In Porto Rotondo, you quickly become aware of a tacit code of conduct. The prevailing etiquette of manners and good taste was established along with the village itself, characterised from the outset by the Venetian patrician style imposed by the aristocratic Donà dalle Rose brothers, who literally built the village from scratch. And while over the course of more than half a century the occasional style faux pas has been committed, the little seafront village still exudes that original chic spirit that demands not just a sense of civic duty, but a refined appreciation of beauty and attention to detail. Despite all the glossy photos, often courtesy of long-lens cameras, the endless gossip and, let’s admit it, more than a dash of exhibitionism, life here actually revolves around refined simplicity…
It is not the done thing in Porto Rotondo to parade about the Marina in the middle of the day in 5-inch stiletto heels, and raised voices or noisy mobile phones will earn you disapproving glances. In addition, hanging laundry outdoors is strictly prohibited…The unwritten rules of decorum advocate civilised living, as guests’ tranquillity and need for privacy are not just holiday brochure claims.
Nightlife too is a quiet affair, as dinners and parties take place all season long and indeed beyond, but mostly in private homes, so that only the odd firework display here and there hints at any social gathering. For that matter, people prefer simply to admire the surroundings, sitting lazily in the little square, savouring the hushed tranquillity of the village as the sunset paints the sky pink. Nights here are cherished for their hushed calm and the inebriating scent of jasmine. The human dimension that makes this place so special is underpinned by the level of safety guaranteed by the local Carabinieri and the Security Service of the Costa Smeralda Consortium.
In contrast with the rest of the island, the crime rate here is virtually zero, making for an even more relaxing time, and CCTV and effective, yet discreet, lighting provide further reassurance. Security, spotlessness and guaranteed privacy, all in a stunning natural setting with indescribably beautiful seas. Here, the social ritual unfolds amidst sunshine, the mistral and starry nights. You meet the same people time and again, but also new ones amid arrivals and departures: via dei Pesci, Piazzetta San Marco, the Bar Gelateria del Molo at the pier and the homonymous patisserie shop, plus historic bars like Tartarughino and Paguro are where you often bump into people. However, private homes and boats are actually where memories of happy, carefree holidays have always been made. From micro to macro, skiffs to villas, rented bedsits to 80-metre yachts, it is not size that matters: what matters is being there! As locals well know, Porto Rotondo is anything but sleepy; along with Porto Cervo, it boasts legendary nightlife but…everything happens far from prying eyes!
Text by N.T