Head out of Milan in the morning and relax on the comfortable coach for the 2-hour ride to the coast. Once in Genoa (or Genova as the Italians call it), begin an information-packed walking tour, as you learn about the history of this fascinating history. Let your guide regale with historical anecdotes that include native son Christopher Columbus. Learn about how just a couple of decades ago the historical center of Genoa was a dangerous no-go zone but today it's been cleaned up and is now a safe and fun place to hang out.
When the tour is finished, take some free time to explore independently. Sit down at a restaurant and have lunch (at own expense) or stroll along the sea and explore the village of Santa Margherita Ligure, just to the southeast of Genoa. This diminutive and charming seaside town sits on Dolphin Gulf, named for the abundance of dolphins that inhabit the area. Switch from coach to boat here and cruise through the sea over to Portofino.
Then take some free time in Portofino to explore on your own, strolling the narrow cobblestone streets and going past colorfully painted houses on the waterfront and soaking up the Mediterranean scenery. Head to Castello Brown, the city’s 16th-century castle. If you visit on a clear day, you'll be rewarded with views across the Mediterranean Sea of the lush mountains of Corsica.