Hotel Portofino is set in Italy but filming took place in Croatia

Hotel Portofino is a lavish new period drama set in the balmy climes of interwar Italy, Based on the 2021 novel of the same name by J.P. O’Connell, Hotel Portofino follows the staff and guests at the titular resort on the Italian Riviera in the Roaring 20s. Fans of the TV series are curious to know more about the filming locations of the ITV series. The show first started airing on ITV1 back in February with all six episodes available on the ITVX as a boxset.

Where is Hotel Portofino filmed?

Despite being set in Italy, the show is actually shot in Croatia. Season one was filmed in autumn 2020 in various locations across Croatia including Rijeka, Lovran, and Rovinj.

The second outing was shot in July 2022 and was said to be one of the biggest television productions in the country last year.

Speaking about filming on the show, Pasquale Esposito said the shoot on the drama lasted on two to three months the first time around.

The star behind the villainous Vincenzo Danioni said: “Some of it was filmed in the real Portofino that is amazing.

“If you ever have the chance to go there, it’s really something. Most of the things are shot in Croatia, it’s really, really nice.”

Esposito said “a lot of external shots” were taken of the real Portofino.

However, season one took longer to film than the subsequent outing due to the COVID-19 protocols in place in 2020.

He said: “The second season was less, like one month-and-a-half.”

For season one, Esposito said they shot “one day in and one day out” to vary filming.

For the role of fascist Vincenzo, who represents the rise of Mussolini’s political ideals in Italy during this era, Esposito watched a lot of videos to immerse himself in the period.

He said he’d read about the era in books but didn’t really gauge the true extent of the corruption.

“Everybody used the power to get something for themselves, this kind of character that I’m playing,” he said, explaining this period was a “peak” for nationalism in Italy and a fear of foreigners including the British.

Esposito went on to say of his character’s mindset: “If you come from outside, you’re going to get something instead of me.

“I’m the complete opposite, I live in Germany and come from Italy, my kids already speak three languages and I love travelling and seeing cultures.

“I see the richness but back in the time, it really shocked me, being closed and defend your border.”

The irony of the parallels between the 1920s and the 2020s weren’t lost on the actor either.

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Reflecting on collaborating with the mainly British cast, which included Natascha McElhone and Anna Chancellor, the star: “I really enjoyed working together. The fact that it was such a beautiful experience and ensemble.

“We were really together, not just working, spending time together and again, probably the location [added to] the context for this.”

He and the rest of the cast will be returning later this year to work on the third outing of the drama.

Esposito is now busy working on auditioning for more projects. He is also going to be appearing opposite Fleabag and Sherlock star Andrew Scott in the upcoming Netflix series Ripley, based on the Matt Damon movie The Talented Mr Ripley.

Hotel Portofino season 1 is streaming on ITVX now

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