Celebrity vacation spot: Portovenere

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Even the stars need to take a break from their busy lives in the spotlight. Who has chosen the sea village of Portovenere as a vacation destination? Let’s have a peek at the celebrities that have been spotted around the Gulf of Poets!

In summer 2019, NBA Superstar LeBron James stopped in Portovenere, the same village that was chosen the year before by Tim Cook, American business executive and CEO of Apple Inc.

lebron james portovenere italy cinque terre nba
NBA superstar LeBron James and Apple’s CEO Tim Cook with Antonio Polesel, General Manager of Grand Hotel Portovenere

In summer 2017, American film director, producer, writer, and actor – Eli Roth – shared some photos of his vacation in eastern Liguria: he chose Portovenere as the base for his stay and visited the Gulf of Poets and Cinque Terre just before returning home.

eli roth celebrity portovenere italy

Other Hollywood stars that chose the Gulf of Poets as a vacation spot and Portovenere as the base for their stay, are director Steven Spielberg and actress Audrey Tautou.

Steven Spielberg in Portovenere Celebrity vacation spot
Steven Spielberg walks his dog in Portovenere – photo by Francesca Rugnone

In Summer 2015, a lucky couple who decided to get married in Portovenere, were blown away when Italian classical tenor Andrea Bocelli walked in the church, sat at the organ, sang Schubert’s Ave Maria and then left as discretely as he had entered.

Bocelli, who was enjoying his summer vacation with his family, later explained:

“I walked up to St. Peter Church because I wanted to pray, but a wedding was taking place so I couldn’t. As I was leaving, someone recognized me and asked whether I wanted to surprise the couple. I immediately thought of what St. Augustine said “He who sings, prays twice”. And so I sang…”.

In September 2018, Andrea Bocelli will be returning to Portovenere in occasion of the prestigious Celebrity Fight Night.

Patti Smith, punk-rock icon as well as singer, poet and political activist, chose to relax in Portovenere while touring Italy to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her first, famous album – Horses. She performed at Santo Stefano Magra on the Bay of Poets in July 2015.

Celebrity vacation spot: Patti Smith at Grand Hotel Portovenere
Patti Smith with Antonio Polesel, General Manager of Grand Hotel Portovenere

OK, they were not here strictly on vacation… but Italy’s most famous chefs and judges of the MasterChef TV series sure did enjoy all the charm of Portovenere and the relaxing atmosphere provided by their sea-view rooms at the Grand Hotel. Joe Bastianich, Carlo Cracco, Bruno Barbieri and Antonino Cannavacciuolo were shooting an episode for the next season of MasterChef Italia.

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Sole per noi….#portovenere @masterchef_it

A post shared by Joe Bastianich (@jbastianich) on

Spanish footballer Fernando Llorente shared a picture of himself while “Discovering Italy #Portovenere #Liguria #Paradise #Amazing”. He was very friendly with all his fans, patiently smiling for photos and selfies around town and even inside restaurants, before retreating to his room at Grand Hotel Portovenere.

Celebrity vacation: why Portovenere?

Celebrities look for a relaxing, beautiful location that is off the beaten track yet conveniently located next to famous destinations. A touch of glamour is also welcome! Portovenere seems to offer all of these features, allowing visitors to discover hidden gems on the Gulf of Poets, easily reaching the renowned Cinque Terre, and offering a ton of activities for anyone to enjoy.

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