TG Tips- Portovenere, Liguria

I first visited Portovenere 15 years ago on a long walk from Levanto, through the famous 5 Terre, in Liguria, Italy.

On that occasion I took the little boat to the facing island of Palmaria to eat what turned out to be the best (and cheapest) fish lunch I have ever had (save maybe for the volcano rock cooked tuna in the Galapagos). I have not included this restaurant in my tips below as it has ‘changed hands’ and I have yet to return to see if it is as good. Watch this space…

However, Portovenere is as beautiful as I left it all those years ago. I happen to think it even better than its famous ‘5 Lands’ cousins to the North, for whom it acts for many as a springboard.

Portovenere Sunset – Most Tourists Gone by Now

The church of S. Pietro, on the raised spur facing the Med is one of the prettiest – and most spiritual churches – I know. The multi-coloured town which stretches out below is more or less formed of three streets, a castle above and a small port below.

In a series of random events, life has taken me back to Portovenere nearly ten times in the last three months and as such here are a few of my usual random tips…

Eating…

Portivene – Un Mare di Sapori, Via Capellini. Andrea, the chef and owner is very friendly indeed. He has created this little sea-food antipasto place (a few more substantial dishes available) and runs it with passion. The prices are honest, the fish is freshly caught and cooked and the three little bolted to the wall tables in the street are very romantic, especially at night time. A bottle of wine, fresh fried fish and beautiful company and what more could you ask for?

Buying…

Olioteca Bansigo, Via Capellini 95. I don’t usually recommend shops, but this is a very very good one. A friend of mine, who truly knows her food, recently gifted me the ‘best’ balsamic vinegar there is. When I walked in and saw this amongst the things they sell, I knew this place must be good. Their olive oils, if not cheap, are at least fantastic and two personal – cheaper – favourites of mine are their sea salt and herb mix, which has replaced salt in my kitchen and their amazing oliveoil based soap scrub. Oliotecabansigo.

Bajeico – La Bottega del Pesto, Via Capellini 70. Bit of a theme here? All the same street… Well there are only three and one of which has all the shops so… Anyway, simple this one; if you like pesto, quintessentially Ligurian, make a stop here and buy the best you’ll ever have tasted. I used to spend a lot of time in Liguria and think I know my pesto pretty well. It doesn’t get any better than Bajeico.


6 Responses to “TG Tips- Portovenere, Liguria”

  1. How do I purchase Pesto Di Bajeico? Bajeico la Bottega del Pesto. Bought some in October and It is the BEST!

    • Hi Jane, thanks for your comment. I am so glad you agree. I have spent a lot of time in Liguria, the home of pesto and Bajeico is the best I have ever tasted. I must disappoint you (or inspire you to travel back?) as I don’t know of a way of buying it other than from that wee shop in Portovenere. Sorry

  2. We just returned from Portovernere this week and purchased a few of the little jars of the pesto – I was concerned about trying to bring anymore back to the US in my suitcase… I could kick myself, it’s the best pesto I have EVER tasted! I’m serching the web to see if they have a site or way to ship to the US?

    • Hi Colleen, am so glad you found the place and clearly share my thoughts on how amazing their pesto is. Great that they arrived home safely too. Don’t know if they ship I’m afraid, but in case you need it, I ought to be back there sometime this year, so I could get you some and post it myself. Anyway buon appetito 😉

  3. I am trying to contact Olioteca Bansigo in Portovenere to buy and ship some items but it seems I cannot contact them. ANy suggestions on phone or how to find email?

    • Hi Carolyn… you can try this number 0033 (0) 187 793045 (or) 0033 (0) 187 791054 or even this email gianrima@tin.it Hope one of those options work… let me know if you get a chance 😉

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