One Sip Is All It Takes To Go To Portofino
You can be whisked away to Liguria simply by tasting a lemon-flavored soft drink. Don’t believe us? Close your eyes and take a sip of Limonata Niasca Portofino. Your nose immediately picks up the intense scent of lemons from the Gulf of Tigullio on the Ligurian Riviera.
Concentrate and you’ll also catch the subtle notes of elderflower. Take another sip and feel the fresh breeze off the gulf where they grow.
Admire its pearly white color, its thousands of sweet, sparkling bubbles. There’s no doubt about it: you’ve landed in Portofino. Behind the fresh taste of this unbelievable drink lies a story that’s just as refreshing.
“Just three years ago,” says Simona Mussini, a representative of Niasca Portofino, “a group of young people got together.
We wanted to do something different in a place where luxury reigns supreme and nobody wants to get his hands dirty. So we purchased some fields and restored them. We worked hard and always with the utmost respect for nature,” she adds. “We don’t use fertilizers or poisons.”
The group combines its respect for nature with a similarly deep respect for hard work. Farmers in the area have been enlisted as partners and collaborators. “What’s cool is that now farmers bring us lemons even though we don’t ask for them,” says Mussini. “They demonstrate the kind of pride we take in a product made through hard work. Indeed, to work the land you need to bend down – and that’s tough.’’
We met Mussini at Summer Fancy Food in New York, where she described her Tigullio limonata with an equal measure of pride. “This type of lemon is much sweeter compared to the lemons from Southern Italy. Our beverage is all natural. We use Tigullio lemons, brown sugar and elderflower. This last ingredient adds a splash of fun.’’
The drink is just one component of Niasca Portofino’s larger project. Founded by a group of residents and frequent visitors, the company seeks to resuscitate local traditions, rehabilitatethe abandoned countryside, restore spaces that have long been uninhabited, and make Portofino a vibrant place twelve months a year—not just during the summer.
And of course,vby introducing the world to Portofino and its local products, the company also hopes to see an uptick in tourism. The project’s ambassadors are three highly driven youthful partners. ‘’Our success comes from the heart,” says Mussini. “It stems from an idea we developed over the years. In the end, we’ve got this amazing product. We want to show people that Italy is strong, and that if you have an idea and put effort into it, you can really create something good.’’ Think globally, act locally, and Limonata Niasca Portofino will make a splash in the US.