Season two of British series Hotel Portofino filming in Croatia  

Series Hotel Portofino crew on set in Zagreb (left to right: Nebojša Taraba, Adam Wimpenny, Sarah Forbes Campbell, Chris Marcich)

Season two of British series Hotel Portofino filming in Croatia  

The second season of the period drama Hotel Portofino, produced by London production house Eagle Eye Drama, is currently being filmed in Zagreb, while other locations around Croatia include locales in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Istria counties. Assisting the filming process in Croatia is service producer Drugi Plan, headed by Nebojša Taraba and Miodrag Sila, while the unit production manager on the project is Ivona Maras.

Season two of Hotel Portofino is currently being filmed in Zagreb, where the crew will spend 11 days. Some of the locations include the National Stateroom (HAZU) and the Croatian Institute of History in the Upper Town, as well as the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb.  

The experience of working with a Croatian crew has been an incredibly positive one, it’s been absolutely fabulous and joyous. I often work abroad and I enjoy living and working with local people. The Croatian crew is incredibly accommodating and collaborative, and the entire process of filming in Croatia has been a very creative one. Working with Ivan, our production designer, has been a joy. The designs he’s come up with, he’s been creatively fabulous. The locations that have been offered by the location manager Tomislav Peleski have been spot on, in terms of what we require.

 Sarah Forbes Campbell, series producer
Chris Marcich

In addition to the capital, season two of the period drama will also be filmed in Lovran, on set at the villa embodying the Portofino Hotel, located in the town of the same name on the Italian Riviera. Other locations include Matulji, Grožnjan and Belaj, while filming will also take place in Rijeka.

The filming in Croatia involves the participation of 135 Croatian film workers, including production designer Ivan Veljača and production sound mixer Luka Mustač as part of the creative team, while 13 out of 14 heads of departments are from Croatia. Over 800 domestic extras are participating in the filming in Croatia.

This project is unique for the fact that many of the Croatian crew are also involved in the creative portion of the filming, which is usually not the case when it comes to international productions. Overall, the collaboration with Eagle Eye Drama has been wonderful. We were brought together by Beta Film which is one of the project’s backers and world distributors and they are also a partner at Drugi Plan. However, it turned out that executive producer Walter Iuzzolino (Eagle Eye Drama) was very familiar with the other projects we had done, especially the series ‘The Paper’ and ‘Success’, so he trusted our suggestion to hire Croatian crew members above the line, because he knew their work on our original projects.

Nebojša Taraba
Hotel Portofino set design

Also, the director of photography on both seasons of Hotel Portofino is Erol Zubčević who collaborated with Drugi Plan on the series Success, which was the first original HBO production in the region.  

Hotel Portofino Official Trailer

Hotel Portofino is a family drama packed with emotional highs and lows, with a classic whodunnit mystery building up to a dramatic crescendo. Created and written by Matt Baker, the series highlights the long-standing literary tradition of comic ‘innocents abroad’ Brits, but also reveals darker, more serious undertones, set against the historical backdrop of the rise of Fascism in Mussolini’s Italy. Embracing themes of sexual and social liberation, Hotel Portofino offers a heady cocktail of subplots in a breathtaking Italian setting.

Hotel Portofino set design

All episodes of the series are directed by Adam Wimpenny. The lead is played by Natascha McElhone, best known for her role of Karen Van Der Beek in the series Californication, while the second season also stars Mark Umbers, Oliver Dench, Louisa Binder, Claude Scott-Mitchell, Carolina Gonnelli, Lily Frazer and many others.

Season one of the series, produced by London company Eagle Eye Drama, was also filmed in Croatia, in 2021. At that time, 192 Croatian film workers worked on set, while the film crew then spent 61 filming days in Croatia, on locations in Bale, Rovinj, Matulji, Opatija/Lovran, Pula and Rijeka.

Both seasons of the series are filmed in Croatia as part of the State Aid Programme for Encouraging Investment in the Production of Audiovisual Works, which is implemented by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (Filming in Croatia).

Hotel Portofino set design

Hotel Portofino premiered on the streaming service BritBox, where it was one of the most watched original series. The series was also picked up by the North American public television PBS.

Photographs from the set of Hotel Portofino in Zagreb are available for download on THIS LINK, courtesy of Inia Herenčić/HAVC.