Although it’s a spectacularly beautiful place, Portofino is a relatively small town. Once you’ve enjoyed a drink or a meal in one of the outdoor cafes, window-shopped the expensive boutiques, admired the pretty harbour and perhaps checked out the Museo de Parco (a park filled with contemporary outdoor sculptures), the main thing left to do is visit Castello Brown.

During research, I’d read conflicting reports on this medieval Castle, with some visitors saying it wasn’t worth the climb up the hill. I beg to differ! While it isn’t a huge castle by European standards, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit, which was worthwhile for the views of the Portofino harbour alone.

Portofino, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

The view of Portofino harbour from Castello Brown

The walk up to Castello Brown took about 15-20 minutes, with stops along the way for photos.

Portofino, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

The view on the way up to the Castello

Castello Brown, Portofino, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Views from Castello Brown

Originally built as a harbour defence, the Castello was completed in 1557 and used for this purpose until 1815, when it was abandoned following the Congress of Vienna.Surrounded by lush gardens, the Castello is now a house museum with a minimal display. In fact, the display is mostly the house itself and its fixtures and fittings, most of which aren’t original 15/16th century relics, but theydo have some history behind them.

Montague Yeats-Brown, English consult in Genoa, purchased the Castello in 1867, and undertook substantial renovations to transform the building into a comfortable villa. This is when the property became known as Castello Brown. The property stayed in the family until 1949, when it was purchased by an English couple, who did further restoration and then sold it to the City of Portofino in 1961.

Portofino, Castello Brown, Besties do Italy, Seize the Day Project

The tiled staircase

Originally built as a harbour defence, the Castello was completed in 1557 and used for this purpose until 1815, when it was abandoned following the Congress of Vienna.

Cast iron gate

Castello Brown, Portofino, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Inside Castello Brown

Castello Brown, Portofino, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Cast iron stair rail on curved staircase

Castello Brown, Portofino, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Ceiling inside Castello Brown

Castello Brown, Portofino, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

View out from Castello Brown

Castello Brown, Portofino, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Interior of Castello Brown

Castello Brown, Portofino, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Inside Castello Brown

Castello Brown, Portofino, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

The lower level of Castello Brown

Castello Brown, Portofino, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

The lower level of Castello Brown

Castello Brown, Portofino, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Exterior of Castello Brown

Castello Brown, Portofino, Besties do Italy, Seize the day project

Exterior and gardens of Castello Brown

Have you visited Portofino? DId you take the walk up to Castello Brown?

The Besties Do Italy series details how Seize The Day Project’s Lyndall and her long time best friend Jane ventured to Italy to celebrate a significant birthday – sans husbands and children. Shhh, don’t tell anyone they’ve gone! Read related posts in this fascinating series here:

The beauty of Portofino – The journey to Cinque Terre: When things didn’t go according to plan – Finding the best gelato in Italy – Walking the Cinque Terre trail from Vernazza to Monterosso

Linking up with A Brit & A Southerner for #WeekendWanderlust Weekend-Wanderlust-Logo-V21

and Albom Adventures for #WkendTravelInspiration weekend-travel-inspiration-600x600