Portofino is located in the region of Liguria (the Italian Riviera) on the Mediterranean coast and the Gulf of Genoa. The northern part of the region extends into the Alps and the Winelands of Piedmont. Liguria is one of the loveliest regions in Italy with pastel-colored fishing villages and some stunning places such as Portofino. The area has always been important strategically because of its access to the sea and the mountains from the time of Ancient Romans to later domination by the Milanese and French. Genoa was the most powerful city in the region, and the Republic of Genoa encompassed Portofino and the rest of the coast for centuries.
Portofino is located in a stunning setting with a pretty bay and is a walker’s paradise. The hamlet rests on a peninsula between Punta Chiappa, the inlets of Cala dell Oro and Saint Fruttuoso and Punta Carena, and hugs crystal clear protected marine habitat. The backdrop is of lush pine trees and beautiful villas built into the hillside. The surrounding area is full of chestnut trees, vineyards reaching down to the sea, and quaint fishing villages located on steep cliffs. A wonderful walk is from Portofino to San Fruttuoso, a gorgeous Benedictine medieval Abbey set in a pristine cove.
Above all, the exclusivity and idyllic beauty of Portofino attracts the rich and famous year after year and has historically been a magnet for actors, artists, aristocrats, and royalty. Princess Grace, Rex Harrison, the Duke of Windsor, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart, even Nietzsche all summered in Portofino. Today, it is a beautiful place firmly on the stomping grounds of the jet set to go to relax, eat well, take in the natural beauty, do some shopping, and enjoy wine tasting in the Cinque Terre. It is a supremely relaxing place. The marine reserve “Parco Naturale Regionale di Portofino” is home to the chic yachts and colorful boats that grace its waters, from spring to autumn. One thing you should look out for when visiting Portofino is the red coral, very pretty.