Portofino and the other charming villages of the Tigullio region have always attracted artists, intellectuals, the nobility, sovereigns and simple travellers, for the peace and tranquillity of the bay, the striking landscape and the environment. A host of illustrious names have fallen for the climate and the beauties of the Gulf of Tigullio, from Nietzsche to Hesse, Wagner, Kandinsky, Freud, Hemingway, Eleonora Duse and D'Annunzio. Guy de Maupassant used to moor his yacht, the Bel Ami, in the marina.
La Dolce Vita
Since the 1950s, Portofino has been the symbol of the Dolce Vita, an exclusive and elegant arena in which to meet stars from show business, great names from the fashion industry and the international economic elite. The Sweet Life can be seen among the boutiques of the historical centre, the bars in the famous Piazzetta, the restaurants of Calata Marconi or the yachts moored to the Umberto I Wharf, with paparazzi always on the lookout for a scoop. The end the night in style, stop off at Covo di Nordest in Paraggi, which for years has been the Riviera's favourite nightclub.
Rapallo and Santa Margherita live an intense life around their tourist ports: entertainment, folklore and sport, particularly sailing. The atmosphere is the refined, trendy mood of the tourist elite. Classical music concerts, antiques fairs, parties, and a wealth of nightspots and restaurants where you can relish the flavour of local prawns, one of the many marine specialities of the area. Rapallo regularly organises cultural events, and has a famous 18-hole golf course bordering the ruins of an ancient 13th century monastery.
Chiavari and Sestri Levante are other localities on the Ligurian Riviera whose nightlife may not rival Portofino or Santa Margherita, but which is certainly not to be missed. Piscina dei Castelli, in the marina of Sestri Levante, is a nightclub famous for its pulsing nightlife, visited by night owls from all over northern Italy. Not far from here, in Riva Trigoso is the popular Bunker Bar, where people go to dance the night away on the beach.
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