Liguria is often revered for its gastronomic offerings: it’s a foodie paradise thanks to its varied cuisine, ancient traditions and local fresh produce.
The region is also full of historical places that deserve to be visited and of inspiring locals worth meeting.
Portofino is the perfect place where to combine all these aspects – food, history and community – for a unique epicurean adventure!
Here are our favorite food experiences in and around Portofino.
Italian-style Aperitivo in a medieval abbey
Experience the “Dolce Vita” atmosphere by slowly savoring an authentic Italian aperitif in the wonderful, sea-view gardens of Cervara Abbey.
This complex was built by the Benedictine monks in 1361 and is set on the coast between Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino.
The abbey is a designated National Monument of Italy, while its garden is the only monumental Giardino all’italiana or Italian Renaissance style garden preserved in the Italian Riviera.
The abbey is now privately owned and is only accessible by appointment. Learn more about this glamorous food experience in Portofino.
Focaccia tasting in a famous bakery
Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, impossibly fragrant: the Ligurian focaccia is full of history and tradition.
Camogli is the best place where to eat the original focaccia near Portofino. This picturesque village is home to a famous bakery where you can taste different kinds of freshly baked focaccia, from the classic one to versions with olives or cheese.
Next, you can enrich your gourmet experience with a tour of Camogli that includes a special tasting of Liguria’s famous pesto sauce and characteristic vegetable pies. Read more about the Camogli Tasting Tour.
Classic cooking class in an ancient mill
Picture yourself entering the lush Portofino Natural Park and admiring its Mediterranean vegetation when – suddenly – you reach an old mill immersed in this paradise.
This is where you will meet the local culinary expert who is also your teacher! You will learn how to prepare handmade Corzetti pasta, the pesto sauce with mortar and pestle, and even a typical dessert.
How did it go? You will find out at lunch, when you will enjoy the meals you have prepared, as well as other local specialties, paired with fine wines or Portofino’s beer! Learn more about this memorable cooking class in Portofino.
Street food with a culinary writer
Liguria is famous for its delicious street food, so why not take advantage of your Italian holiday to join a cooking class with an expert on this matter?
We recommend exploring the area around Portofino off the beaten path: head to the small village of Leivi to meet your teacher, Valentina, who is also a food writer and cookbook photographer.
Her passion is contagious, and she will teach you a variety of dishes, such as focaccette, the Pasqualina pie and the chickpea Farinata.
The experience ends with a food tasting lunch in the garden overlooking the hills and the sea. Read more about the street food cookery lesson in Portofino.
Olive oil tasting in an eco-farm
How to taste olive oil like a pro?
By learning from experts! In the small village of Nozarego, on the slopes near Portofino, you can meet a local family who owns a wonderful eco-farm where they carry out the ancient tradition of olive growing and oil making.
Here you can stroll under the century-old olive groves while admiring the terraced gardens overlooking the Gulf of Portofino.
Your hosts will guide you through the tasting of the extra virgin olive oil that they produce, show how to prepare pesto, and provide you with a delicious lunch made with local specialties and farm-to-table salads and fruits. Learn more about this authentic tasting tour near Portofino.
Looking for more foodie tips and culinary activities?
Check our trips and experiences lovingly crafted by real locals. We love the territory where we live and have selected for you the best of the best. And don’t miss our super flexible cancellation policy to plan your active holiday in Portofino without risking anything!