Earlier, we wrote an article explaining the name structure Ferrari uses. Today, we are taking a look at the charming town they named the Ferrari Portofino after.
The Ferrari Portofino is the newest V8 GT in a series initiated by the California in 2009. Powered by the award-winning 3.9-L twin-turbocharged V8, it pushes out just under 600 bhp at 7,500 rpm. Thanks to an all-new design by Ferrari Centro Stile, the car looks stunning with its top down and up. It is named after Portofino, a village on the Italian Riviera known for its picturesque harbour and association with celebrities.
The town of Portofino
Portofino was originally a quiet Italian fishing village. Because of its cramped harbour, its fishing industry never really grew. In the late 19th century, tourists began to visit Portofino and after a while, famous people were attracted to the little town and tourism took over. It has been the town’s main industry since the mid-1950s.
I was surprised by how small the actual town is. You’d assume there are more buildings apart from the ones in the harbour. Well, there are a few in the hills, but what you see in most pictures is the complete town of Portofino.
Apart from a few picturesque shops, there’s not much to see around the harbour. You eventually arrive at the main square of the town where a few restaurants and more shops are located. As we were looking around the colourful buildings, we noticed Castello Brown on top of the hill and decided to check it out. As much as it’s a tourist mecca at this point, there are plenty of signs that this used to be a fishing village. The harbour is full of small fishing boats and what I could only assume were Piaggio Apes belonging to local fishermen.
As you gain altitude walking towards the castle, it offers a different photo opportunity with every step. This turns a relatively short stroll into a pretty long walk. We eventually arrived and headed inside the castle, which was built in 1557 to defend the harbour. It went through several attacks during wars and was reconstructed and changed hands a few times, too. Since 1961, it has been owned by the city of Portofino and there are various rooms you can visit, including an exhibition with photographs of visiting celebrities. From the garden, you get the best view of the town and its surroundings.
Even though there’s a lot of tourism, it’s a really quiet place. After we left the castle, we came across the Church of San Giorgio. The building was founded in 1154 but reconstructed in 1691 and restored again in 1760. During a bombing in the Second World War, the church was completely destroyed. The current rebuild started in 1950 using the exact same plans from 1760.
You can clearly see that tourism has taken over the majority of shops. Everywhere you look, you can buy Portofino branded bags, shirts, little magnets and more.
Food and Ferraris
You can’t leave Portofino without a fish and wine lunch, so I ordered a Pinot Grigio and a big plate of Calamari. There’s something so sentimental about having a typical Italian lunch in a typical Italian town. After finishing off with an espresso, we left the town and spotted a Ferrari 812 Superfast finished in Verde British with gold wheels and, quite fittingly, a Ferrari Portofino.
If you ever have the chance to visit this town, go for it. The atmosphere is fantastic and the route to the city brings you through several other charming towns. Just watch out for the busses…
Written by Max Lammers.