Castello Brown, formerly known as the Castle of San Giorgio, is an ancient military fortress placed in an elevated position, that dominates the small town of Portofino. The castle is surrounded by a Mediterranean garden full of cypress trees, flowers and pergolas.
During some excavations in the area, in the place of today’s castle were found traces of an ancient Roman watchtower dating back to the 3rd century AD.
The first official information on the current structure dates back to 1425, when Tomaso Fregoso, Doge of the Republic of Genoa, occupied the village of Portofino.
In the 16th century, several restoration and expansion works were made. Between 1554 and 1557, the castle was extended by a new platform towards the port, after a design by the engineer Giovanni Maria Olgiati. In 1624, new works strengthened the castle, and in 1728, other works were carried out, enriching the armament and arranging the interior of the fortress.
The fortress passed under French rule in 1797, when Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Liguria. After Napoleon fled and the town was included in the Kindom of Sardinia and subsequently in the Kingdom of Italy, the military fortress was completely disarmed starting with 1867.
In the same year, the castle was bought by the United Kingdom consul in Genoa, Sir Montague Yeats Brown, and new extension works, entrusted to the architect Alfredo d’Andrade, modified the original structure. Since 1961, the castle is owned by the Municipality of Portofino, which carried out an extensive restoration and now uses the castle as a venue for cultural exhibitions and events.
HOW TO GET THERE
To get to the castle, you must climb a bit, but the road is beautiful and you will not get bored. And if you count the breathtaking view of the Marina di Portofino and the town itself, is well worth the effort.