Things to Do
Rapallo is made for promenading in the salty sea air, nodding at locals as you stroll and pausing to admire the brightly coloured beach huts. Time your stay for a Thursday when the Mercato del Giovedi pops up at the seafront. Or shake the sand from your toes – or the pebbles from your shoes – and explore 16th-century Castello sul Mare on the waterfront. In July, it’s beautifully backlit by the fireworks that punctuate the night skies.
You could walk in the hoofprints of mules along the almost 4,000 metres of ancient track to reach Santuario Basilica di Montallegro. But soaring skyward on the cable car is much more fun. Dating back to around 1559, the iconography and frescoes are simply beautiful. But the views across Rapallo really take your breath away.
Embrace the spirit of the Grand Tour and walk, cycle or sail out from Rapallo’s marina to discover its sister towns. Portofino brings the glamour, Camogli the picture-perfect pastel streets, and the must-visit Abbey of San Fruttuoso is sandwiched between. Don’t miss the chance to visit UNESCO-heralded Cinque Terre though. This quintet of fishing villages, linked by zig-zagging cliff-edge paths have to be seen to be believed – and are best explored via the vintage railway line. After all, cars are banned.