also got the email – I think it just goes to the whole list of those that have the card. I didn’t see it though til today, as it was well-buried in my email! I saw it on FaceBook that it was supposed to be in my email – kind of ironic. Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I have received the PBS version of Notte Magica. It is in English, but also has subtitles. I am disappointed though that both Sony/PBS decided to exclude Adeste Fidelis from the DVDs. It was so cute when Gian blurts out “buon natale!” 🙂 and then they go into the song! Why have the complete concert and exclude one song?

    1. Jana, you’re right, I too have found sympathetic when Gianluca wished BUON NATALE and Adeste Fideles I loved it, with all the choir behind, too bad they have not inserted the DVD.

    2. I would have loved to have seen Il Volo singing Adeste Fideles on the DVD also. It is such a beautiful song. I wonder if they excluded it because it is a religious song. It is nice to at least have the video that Daniela posted from Una Notte Magica.

  14. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us !! I loved reading this segment of your journey !! You described it with humor and photos that had me Laughing !! Exhausted !! and gazing longingly at all the beautiful sights you both saw and will hold in your hearts forever !! I can’t wait to hear all about your visit with Daniela !!!

  15. i am xhausted just reading about all the steps. I remember places we went to while stationed in Germany. I always had a problem with the altitude and I was 40 years old. So I know this old lady now needs to stay on flat ground.
    Thanks for sharing your trip.

  16. Thank You, Marie and Jane, That was great exercise for you climbing steps, but I know it would be very tiring if you’re not used to a lot of climbing. Please do try to take long walks now that you’re home so that your endurance will be great for your next adventure in Italy – – which I hope you can have again one day?! Portofino looks lovely and reminds me of Cinque Terre with the multi-colored buildings near the sea. The evening scenery and experiences in Italy looks and sounds so special. It seems to me that you did a great job of planning such a trip and I admire you, as I know it isn’t a simple thing to do. 💌

    1. Laughing at the train mishap. My friend and I were taking the train to Faro from Rome. She went to the bathroom and I stayed with luggage. I didn’t see her again for 2 hours. She came out of bathroom and took a very wrong turn. We missed our train but luckily there was another one soon after.

  17. Marie and Jane, Hi from Canada! It was so much fun talking to you ladies on the bus and hearing about your adventures and Il Volo! Your stories had us smiling…can’t wait to read all about your future trips! Keep enjoying your passion for life. The two of you are a true inspiration 😘
    PS: our kids got a kick out of our picture on this post; Il Volo might have some new fans

    1. Mary!!! I was so excited to see your comment this morning! I am so happy you came to the site and read our-your story! New fans are ALWAYS welcome. I hope the rest of your anniversary cruise was fabulous! Keep listening to the best singers in the world and keep coming here!!! Ciao!

    2. Welcome to Mary and Frank. What a great way to have spent your anniversary and you met our 2 travelers Marie and Jane. We throughly enjoy their posts of their trip to Italy. Nice of you to visit with The Crew. Keep in touch.

    3. Hi Mary and Frank
      There are a couple of us Canucks who are devoted to this blog! Most are from the GTA but a few are from other places. Hope you enjoy reading about our three ragazzi!

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