The small town of Rapallo is a beautiful holiday resort in Liguria. The seaside resort is about 30 km south of Genoa. The old town of Rapallo is beautiful and largely pedestrianised. It is located right next to the sea on the Gulf of Tigullio.
A few hundred metres outside the centre you can swim in the sea at various places. There are bathing establishments with bars, restaurants, etc. Here you can rent an umbrella and a deck chair. Rapallo is probably the most important holiday resort on this stretch of the Italian coast (Riviera di Levante).
The entire centre of Rapallo between the railway station and the sea is car-free. Some pedestrian zones are wide. Other alleys are so narrow that you can hardly get past each other. There are several churches to see in the old town.
A major sight in Rapallo is a 16th century fortress in the sea. The small castle “Castello sul Mare” is built into the sea, not to be overlooked. There are many stories and legends about the fortress. You can go inside (no entrance fee).
In Rapallo’s central harbour, mainly yachts and smaller, private boats are moored today. There are a few local restaurants serving local specialities, especially fish and seafood. Wine is also grown in the area, the local white wine from the region is a must try. In the town centre there is a beautiful pedestrian promenade along the sea at the harbour.
There is a cable car from Rapallo to about 600 metres above sea level. There is a beautiful church at the top. From the top you have a magnificent view of the surroundings and the sea.
You can play golf on a large course in Rapallo. There are also various water sports on offer. Rapallo does not have a gigantic nightlife. It is rather a holiday resort for people who are looking for a quiet holiday. Very many tourists in Rapallo are over 50 years old. The many regulars love the good restaurants, the nice cafes and the Ligurian way of life and cuisine.
In Italy, Rapallo is famous for its lace (textiles), similar to the island of Burano near Venice. The most important museum in Rapallo is the Lace Museum, not far from the city park.
You can also get to Rapallo by train, from both directions along the sea (Genoa and La Spezia) at least every hour. The train station is just behind the old town of Rapallo, about 300 metres from the sea. IC trains also stop in Rapallo on the route from Milan via Genoa to La Spezia, Viareggio and Pisa.
Rapallo is in the history books because two important peace treaties were concluded here. Both after the First World War: in 1920 between Italy and Yugoslavia and more importantly in 1922 between Germany and Russia.
Rapallo is very old. The Etruscans founded a settlement here as early as 700 BC. However, it is not entirely clear whether Rapallo has been continuously inhabited since then.
Excursions from Rapallo
Don’t miss the famous Portofino (see picture), about 6 km south of Rapallo. It is one of the most beautiful and famous seaside villages in Italy.
Between Rapallo and Portofino lies another beautiful little town. Its name is Santa Margherita Ligure. This town is also known as a holiday resort for celebrities. It can be reached by train, to Portofino you have to take a bus.
About 40 km south of Rapallo along the sea are the 5 famous villages of the Cinque Terre. The traditional villages are a World Heritage Site and a famous hiking area.