The curse of Tutankhamun in Portofino!

Yeap, you’ve read well. In Portofino, we have also such kind of stories πŸ˜‰ But let me start from the very beginning … the curse regards a very mysterious and beautiful villa …

Villa Altachiara

Villa Altachiara in Portofino is one of the most beautiful residences in the Mediterranean. It was built in 1874 by an English peer and aristocrat Henry Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon.

The Villa overhangs the sea and is about 1000 mΒ² large. It is surrounded by a wonderful 3-hectare park equipped with a swimming pool, heliport and outbuilding for staff. From here you can admire a stunning view of Italian Riviera, Portofino Bay and the open sea.


Henry Herbert constructed the villa for his son George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon. George was better known as the financial backer of the search for and the excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings … and here we are πŸ™‚

George Carnarvon assisted Howard Carter (an archaeologist and Egyptologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamon) and together they entered the tomb of Tutankhamon, becoming the first people in modern times to do so. However, after not much time later, Carnarvon suffered a severe mosquito bite which became infected by a razor cut and after 2 weeks he died. After his death, some people suggested that it had been caused by “elementals” created by Tutankhamun’s priests to guard the royal tomb … the “Curse of Tutankhamun”:


“The pharaoh has been awakened from his eternal sleep


the curse will fall on all those who have violated his rest “


The Villa remain the property of Carnarvon’s family. However, for the inhabitants of Portofino Villa Altachiara became the villa of the pharaoh awakened from his eternal sleep. Whoever lives there will die soon. In fact, after a short time a young woman, who was a direct relative of Lord Carnarvon, has slipped on the stairs of Altachiara and lethally fallen in the sea from the cliff.

Then, in the ’80s villa was bought by countess Francesca Vacca Agusta, the widow of count Corrado Agusta, owner of Agusta Company, helicopter manufacturer. And again the curse came back … seems that during the night of 8th January 2001 the countess left the house, approached a low wall that divided the parc from the cliff and … slipped down into the sea … (!) Her body was found 2 weeks later in French Riviera.

Who wants to live in Villa Altachiara?

After the death of the countess, the villa was abandoned for several years. The heir of the countess, her lover, was trying to sell the villa for 50 mln €, then 45 mln €, then 30 mln € and at last he sold it for 25 mln € to a Russian billionaire … evidently he is not very superstitious πŸ™‚ What is more, the restructurations works of the villa have already begun … who knows when the new owner will inaugurate his new Ligurian house… πŸ˜‰


  • Did you like the post? I will be glad if we stay in touch! You can like That’s Liguria! on Facebook! Every day you will find new photos, inspirations and interesting information

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.