Exquisite and stylish - if there is one place that deserves the mantle of Italy’s most exclusive resort, it has to be Portofino. Not because of the stellar crowd who have graced its pretty promenades since the days of the Grand Tour, but because of its ability to be at the forefront of the social scene and yet retain an air of casual, mellow dolce far niente.
The town became known to the wider world in 1950 when Leo Chiosso sang of Love in Portofino. Since then this small fishing village on the Italian Riviera has attracted a well-healed crowd. The setting of the harbour is so spectacular, the locals so welcoming and the calibre of visiting yachts so staggering, that it is remiss not to spend some time soaking up the atmosphere.
Swim off pristine beaches and explore the piazetta – a great spot for people-watching, shopping and dining. Visit the cultural sites in its environs, from the Statue of Christ of the Abyss, to Castello Brown and the Chiesa di San Giorgio containing relics of St George brought by crusaders. Many artists and luxury brands use this location as an inspiration for their products and advertising campaigns. The Swiss watchmaker IWC even has a collection named Portofino.