«…A small village, Portofino, stretches crescent shaped along the edge of this calm bay…
Surrounded by woods of a deep and vivid green…
Never have I experienced a sensation to rival what I felt as I entered that cove”. So wrote Guy de Maupassant in 1889. Portofino is the pearl of the Riviera di Levante, the branch of the Ligurian Riviera where the sun rises. It is a welcoming harbour that in Roman times served as a rest stop for ships navigating from Rome to Marseilles. Plinius the Elder named it Portus Delphini because dolphins abounded in its waters. It is a naturally deep harbour where vessels can safely cast anchor for shelter.
On the mountains behind the bay thousands of hectares are planted with maritime pines, chestnuts, oaks and olive trees. Portofino was already famous at the turn of the last century, but it took off as a tourist resort in the fifties.
Artists, actors, writers, celebrities come here from all over the world. The village is elegant in a relaxed manner. The local people have the directness and the honesty of the Ligurian people.
The façades of the houses are painted in colors typical of this region, soft yellow, “rosa antico” (a kind of faded pink), soft blue and green. The “persiane,” the window shutters, are invariably painted in a forest green.
Many buildings are decorated with “trompe l’oeil effects”. Very popular among VIP’s and their followers, and known all over the world because of its small square, Portofino has been capable of keeping, throughout the years, the old, picturesque aspect, the polychrome identity of its buildings.