A classic example of a Dolce Vita seaside retreat, the Italian Riviera glamour of Portofino has enticed Europe’s beau monde for decades and is now a well-renowned enclave of the global élite.
Characterised by charming pastel-coloured buildings and a glistening yacht-filled marina, Portofino is one of the most picturesque harbour villages in the Mediterranean.
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A Magnet for Aristocrats and Royalty & Riviera Luxury Lifestyle
Characterised by charming pastel-coloured buildings and a glistening yacht-filled marina, Portofino is one of the most picturesque harbour villages in the Mediterranean. Historically the town of Portofino has been a magnet for actors, artists, businessmen, aristocrats and royalty since the 1950s, and the exclusivity and idyllic beauty of the area continues to attract a wealth of rich and famous visitors every year.
Portofino is located in Liguria, a region on the Mediterranean coast with northern areas extending into the Alps, and the region’s access to sea and mountains has been strategically significant since ancient Roman times. Nowadays Portofino is known for its Italian essence, however, for ten years between 1805 to 1815 Portofino was a part of France when Napoleon Bonaparte annexed the Liguria region into his empire. Castello Brown is a medieval castle set high on a hillside above Portofino offering magnificent views of Portofino and the sea. The castle became the residence of the British consul to Genoa, Yeats Brown, in 1870 and is now a museum that contains furnishings and paintings belonging to the browns as well as numerous photos of famous past visitors to Portofino.
Embracing the relaxing Riviera lifestyle is what a visit to Portofino is all about, and there is no setting more enchanting for yachting, walking and people watching. Portofino is a must stop yacht charter location and a fleet of luxurious superyachts glisten in the Marina di Portofino from spring through to autumn. Framed by an exclusive selection of shops, bars and restaurants in the Portofino village, Marina di Portofino is regarded as one of the most beautiful ports in the world and provides an ideal, sheltered location from which to discover the many hidden treasures of the surrounding coastal area.
Back on dry land, the most liberating way to take in the incredible scenery and appreciate the best of what Portofino has to offer is to take a leisurely walk along the extensive network of well-marked footpaths. The Museo del Parco is an impressive outdoor sculpture garden featuring modern works from a number of Italian artists, and as you meander up the hillside to the garden, the views of the yacht harbour and the sea below are truly breath-taking. A walk to the bay of San Fruttuosso is a particularly scenic jaunt encompassing captivating views. Here you can explore a stunningly beautiful Benedictine abbey which was built in the tenth century and is now maintained by Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano.
Glamorous Evening Escapes
Best known for peace and tranquillity, Portofino encompasses a selection of sophisticated champagne and cocktail venues for glamorous evening escapes. The Chuflay Bar & Restaurant is an exclusive evening hideout at the Splendido Mare hotel overlooking Portofino’s attractive piazzetta. As darkness falls you can enjoy fresh aperitifs and cocktails under the stars, as the gentle sound of piano music fills the air to create a magical ambience.
Creative Italian Flair
Portofino is the home of traditional Ligurian cuisine and its restaurants offer the freshest seafood dishes, prepared with creative Italian flair. La Terrazza is an authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of Portofino, famed as one of the most spectacular dining venues in all of Italy. As the signature restaurant of the legendary Hotel Splendido, La Terrazza specialises in seafood, pasta and regional specialities. Every dish is cooked to perfection by Chef Corrado Corti and the candlelit terrace overlooking Portofino Bay is the perfect setting for a romantic evening.
Ristorante II Pitosforo offers sensational Ligurian cuisine accompanied by a wonderful selection of wines from the extensive cellar. Guests at Ristorante II Pitosforo can dine in a beautiful conservatory close to the water’s edge, where a combination of the sea breeze and warm Riviera sun add to an unforgettable Portofino dining experience.
Taverna del Marinaio is one of Portofino’s most celebrated restaurants and specialises in serving irresistible seafood and pasta dishes in a convivial and relaxed atmosphere. The tables set beneath the scenic portico offer fantastic views of the harbour, Castello Brown and the Church of San Giorgio.
A World of Luxury and Seclusion
As a private retreat for many eminent celebrities, the foremost hotels in Portofino offer guests a world of luxury and seclusion complimented by gracious hospitality. An essential stop on the world luxury circuit, Hotel Splendido has long been a favourite of the international jet set, ensuring gracious hospitality and the utmost privacy for guests. Set on a verdant hillside overlooking the Portofino harbour, the hotel’s opulently furnished bedrooms, glorious terrace, extensive tropical garden and ocean-view balconies invoke a setting of pure romance, encapsulating the heart and soul of glamorous Portofino.
Sister hotel to the Hotel Splendido, the Splendido Mare occupies a series of grand town houses on the main harbour square boasting spacious rooms with understated yet elegant interiors. Located in the very centre of Portofino life, most of the rooms and suites have a balcony overlooking the scenic harbour, providing an idyllic vantage point from which to relax and watch the world go by.