Ever since the pandemic, escapist television has been having a moment, and viewers of Foxtel’s latest period piece Hotel Portofino have been treated with dazzling shots of one of the world’s most stunning destinations – the magical Italian Riviera.
This lavish six-part drama series is set in the roaring 1920s and stars English actress Natacha McElhone (Truman Show) as Bella Ainsworth, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist who moved to Italy to set up a British hotel in the breathtaking town of Portofino.
Hotel Portofino is a well-blended mixture of comically British humour with a serious storyline, paired with the historical background of Fascism in Mussolini’s Italy.
This show embraces the themes of sexual and social liberation while diving into a rich cocktail of subplots taking place by the Italian coast.
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English theatre actor, Mark Umbers, plays Bella Ainsorth’s charmingly but dangerously aristocratic husband, Cecil, who is often seen sharing romantic glances with a snooty Julia Drummond-Ward (Lucky Akhurt). Her daughter Rose, played by 23-year-old rising Aussie actress, Claude Scott-Mitchell, is to be a potential bride for the Ainsworths’ son Lucian (Oliver Dench).
Lucian is your period piece typical son, all glassy-eyed, devastatingly good looking, all tied together with internal angst.
In the middle of all that, is the hotels most prestigious and hard-to-please guest, Lady Latchmere, played by Anna Chancellor, who is more notably known for her portrayal of the stuck up Miss Bingly in the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.
If Hotel Portofino won’t capture your attention with its gritty drama, you’ll be mesmerised by the extraordinary vistas alone.
As Sydney Morning Herald’s culture editor, Michael Idato, says “take it from someone who knows: the brochures have always oversold Capri. The real jewel in Italy’s tourist coast has always been Portofino.
The gorgeous miniseries, set on the Italian Riviera, is available for streaming now on Foxtel.