Before we left the Tuscan region, we just HAD to stop and take pictures of the sunflower fields. (This reminded me of Lompoc, California when they have their annual Flower Festival and there are fields of flowers everywhere.) While we were taking pictures, this cute old man walked up the road and we tried to talk to each other but neither one of us understood the other. He wanted me to take his picture because he said he was handsome. I agreed! Such a cutie pie!
Sunflower fields in Tuscany, Italy
Another pretty face.
Cute old man.
We got on the road and headed North-West. Our destination was Santa Margherita De Ligure (Italian Riviera) which is on the coast of the Liguarian Sea (an arm of the Mediterranean Sea). This is a part of Italy I have never visited before! After about 3 hours of driving, we arrived at our hotel, got checked in, had a late lunch and then hopped on a bus to go sightseeing in Portofino.
Let me just mention that we are becoming pros at navigating narrow roads and not losing our lunch during scary bus rides along the cliffs. Thank you very much!
Portofino is a small Italian fishing village with a small harbor and lots of little shops. I don’t know very much about it, but look how pretty it is.
(taken from the church)
Stan was shooting right into the sun so it
was hard to get a good shot.
See the yellow church on the left?
Our main quest was to see a 15th century castle called “Castello Brown.” It is perched waaaayy up on a hill. In fact, the pictures above were taken from the castle’s terrace. So you can see how far we hiked to get up there . . . and it was hot . . . and I was sweaty . . . which is why I am not in any pictures today!
On the way to the castle, we stopped at the yellow church and people were gathering for a wedding. I took a quick snipet of the bride as she arrived in a little scooter car.
Little yellow church in Portofino.
Cliffs beside the church. So beautiful.
The water looked turquoise along the edges.
So, back to the castle. From what we could learn, the castle was a fortress that protected Portofino until it became strategicly unnecessary and was sold in 1867 to Montague Yeats Brown who was the English consul in Genoa, Italy. He renovated it and used it as a private residence until his death in 1905. His heirs held the property until 1949 and then sold it to an English couple, Colonel and Mrs. John Baber who restored several ruined sections. They in turn sold it in 1961 to the City of Portofino who turned the property into a museum.
Oddly, after all that, I didn’t take a single picture of the castle! Can you believe that? LOL. I did, however shoot a short video on the way up. I also pulled a picture off the Internet so you can see where we were.
By the way, Elizabeth von Arnim wrote her book, “Enchanted April” here in 1922, and the 1992 movie was filmed here as well.
Grape vines on the castle property.
Reminded me of my grandmother’s house.