On a warm summers day I caught the ferry from Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino; it's not a long trip a little over 5km (3mi). I climbed the stairs to the top deck of the ferry so I could enjoy the view with about 200 passengers that had a similar idea. The waterway appeared very busy as it was the height of the tourist season, jet-skis and small pleasure craft skimmed across the calm seas heading in all directions.
We passed many beautiful motor-yachts anchored along the coast and from my perch I watched as those on-board basked on sun lounges and wined and dined in their floating palaces. As we were nearing Portofino the motor-yachts turned in to mega-yachts and they all vied for the best anchorages.
Slowly as the ferry pulled into the harbour I got my first view of Portofino... It reveals itself as a picturesque seaside village with dozens of fishing boats and the crescent shaped harbour is surrounded by enchanting pastel coloured buildings that ascend the hilly terrain. The small village was buzzing and the cafés were overflowing, for such a small village I'd never seen so many high street shops, Armani, Gucci, Pucci, Zegna.
As if on cue a scene from a 1960's movie unfolded before me as an immaculately styled starlet in a little black dress and a wide summer hat reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn strolled down the board walk. Carrying half a dozen bags from her haute-couture shopping excursion she made her way to a waiting motor-launch, where 3 strapping young sailors in their summer uniforms took her bags and helped her on board. A few minutes later the starlet was whisked away to one to the mega-yachts anchored in the harbour.
Portofino certainly is the place the rich and famous go to relax and be seen...