|Comune di Portofino|
|Coordinates: 44°18′14″N 9°12′28″E|
|• Mayor||Giorgio Devoto|
|• Total||2.6 km2 (1.0 sq mi)|
|Elevation||4 m (13 ft)|
|Population (31 December 2009)|
|• Density||190/km2 (490/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||St. George|
|Saint day||First Sunday in April|
Portofino (Italian pronunciation: [ˌpɔrtoˈfiːno]; Ligurian: Portofin) is an Italian fishing village and upmarket resort famous for its picturesque harbour and historical association with celebrity visitors. It is a comune located in the province of Genoa on theItalian Riviera. The town is crowded round its small harbour, is closely associated with Paraggi Beach, which is a few minutes up the coast. Other nearby beaches include Camogli, Chiavari, Lavagna, and Sestri Levante.
According to Pliny the Elder, Portofino was founded by the Romans and named Portus Delphini, or Port of the Dolphin, because of the large number of dolphins that inhabited the Tigullian Gulf.
The village is mentioned in a diploma from 986 by Adelaide of Italy, which assigned it to the nearby Abbey of San Fruttoso di Capodimonte. In 1171, together with the neighbouring Santa Margherita Ligure, it was included in Rapallo's commune jurisdiction. After 1229 it was part of the Republic of Genoa. The town's natural harbour supported a fleet of fishing boats, but was somewhat too cramped to provide more than a temporary safe haven for the growing merchant marine of the Republic of Genoa.
In 1409 Portofino was sold to the Republic of Florence by Charles VI of France, but when the latter was ousted from Genoa the Florentine gave it back. In the 15th century it was a fief of families such as the Fieschi, Spinola, Adorno and Doria.
In the late 19th century, first British, then other Northern European aristocratic tourists began to visit Portofino, which they reached by horse and cart from Santa Margherita Ligure. Aubrey Herbert and Elizabeth von Arnim were amongst the more famous English people to make the area fashionable. Eventually more expatriates built expensive vacation houses, and by 1950 tourism had supplanted fishing as the town's chief industry, and the waterfront was a continuous ring of restaurants and cafés.
- Statue of Christ of the Abyss, put underwater on 29 August 1954 in the small bay at a depth of 17 metres (56 ft). This statue was placed to protect fishermen and scuba divers and in memory of Duilio Marcante. Sculpted by Guido Galletti, it represents a benedictory Christ who is looking up towards the sky with open arms as a sign of peace.
- Castello Brown (16th century).
- Church of St. Martin (Divo Martino, 12th century).
- Church of St. George, housing some saints' relics.
- Oratory of Santa Maria Assunta, in Gothic style.
Portofino became famous in the 1950s with the song "Love In Portofino" which was written by Leo Chiosso and composed by Fred Buscaglione, and released on 12 May 1958. Fred Buscaglione was also the first singer to perform it.
Legendary actor Sir Rex Harrison owned a villa in Portofino which he named San Genesio after the Roman Catholic patron saint of actors.
Portofino has inspired a re-creation of the sea side town around the harbour at Tokyo DisneySea in Chiba, Japan.
There is a full scale replication, in authentic detail, at the Portofino Bay at Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, USA, which opened in September 1999.
Portofino is often thought to be the inspiration for Sir Clough Williams Ellis' Italianate village named Portmeirion, built between 1925 and 1975, in Wales, UK. However, this was repeatedly denied by the architect.
Portofino was also featured in the television series Top Gear (Episode 5, Series 12). Richard Hammond, in a Ferrari Daytona raced James May in a carbon fibre powerboat from Portofino to St Tropez.
Andrea Bocelli recorded a concert in Portofino in 2013, which was released on DVD.
Portofino is the eponym of Frank Schaeffer's Portofino: A Novel (1992). It was the first of Schaeffer's Calvin Becker Trilogy.
Portofino is one of the shooting locations of the 1995 Antonioni / Wenders film, Beyond the Clouds.
- Richard I of England (Oxford, 1157 - Châlus, 1199), King of England, in 1190
- Pope Gregory XI (Rosiers-d'Égletons, 1330 - Roma, 1378), in 1377
- Giuseppe Amisani (Mede Lomellina, 1879 - Portofino, 1941), Italian painter
- Michele Cascella (Ortona, 1892 - Milano, 1989), Italian painter
- Giacomo Pellerano (-) nel 1760
- Salvatore Magnasco (Portofino, 1806 - Genova, 1892)
- Henry Herbert (Londra, 1831 - Londra, 1890), IV Earl of Carnarvon
- Guy de Maupassant (Tourville-sur-Arques, 1850 - Passy, 1893)
- Jeannie Watt Von Mumm (1866-1953)
- Guglielmo Marconi (Bologna, 1874 - Roma, 1937)
- Gaetano Gimelli (Portofino, 1905 - Pecetto Torinese, 1990)
- Rex Harrison (Huyton, 1908 - New York, 1990), actor and his wife Lilli Palmer
- Franco Emanuel Solinas (Ozieri, 1925 - Santa Margherita Ligure, 2005), painter and poet