And then it was time to mix with the rich and famous. In Portofino we did not only step into the footsteps of Kurt Hielscher but for example also those from Madonna, Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Rihanna. Unlike Kurt Hielscher, who probably walked the whole coastline from Genova to Rapallo, we took the boat from Santa Margherita Ligure. And from Portofino to the Monastery of San Fruttuoso, a very special place where we also went for a swim.

In the footsteps of Kurt Hielscher, I went up from the center to the Castello, when I found a glimpse of the harbor through the leaves. It turned out to be the exact same viewpoint from where Kurt Hielscher made his photo nearly a century ago.

Portofino, 1925. Photo: Kurt Hielscher. 

Portofino, 26th of April 2023. Photo: Casper Molenaar. 

As some of you know, Kurt Hielscher published two photoalbums of Italy, the 1st one in 1925 and the 2nd in 1939. Some of the places in the 1925 edition do also come back in the 1939 edition, every time with another photo, sometimes of a place very close by, for example in Portovenere where I could conclude that Kurt Hielscher probably made both photos on the same day due to laundry on balconies. 

Portofino as seen from the Terrazza del Castello.

About both photos here in Portofino, I am not sure. From the five larger boats in the harbor on the 1939 photo (below), one can see four on the one published in 1925. The fifth falls outside of the frame, but these four contain two sailboats and two steamers in the same order. When I take a look at the smaller boats, I am not so sure. It is hard to see because the angle is totally different, but there's also maybe quite some time in between both photos. I would say at least half an hour, but it could also be a few hours.

Portofino, 1939. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Portofino, 26th of April 2023. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

The harbor from Portofino as seen from the water.

Kurt Hielscher made his photo from Castello Brown, a 10 minute walk uphill and with an entrance fee of 5 euros.

A view from and on the harbor.

The Chiesa di San Giorgio as seen from the Terrazza del Castello.

Strolling around the cosy boulevard of Portofino: the Calata Marconi.

Abbazia di San Fruttuoso, something like a half an hour by boat from Portofino. We went for a quick swim, but took the first boat back to Portofino, because we wanted to taste a littlebit more of the atmosphere there and who knew who we would see?

Back to Santa Margherita Ligure. We actually wanted to start in Rapallo, but that day the boatservice was out of order.

Back in the harbor of Santa Margherita Ligure with the Monumento a Cristoforo Colombo.

Below: Just around the corner of Portofino with the Faro di Portofino on the right and the Chiesa di San Giorgio more to the left. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

In the footsteps of  Kurt Hielscher