The Villas of Portofino

Portofino, a World apart
September 2023

Villa Altachiara in Portofino


Villa Altachiara in Portofino Italy

In the vibrant 1960s, Portofino’s Villa Altachiara found new guardians: the Agusta brothers – Domenico, Mario, and Corrado. With their shared vision, they founded the D.M.C. company, naming the villa under its banner. Whispered tales suggested that family reasons kept the villa’s doors closed for years, with only the guardian, Giuseppe Oneto, fondly known as Pi, gracing its halls.

It was only after the passing of Domenico and Mario that Count Corrado began restoring its glory, ensuring the villa echoed both the legacy of its founders and the modern advancements of the time. With an unwavering respect for nature, Count Corrado graced the villa with luxurious additions: a swimming pool, helipad, a bocce ball court, and an outdoor gym.

Further, he established a drivable access from Liberty Square, using an existing winding road.

Count Carnarvon traveled this road in a quaint ‘Ape’ cart, while Count Corrado drove modified FIAT 500s, ensuring safety in their travels. The villa’s surrounding landscapes were equally splendid, boasting maritime pines, towering Mediterranean trees, and intricate stone pathways made from local puddinga stone.

All these were maintained by a diligent crew of gardeners, along with housekeepers.

Throughout its heyday, under Count Corrado’s residence, Villa Altachiara became a nexus for influential figures from politics, entertainment, industry, and finance – most of them close confidants of the count. The Agusta legacy extended to the waters with their grand yacht, the Mau Mau, known to cruise with guests for days.

The villa played a pivotal role in Portofino’s post-war era, with its parties renowned for international musical guests like Los Paraguayanos, often ending only at dawn. Portofino’s harbor gleamed with Italian and foreign yachts, mirroring the town’s international acclaim.

However, as time ushered in change, Countess Francesca Agusta took over the D.M.C. reins. With her other estates in Central America, Portofino took a backseat, leading to a lull in its vibrant heritage. Following the countess’s tragic demise, Mr. Maurizio Raggio managed the property. Here’s hoping Villa Altachiara rekindles its past grandeur, forever cherished by Portofino. A nod to Giovanni Carbone for sharing this rich tapestry.

Portofino,a world apart.