Portofino, the jewel of the Ligurian

Portofino is the sort of place where you feel that you have to exaggerate the superlative. Even people who have travelled a lot speak with awe of this most swish of resorts on the Italian Riviera, an hour or so drive from Genoa.

Its main hotel, the Splendido, is enshrined as Italy’s palace by the sea, its sheltered Gilson emerald-coloured harbour defines European coastal glamour and its people remain eerily polite even on days when the town’s art director’s vision of a central piazza swarms with strudel-fattened daytrippers from rural Austria.

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