May 4, 2019
An extensive breakfast buffet at the hotel, one of the best of the trip. Breakfast was a fascinating visual experience, watching the slim and beautiful people. Definitely high fashion, the young woman sitting next to us in her short Fendi dress (I know it was Fendi, because it was written all over it) didn’t appear to be wearing underwear, as we could see when she stood up. Another woman was wearing heavy silk pajamas with a tailored blazer. I hope we didn’t give ourselves away as total rubes, but I’m afraid our attire just didn’t hit the mark.
We wandered out to the terrace and it was a madhouse out there (see featured photo). It seems that many sailors take their weekend cruises on the Italian Riviera. The strange part was that they all stayed bunched together, sailing around and trying to avoid hitting each other.
After consultation with the front desk, Suzanne and I took off at a rapid clip to catch the 11:15 ferry to San Fruttuoso and Portofino. We decided to do the Abbey at San Fruttuoso first then ferry back to Portofino for lunch. It was a slow trip out of our bay with all the sailboats in the way.
Most of the Abbey was heavily damaged by frequent pirate raids during the 16th century and was abandoned by the Benedictine monks. Andrea Doria became a patron of the Abbey and funded restoration and expansion of the Abbey. Because of the Doria family’s patronage the family crypts were allowed to be placed within the Abbey.
Currently some fishing expeditions are launched from the abbey. There were nets and boats stored under and around the museum.
The abbey was pretty much destroyed again in 1915 by a tremendous storm that swept the area and has again been restored.
This is Suzanne communing with the spirits in the Doria crypt area. The Doria family also sponsored the construction of a small church adjacent to the Abbey.
Today the Abbey is dedicated to Saint Fructuosus, a third-century Spanish bishop that was martyred under the Roman Emperor Valerian. In the eight-century his relics were transferred here by Greek monks*.
On display are many pieces of pottery that were used by monks from the 12-century to the 15-century.
On the way into the bay we noticed purple jellyfish floating everywhere in the water. I took a couple pictures that turned out looking more like paintings than photos.
After a quick Cappuccino it was off to Portofino on the ferry for another late lunch.
We walked around the bay to the restaurant La Critta, that has this floating seating area. In the middle of our lunch of Squid Ink linguine with prawns, there was a horrible, loud cracking sound. A duck had flown right into the plastic side of the float, so hard that it ended up dropping down inside. Mass confusion as diners and wait staff corralled the very lucky to be alive duck to take it outside to the water.
Portofino is a lovely little town with lots of flowers, restaurants, high end shopping and art galleries. It is a beautiful day and we just enjoyed strolling around and catching the sights. Could not believe the intense colors of this Hydrangea display.
Views of beautiful properties, a lighthouse, boats and churches on the ferry ride going and coming.
Back to the hotel for a rest up before dinner. We are here for four nights and tomorrow is supposed to be non-stop rain. We are thinking of taking a day off and giving our bodies a break from this relaxing vacation we planned.