Welcome to Portofino, a luxurious fishing village overlooking the Ligurian sea – where two scoops of ice cream will cost you 12 euros and every 30 minutes two long-legged Italian girls will swan across the Piazza wearing the region’s latest fashion accessory, dutifully performing some of sort of synchronised catwalk routine. It will remind you of something you might’ve seen on a David Attenborough documentary involving the mating ritual of a Six-Plumed Bird of Paradise and it’ll be awkward for a few minutes, but don’t worry – you’ll go and buy the handbag anyway.
In the harbour, giant yachts sit happily beside modest fishing boats whilst Dior and Missoni store fronts sparkle three stories below washing lines hanging from green-shuttered windows.
Everything slows down in lovely, crescent-shaped Portofino, everything apart from your heart rate as you climb the narrow steps to Castello Brown – an historic site used for wartime defence since the 15th century. A trek to its elevated position above the harbour will burn off the 12 euro ice cream you’ll inevitably buy when you return to sea level.
Plus, there are some breezy places to sit and enjoy the view whilst you eat your homemade sandwiches and refuse to remortgage your house for the sake of a clam spaghetti.