The ancient Roman historian, Plinius, called Portofino «Portus Delphini», a latin denomination that comes from the fact that the surroundings sea was frequented by a lot of Dolphins. To navigate is necessary for many people, for others it is a pastime. There are those who work on the sea, those who idle, the poor and rich of the sea, those who earn millions and others who spend millions. Immense noisy ports are necessary for the former while small quiet inlets are sufficient for the latter. Without doubt, Portofino is one of the most famous refuges in Europe and one of the most adapted to shelter sporting boats. There is not one Italian, English, French, Belgian or Dutch yacht that has not anchored here at least once.
The delightful bay of Portofinoreflects the perennial green of the pines that stretch out their airy branches over its deep blue waters and it is ringed by steep lush green hills, serenely profiled against the sky. Castles, villas, large and small, and cottages that can only be approached by steep foot-paths perch on hillocks or lie halfway up from the coastline: they are half concealed by vine and olive leaves and rest in blissful contemplation of the small underlying port and distant sea.
Along the edges of the bay are mirrored the pale pink fishermen's houses which are topped by roof terraces covered with flowering geraniums. These houses border a square which declines into the waters of the port; here the fishermen haul up their « gozzi » (a special type of double-prowed boat used in the Mediterranean) and small boats as if on the shore of a beach. Under the pointed arches of the arcades around the square the greengrocers, the tobacconist, barber, carpenter and fancy goods merchants await within dark shops to sell their commerce; the many boutiques display the latest splendid models in fashion; the restaurants have their tables set outside and attract passing gourmets coming from all parts of the globe.
The screaming half-dressed children play on the cobblestoned square and the women, sitting beside stalls laden with lace goods, seem to make the pillow lace spools dance between their fingers. Portofino is an oasis of peacesituated in a spot of incomparable natural beauty where the houses and man's belongings feign an apparent poverty to please the rich dilettanti of the sea. These amateurs, too, in their enjoyment do everything possible to humiliate themselves: they go barefoot, many bare their chests and wear sailor type trousers or else sit at the restaurants in their shirt sleeves. In this way one can see kings, princes, princesses, famous actors and actresses, artists from all parts of the world, politicians, etc. pass through Portofino Italy.
Today, Portofino is still a place known for international tourism and the jet-set lifestyle. The city is located in a small area – 2 kmq – making it rigorously pedestrian. It is often called the most beautiful «Piazzetta» in the world. It is a unique sort of salon en plein air, filled with magic and charm. Within a few steps, you can visit famous ateliers and see some outstanding yachts at the marina decks – which hosts yachts from 8 meters up to 40. You may see fishermen organizing their nets and witness unforgettable sunsets of pastel colors on the bay. Many International fashion houses chose Portofino as their home- included among them are Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, Emilio Pucci and many more. You can find these boutiques in «Via Roma», the main street starts from the parking area and ends at the «Piazzetta» or on the two piers Molo Umberto I and Calata Marconi. Besides Shopping at the Ateliers, you may choose to visit many local boutiques that sell handmade clothes and lace, cashmere garments, bikinis, and other local products...continue[...]
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I Delfini di Portofino 🐬