Historical Guests

Portofino, a World apart
February 2009

Richard Wagner in Portofino.

In the summer of 1853, the famous composer Richard Wagner, was living the enchanting Mediterranean experience for the first time in Genoa. He was enthusiastic about the city and its surroundings, its people and its atmosphere. We know from a letter he wrote to his first wife Minna Wagner that “The oleanders were high with flowers, the nights were divine“. From the esplanade of Castelletto the view of the gulf was beautiful: to the east, the powerful mount Portofino, to the west one saw the riviera until the distant mountains of France. But, as often happens in the summer, the weather, which had been lagner splendid, suddenly changed. The sky darkened in a short period of time and a storm arose and a great electrical charge had formed. He was alarmed by the sudden change, by the thunder and lightening that discharged over the sea and on the mountain. The next day the coast was owerwhelmed by huge waves that may have suggested the music for the “Ride of the valkyrie”. From far away Portofino had stimulated a spark of creative inspiration in the great romantic composer.

Richard Wagner

, a World apart.