Portofino, Italy

  • WT Travels
  • europe europe europe
  • April 2020

Cinematic, voluptuously verdant landscapes, postcard pretty pastel colored row houses, and a sparkling dolphin and yacht studded emerald green sea mesmerize all who enter the uber-chic quayside of Portofino.

Unplug and relish indolence in this laid back, forever 1960s glamour haven—think Audrey Hepburn movie star shades and ballet pumps for stylishly navigating cobblestones and steep rocky inclines. Sip Bellinis made from fresh Ligurian peaches and then wander through the piazzetta breathing in the honeysuckle scented air and relishing the surreal combination of fishermen and celebrities bumping buoys in the protected cove.

For more than seventy years, this Italian Riviera destination has been the spot to see and be seen. Winston Churchill came ashore in 1959, Richard Burton proposed to (shhhh! she was still married at the time) Elizabeth Taylor during a break from filming Cleopatra in 1961, and the Material Girl, Robert De Niro, George Clooney, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, and the Kardashians have all been spotted sitting in outdoor cafes, darting in and out of luxury boutiques, or dining on the terrace of the cliffside nestled Belmond Splendido, one of the world’s iconic hotels. This tiny fishing village turned millionaire’s playground remains a quiet, secluded, and fairytale fashionista destination where chasing the dolce vita is the sport of choice.

Architectural Eye Candy

Tucked into the sea and the tiny five hundred inhabitant town, private residences and the 12th Century Romanesque style monastery, the Church of San Martino, are architectural eye candy. These secular and sacred buildings create a lively enchanting fantasy-like landscape to admire from the deck of a sea-faring vessel or on foot traversing the winding cobblestone paths throughout the crescent moon shaped peninsula.

Castello Brown

Surrounded by cypress trees, an ancient military fortress, Castello Brown, is today a museum with a view. Perched mountain top, the location provides a bird’s eye view of the colorful port below where famous figures dock their superyachts and go relatively unnoticed as the panoramic, painter’s palette views simply take one’s breath away.

A Balance of Tradition and Luxury

A sublimely tasteful port city, there exists a balance of tradition and luxury. Dotted along the periphery of Portofino’s square are shops that have for nearly a century sold linen, lace, and pom pom fringed cover-ups next to the world’s most notable (think exclusive) fashion boutiques. There is charm in this notable collision that seems nearly impossible in other noteworthy destinations that push rents into big name corporate only affordability.

…the simple happiness of complete harmony with her surroundings, the happiness that asks for nothing, that just accepts, just breathes, just is.

Elizabeth Armin, Enchanted April