16 May, Thursday
ITALY, Portofino – This charming little seaside resort is as close to the real deal as you can get. As reflected by the colourful houses lining the shore, life in the commune of Portofino revolves around its natural harbour.
The harbour’s relatively small size kept it from large-scale commercial development as a fishing hub, which in turn helped preserve the locale’s natural beauty and charming small-town character. Charmed, British and North European aristocrats started visiting as tourists, with personalities such as diplomat Aubrey Herbert and novelist Elizabeth von Arnim helping to confer a fashionable vibe.
Eventually, expatriates started moving in with expensive vacation homes, and by 1950s, tourism had become the main economic driver for Portofino, enlivening the harbour with a parade of restaurants and cafes.