Portofino, it’s a world apart, in that universe which is the Ligurian Riviera. Regarded by many as one of the eight wonders of the world, it’s a precious jewel perched amidst its unique bay. Even better, a natural amphitheater that has become a legend like the Piazzetta – the heart of the Dolce Vita on the Riviera and a romantic retreat for famous couples: from Maria de Medici and Henry IV of France to Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, and Humphrey Bogart.
It was then elevated to an exclusive destination by its guests seeking timeless glamour framed by unchanging natural beauty. Today, Portofino remains a village full of magic, where one can find solace and make peace with oneself. Resting and relaxing, that’s the true essence of life that pulsates in this enchanted landscape, because in Portofino, it’s delightful to wake up late in the morning, have breakfast in the Piazzetta, take a boat trip, savor haute cuisine by the seaside, and, as the day draws to a close, don elegant attire amidst dim lights and sprinkles of stars.
The natural conformation of the harbor led Guido Sette, the Bishop of Genoa and a friend of none other than Francesco Petrarca, to build the hermitage of Cervara for his monks, envisioning asceticism and solitude in nature. It was Henry Herbert, the Earl of Carnarvon, who “discovered” Portofino in 1870, constructing Villa Altachiara, acquiring land, and contributing to making the small village a fashionable destination, particularly popular in England. Due to its small size and not being easily accessible, it quickly became a “retreat” where the gentlemen of the time descended to experience, at least for a few months a year, the “simplicity” of the fishermen and farmers.