A historical drama about a British family who establish a hotel for upper class travellers on the magical Italian Riviera during the ‘Roaring 20s’.
The Hotel has only been open a few weeks, but already the problems are mounting for its co-proprietor and moving spirit, Bella Ainsworth (Natascha McElhone): she’s short of staff and ready money; her guests, including the imperious Lady Latchmere (Anna Chancellor), are demanding and hard-to-please; and she’s being targeted by a scheming and corrupt local politician, Signor Danioni (Pasquale Esposito), who threatens to drag her into the red-hot political cauldron of Mussolini’s Italy.
The Hotel demands all of Bella’s resources, energy, and focus, but she’s being pulled in other directions, as she tries to coax her wounded son, Lucian, and her widowed daughter, Alice, towards health and happiness in the traumatic aftermath of World War 1.
And then there’s Bella’s aristocratic but caddish husband, Cecil (Umbers), who’s obsessed with arranging an advantageous marriage for Lucian to secure the future of the Ainsworth family’s estate back in England, and with finding the money to pay for his dilettante lifestyle.
Over the course of several weeks in the summer of 1926, Bella will discover exactly how far he’s prepared to go to secure his wealth and status. Set in the breathtakingly beautiful resort of Portofino, Hotel Portofino is a story of personal awakening at a time of global upheaval and of the liberating influence of Italy’s enchanting culture, climate, and cuisine on British ‘innocents abroad’.
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