In the Limelight: Alessandro Ristori & The Portofinos

·5 min read

It’s not easy to get hold of Alessandro Ristori — especially during the summer season when he is constantly hopping between Forte dei Marmi, Porto Cervo, Monte Carlo, London and Dubai.

“Summer is certainly the busiest period, but I assure you that we are on the move 200 days a year,” he says with a laugh.

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The Alessandro Ristori & The Portofinos music band are on a roll. In October they performed at Alexandre Arnault and Géraldine Guyot’s wedding in Venice, and they are regulars at some of the most famous clubs around Europe, including Annabel’s in London, or “the place to be,” as Ristori describes it.

Ristori also draws attention with his unique style, reminiscent of the rock ‘n’ roll era of the ’50s, his moves and his ability to entertain.

“I haven’t changed much since I was five years old and I went on stage for the first time,” he points out. “People ask me if I still dress like this when I am not performing. I simply bring myself on the stage, this is different from someone who builds a character from someone who is natural,” he adds.

When Ristori is performing, he “[feels] alive. Even though I am quite shy, when I am on stage, I transform myself to interact with people, and I instinctively know how to move and when to jump or dance.”

Alessandro Ristori performing on stage. - Credit: Courtesy image
Alessandro Ristori performing on stage. - Credit: Courtesy image

Courtesy image

The frontman is often recognized as “the singer from Monte Carlo” since he started performing and first gained recognition there, specifically in 2015 at the Hôtel de Paris, in the famed Bar Américain. “I brought back the Dolce Vita atmosphere,” Ristori says.

It wasn’t until 2017, when Italian entrepreneur Flavio Briatore, who owns several establishments in the principality, noticed him and “opened the doors to me to a luxury market that was also different from that of Monte Carlo, since I started working in Italy and then Dubai. With him I have a strong professional relationship and perform in places such as the Twiga in Monte Carlo and Forte dei Marmi, the Billionaire in Dubai and Porto Cervo.” The Twiga beach club in Forte dei Marmi “is our second home, as we do more than 20 concerts there during the summer,” he adds.

In April 2019, Princess Charlotte Casiraghi chose Ristori to sing at her wedding party and that same year he performed for Carl Hirschmann’s birthday, the multimillionaire Swiss entrepreneur, married with the Italian actress Fiammetta Cicogna, in Cap Ferrat. 

“Even if I haven’t sold millions of records around the world, during these events I feel I am part of an excellence. This is the most important thing and when I am on stage, I always try to make a good impression, whether I am performing for Arnault’s son or just any other person,” he muses.

The singer struggles to remember which night was the craziest and most fun, as he often confuses “certain episodes or dates and even at times totally forgetting what happened,” but he has a fond memory of Prince Albert of Monaco’s birthday party. 

“It was 2018, I broke my vertebrae on Aug. 3 and I had to be ready for the 27th, the day of his birthday celebration. I had immediate surgery and was back on my feet in just three weeks and even now when I see him, he reminds me of it. He says ‘Alessandro, you were there!’ On an emotional level it is one of the greatest nights for me. Even when I will be 90 it will be an indelible memory,” he says.

Ristori is the epitome of “Italian-ness” with his big smile, hairy chest peeking from colored silk shirts almost always half-open and the hits he sings on stage. “I carry Italy with me when I am performing,” he proudly asserts. Even the name of the band, The Portofinos, is reminiscent of the “Dolce Vita, Italy … a good Italy where everything is fine and is recognizable around the world.” 

Alessandro Ristori - Credit: Courtesy image
Alessandro Ristori - Credit: Courtesy image

Courtesy image

Although he now performs for an increasingly international audience, he also enjoys singing Italian songs, even if they may be off the beaten path for some. “If you are persistent and credible,” he explains, “you can sing an Italian song from the ’50s as well as an ’80s English song and people will still have fun.”

Indeed, some of the hits that are almost always part of Ristori’s performances are Adriano Celentano’s “Susanna,” Claudia Mori’s “Non succederà più [It will not happen again],” “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison, and Elton John’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” 

Ristori also executes his own songs on stage and in June he released a new single, titled “Sempre più tu [You, always more],” which is available on YouTube and produced by Andrea Mariano. 

His style and fashion sense also contributes to Ristori’s success. “Dressing is different from covering yourself, this is what really makes the difference,” he contends.

While performing, the singer can be often seen wearing head-to-toe Gucci outfits. “My mother used to dress me as a little lord and later on I when I met my wife, who has great taste, she helped me a lot in my style choices.” 

A highlight of this year was when he met Marco Bizzarri, president and chief executive officer of Gucci, who helped him a lot in “this combination of style,” as he says.

Ristori also pays tribute to Giorgio Armani. “When you wear an Armani suit you are impeccable, the best suits in the world are Armani’s.”

As for future projects, he admits he “would love to be part of a movie, the cinema fascinates me a lot.”

Alessandro Ristori wearing Gucci. - Credit: Courtesy image
Alessandro Ristori wearing Gucci. - Credit: Courtesy image

Courtesy image

 

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