Historical Guests

Portofino, a World apart
February 2009

From the the Kingdom of Italy to the present.

Parrochialism also meant emulation. Santa Margherita Ligure, beyond succeeding in having the addendum “of Rapallo”dropped from its name and being renamed “Santa Margherita Ligure” through an 1863 decree by , also succeeded, as did Rapallo, in getting two railroad stations, San Lorenzo della Costa, and Santa Margherita-Portofino, to serve the city in the 1868 railway that united Genoa with Sestri Levante.

The two stations serving Rapallo were San Michele and Rapallo.

Portofino, not being able to have its own station for the obviously geographic reasons, did succeed in getting the coastal road its border. With the advent of new roads and rail lines the golden age of the Portofino coast began, characterized by the construction of splendid villas, grand hotels, and the emergence of elitist tourism.

In this same period many Santa Margheritans and Portofinians who had had relations with South America returned home after having made fortunes. They began to construct beautiful houses whose painted facades are still the pride of the two towns. After the first World War Santa Margherita and Portofino became more and more exclusive as did Paraggi with its splendid beach. After the second World War, despite the advent of mass tourism and the fashion of owning second vacation homes, the two towns of Santa Margherita and Portofinodid not lose their charm which endured as a result of the wise urban political policies followed by the two towns.

Portofino, a World apart.