Unspoilt, romantic and enchanting, Portofino is the Italian Riviera’s ultimate feel-good resort
A jewel of the Italian Riviera, Portofino has managed to retain
its traditional fishing village roots despite becoming a
fashionable resort and sometime playground of authors and film
Founded by the Romans, this beautiful town in Genoa, north-west Italy, has a history that reaches back at least as far as the eleventh century. A natural harbour afforded Portofino prosperity as a fishing village, and today the town's picturesque semi-circular waterfront, backed by a jumble of pastel pink or yellow houses above which a tree-clad hillside rises, provides visitors with a truly memorable image, and especially when approached by boat.
The natural beauty of Portofino's location - the peninsula upon which the town sits has been a protected National Park since 1935 - began to attract tourists from Italy's aristocracy at the end of the nineteenth century. By the middle of the twentieth century tourist revenue had become Portofino's primary source of income, no doubt aided by the town's association with holidaymaking stars such as Cary Grant, Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor and Rex Harrison.
Whilst Portofino's popularity with visitors remains undiminished, the town has not succumbed to the excesses of tourism and even today retains its traditional charm and atmosphere. Best explored on foot, Portofino rewards its guests with historic buildings, stunning views, superb cafes and restaurants and a host of attractions to provide a destination that is simply unforgettable.