A small number of unyielding laws in Portofino create a unique sliver of astonishing beauty and elegance on the Italian Riviera.

Feel the first flushes of Italian allure as you step onto the exclusive sandstone Piazetta of legendary Italian seaside resort Portofino. Immerse yourself in ‘la dolce vita’ on Italy’s northwest coast, a sophisticated bolthole of the rich and famous for many years, from the old Hollywood glamour of Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor and John Wayne to a newer breed of stars including Madonna, Kylie Minogue, George Clooney and Naomi Campbell. Dolce & Gabbana adore these Thyrrenian shores so much they even own a villa here.

Distinct from any other seaside resort in Italy, Portofino’s hills are dressed in olive trees, its Mediterranean villas are painted delicious shades of lemon and the cerulean harbour is lined with sleek yachts. Portofino is not simply picture perfect – it has an enchantment that has to be seen to be believed.

Portofino’s rules

A bewitching combination of both excess and jurisdiction – authority here is tight – are what makes it perennially exclusive. Helicopters and jet skis are not allowed, there is to be no outdoor music after 10pm, no new building has been constructed in the last 40 years, one is not allowed to swim in the port and nightclubs are situated further away, such as in Paraggi. You won’t find graffiti or litter and certainly no teenagers falling out of clubs in the early hours of the morning.

The air exudes grown up glamour, the Italians are discreet and stylish and visiting here is synonymous with scenes from Frederico Fellini movies. The code words here are composure, poise and consideration – one of the focal reasons celebrities flock here. Double scoop gelato is smoothly bitten into, coffee is sipped for breakfast, Prosecco is drunk to whet the appetite and a vibrant atmosphere is soaked up with late dinner taken at one of the many outstanding restaurants along the bay. Glamour, delight and discretion are the very essence of Portofino.

Italian extravagance

Visit Portofino to experience the epitome of optimistic impulses, of sizzling Italian nature and the chic, classic lifestyle of the locals. The resort is alive with countless symbols of Italian extravagance. Due to its high per-capita income the main street is lined with delectable designer boutiques, home to plush leather handbags and swish haute couture dresses demanding new owners. Most of these new owners will have just stepped off their glistening million dollar yachts. Shop here if you love Hermes, Gucci and Dior.

Drinks in Portofino cost more, as does food, simply because it can. Portofino is a dream destination, overflowing with a joie de vivre these days sometimes hard to find in the daily hum drum of life. Luxury holidays of outstanding beauty and prestige couldn’t get much better than this.

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