September 2018 – Castle Brown, well it’s a bit of a hike getting there, but the views are wonderful, and from the castle grounds you get the wonderful iconic view of Portofino, its just so photogenic, you do end up taking far more piccys than you really need 🙂
The castle is reached by a long twisting path, this was to stop invaders shooting arrows straight up the path, making it easier to defend. The site is Roman and some foundations were found in the 1950’s, so this was possibly a watchtower, and in the 10th century a castle evolved from the tower. This castle in turn, was enlarged into a fortress in 1425 and continued to grow over the centuries, to what we see today. In 1867 it was transformed by the British diplomat Montague Yeats Brown into a private mansion, but luckily it would seem he only restored the interior and left the exterior as it was. The castle changed hands a few more times, the last owner being a Englishman, John Babar, and then in 1961 the castle became the property of the Municipality of Portofino. There are a few rooms you can explore, and there are some wonderful black and white photographs of the rich and famous who visited Portofino. There is a wonderful tiled staircase and a few other interesting items. On the whole though a little empty, but the views from all the windows are wonderful, so your eyes are drawn to them and not really what is inside. We were lucky, as there was a young couple having their wedding photos taken in the castle, which was the subject of my last post. The gardens are small, but very beautiful, and it was lovely to sit in the shade and look at the view, before descending back down the path to the Church……which is the next post.