Beach + Island

Celebs in the Sand

by Natalie Walsh

Where: Portofino, Italy

Who hangs out here? Part of the Italian Riviera on the northwest coast, Portofino is so cool that it hurts. Becks and Posh hanging on a yacht is just another summer day in these parts. This former fishing village turned jet-set central is a honeypot for Hollywood stars and their supersized yachts. The modern Rat Pack—George, Brad, and Matt—spent a little quality time here after shooting for Ocean's 12, and yes, that just might have been Denzel you saw too.

The star attraction: Long before Cruise and Clooney made their way to the Italian Riviera, stars of the silver screen frequented Portofino, including Sinatra, Bardot, Bogie and Bacall, Ava Gardner and Rex Harrison. It also provided the heady backdrop for round two of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor's epic love affair.

Stargazing: There's no beach at Portofino itself, but head to the nearby sandy cove of Paraggi, and you'll spot stars on the sand or sunbathing on yachts moored in Portofino's ritzy harbor. La Gritta American Bar serves up a good helping of talent, but for first-class A-list mingling, the elegant piano bar and La Terrazza restaurant of Hotel Splendido is where it's at.

The hot bed: Think you can make the earth move like Burton and Taylor? Check into their historic love nest—Room 101 of the Hotel Splendido, where Liz accepted a second marriage proposal and presumably another unfeasibly large rock. The hotel is perched above the glitzy harbor and surrounded by exotic gardens with pools, sundecks, and a new spa.

Hotel Splendido
Tel: 39 0185 267 801
Doubles from $1,370 per night; Room 101 executive suite from $2,807.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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