Rapallo is one of a string of old-fashioned seaside resorts along the eastern half of the Italian Riviera (called the Riviera di Levante). It is not far from Portofino and with its range of hotels, Rapallo makes a good base for exploring the coast.
Bigger and busier than its neighbours, and a little less expensive. Rapallo is convenient for travellers as it is also nearer the autostrada and has more ‘stopping’ train services. Although it isn’t the nearest resort, it is still a handy base for the Portofino promontory, with frequent buses to Camogli, Recco, Santa Margherita and Portofino itself. A car can get to any of these places in well under half an hour.
Rapallo’s own attractions shouldn’t be overlooked either. A short promenade faces across the water to the large harbour and is flanked by a small medieval castle, used now mainly for exhibitions. Behind the front is a group of interesting old streets laid out on a sort of grid pattern. Rapallo was a Roman settlement. West of the town centre, the other side of the river, stands a small bridge which is certainly worth a look, although it now serves no purpose and crosses only a modern road. This is the Ponte di Annibale – plainly very ancient, even if the connection with Hannibal is less certain. At the back of the town, in the other direction, is the bottom station of a cable-car which goes up to the Sanctuary of Montallegro. Apart from a visit to the church itself, the top gives access to big views over the coast and some walks. There’s also a (rather scenic) golf course at Rapallo, a rare thing to find along this hilly coastline.
The railway station is only a short walk from the seafront through the old town centre. Car parking is indicated close to the station and at the west end of the promenade.
Report by AH
Like the other resorts in this bit of Liguria, Rapallo makes a good base for hopping from one seaside town to the next. The railway and summer boat services make it easy to tour the resorts in this area, all of which are pleasant place to visit: Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure and exclusive Portofino. Keen walkers can explore various footpaths in the regional park of the Portofino promontory, and the seashore monastery San Fruttuoso can be visited either by boat or on foot. More distant, but easily reachable by train are the busy city of Genoa and – to the south – the famous Cinque Terre.
Where to stay in Rapallo
There are many hotels in Rapallo with impressively good reviews from past guests. Among these are the good-value three-star Hotel Italia e Lido, on the promenade right by the castle, and four-star Hotel Tigullio Royal.
> Hotels in Rapallo
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