The history

Born in the small village of Vernazza in the Cinque Terre in 1938, Giuseppe Basso has breathed sea air all his life. At the age of fifteen he started working as an apprentice cook on the merchant marine vessels of the Genoese ship owner Paolo Scerni, and continued his career as cook and storekeeper. Giuseppe Basso sailed the seas for 13 years before returning to his home town Vernazza where he fulfilled his dream by opening his own restaurant called “Belforte”, inaugurated in 1965 in the presence of the famous showgirls the Kessler Sisters and the young actress Catherine Spaak and her companion actor Jonny Dorelli. The restaurant was an immediate success. Giuseppe Basso’s success as cook and business man didn’t stop here. At the end of the 70s his uncle Eliseo, wanting to retire, suggested to his nephew that he take over the management of his restaurant “Da Iseo” in Portovenere. Giuseppe accepted the new quest with enthusiasm and yet again didn’t fail. Alberto Lupo, Walter Chiari, Paolo Villaggio, Gino Paoli, Adriano Celentano and Countess Vacca Augusta are only a few of the many celebrities who became regular guests at the restaurant in Portovenere. As mentioned by Giuseppe, the secret lies in welcoming VIPs, who are generally reserved and serious, and watching them leave with a smile on their face. In 1997, the vulcanic cook has another great idea, on the 1st of May he opened an Inn on the Island of Palmaria, in the beautiful setting of the natural park. The “Locanda Lorena”, name of the Inn, is soon named the pearl of the gulf and many national and international TV programmes talk about it, recommending the high quality of the restaurant and the beautiful location for a unique visit. The rooms at the Locanda are extremely welcoming with their unusual colourful design and then, there is the “Villino”, an old cottage, rebuilt, up the hill , immersed in an olive grove with a breathtaking view of the blue sea and the gulf. Giuseppe then decided to put his signature to his latest work of art: the “Villa Maiella”, an enchanting setting in which to spend a luxurious holiday in complete relaxation in direct contact with nature.