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Soft and bright, delicate and vigorous colours. Few places can rival Portofino for its harmony of colours, colours that blend, contrast and complement each other. Only here does one get the impression that for once the hand of man and the hand of nature have really worked in perfect accord.
"The yacht... glides a short distance from the rocks... then suddenly a hidden inlet reveals itself... A small village, Portofino, stretches crescent shaped along the edge of this calm bay... surrounded by woods of a deep and vivid green... Never have I experienced a sensation to rival what I felt as I entered that cove".
So wrote Guy de Maupassant in 1889, thus making him one of the first VIPs to discover Portofino and to come under its special spell. Since that time great literary figures, show business stars and the powerful from all over the world have found here something more than a refuge. It has become an elegant and secluded salon, as simple as a fishing village, as lavish as a backdrop designed for a great film. An inimitable expression of the work of generations and of the powerful hand of nature in a particularly friendly mood. Just turn a corner, step away from the bustling streets and enter into a world of immemorial peace. Make your way up the alleyways and then along the paths of Mount Portofino where the hand of man has been idle, and you will see the vegetation, the Mediterranean maquis, the undulating terrain set before you in a spectacle of spontaneous grace. The experience of walking on Mount Portofino brings one into intense contact with the sun and the sea. Restful shade, sudden bursts of full, Mediterranean light, glimpses of blue sky, sudden vistas of the cobalt blue of the sea stretching out beyond the greenery, and strong sweet aromas. A pertumed garden, a surprisingly varied panorama of colours reveals an exceptional display of nature's imaginative power.
Very popular with VIP's of any kind and their followers and known all over the world because of its small square, Portofino has been capable of keeping, throughout the years, the old, picturesque aspect, the polychrome identity of its up to six-storey buildings. And even if the tradition of fishing is now almost lost, nobody, at least no tourist, has realised it because of a tourist service rich in accommodation, restaurants and moors for both huge yachts, luxurious cruisers and small sailing boats and motorboats. For all this and its glamorous shops, Portofino is famous in a world often unaware that Portus Delphini also means Gothic and XVI century architecture.
Lots of sights not to be missed: the Oratory dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta and its slate portal, built in the XVI century; San Martino parish Church, whose original XII century Romanesque style was lost in the XIX century owing to restructuring works, and its precious works by Maragliano, Ciurlo and the XVI and XVII century Genoese school. But the real, much praised idol of such artistic landscape is St. George, the armed hero who defeated the dreadful dragon, to whom a church named after him is dedicated. It was re-built in the '50s after the bombing that had destroyed the XII century construction. Dedicated to the brave Saint, a castle with a luxuriant garden, and a XVI century fortress.
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