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Trip Report Castello Brown in Portofino

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At the mouth of the Portofino harbor there is a small hill, the Punta di Portofino. At the top of the hill is a castle, Castello Brown. With the moon in the sky the castle looks spooky.

We visited Castello Brown—in the daytime. We walked up the hill bright and early. We walked by the church of St. George, who is the patron saint of Portofino. Throughout the town there are ceramic medallions depicting St. George in various dragon-slaying poses. The church sits on a site believed to have had a roman temple, according to a brochure in English we picked up at the castle. Pliny the Elder, or as the brochure says, Pliny the Old, wrote about the area in the second century A.D. We got to Castello Brown before it opened and we had to wait.

The castle is something less than a castle and something more than a villa. It was originally a fortification, going back at least to the 1400s, to protect the sheltered harbor. In the late 1800s the castle was bought by an English man named Montague Yeats Brown for 7,000 lire. Mr. Brown turned the building into a residence that stayed in his family until it was sold to the town in 1961.

We walked up steps through gardens to get there. Inside it’s sparse but very romantic. There are pictures of famous people who have visited. And most spectacularly there are beautiful terraces with wide views from very high up, down to Portofino and out to sea. This would have been a beautiful home with a beautiful garden. It is a little spooky still, even in the daytime, isolated up high on this hill.

It's a spectacular place, I would consider going back again and again just to sit on the terrace.

Some pictures are posted at