Rapallo is the largest Italian Riviera seaside resort and makes for the perfect base when visiting Liguria, an area that that has much to offer its visitors. As well as enjoying what Rapallo itself has to offer, from its historical centre and museums, to the seaside promenade and beautiful beaches, below are our top places to visit when based in the town.
How to get there: Portofino is easily accessible from Rapallo and a must-see with most visitors when travelling to this area. You can reach Portofino from Rapallo by car in approximately 20 minutes, however when you arrive, park your car and discover this destination on foot A more popular option is to travel to Portofino by ferry. The ferries are one of the biggest attractions in this area and a fantastic way to see the charming coastline. For just EUR 11, you’ll be provided with stunning views and a unique perspective.
What to do there: Portofino’s biggest draw, and arguably what it is most renowned for, is its famous harbour. Known as a resort of the rich and famous, the seaside village is lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes making it the perfect place to wander or sit with one of Italy’s famous coffees and watch the world go by. You might even spot a celebrity or too! There is also the opportunity for hiking and even diving. Enjoy a visit to Castello Brown which is located above the perfectly formed village and can be reached by a path near the Botanic Garden. The castle is open from 10am to 7pm in the summer and until 5pm in the winter. The Medieval Castello Brown was the home of Yeats Brown who was the British consul to Genoa in 1870.
Romina Locci, Citalia Destination Expert “The Panoramic views out to sea from San Giorgio Church, located up in the hills is truly stunning and not be to missed.”
What is Cinque Terre: If you haven’t heard of Cinque Terre, there is no doubt you would have seen the famous photographs of the area. The Cinque Terre is made up of five cliffside villages, all of which have gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The villages make up some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in the world and are famous for their multi-coloured terraced houses. Before the villages had electricity, the houses were painted to help their owners identify which one was theirs at night.
How to get there: In the summer you can reach the famous villages of Cinque Terre by boat. The boats run throughout the day and will stop at one or two of the villages. To make the most of your visit to the Cinque Terre and to ensure you see as much as you can, we would recommend travelling from Rapallo by train. You can take the train to Riomaggiore which is the furthest village from Rapallo, with a journey time of approximately an hour.
About Sestri Levante: The heart of this pretty town is built on an island, surrounded by golden beaches and if you didn’t know better, you’d think you were in Sardinia. The town is uniquely located on a peninsula, surrounded by beautiful beaches and water. The Bay of Silence is one of the town’s two beaches, and is somewhere you can’t help but fall in love with.
How to get there: The journey from Rapallo to Sestri Levante takes approximately 20 minutes by train and they run every 30 minutes. If you are thinking of driving, it will take approximately 20 minutes.
Amanda Curry, Citalia Destination Expert: “My highlight of Liguria was Sestri Levante and the Bay of Silence. It was such a lovely little town with everything right there for you and the Bay of Silence was one of the most enchanting and romantic places I have ever had the pleasure of visiting”.
The town of Alassio is a tranquil area which runs parallel with its beach. The town plays host to sandy beaches, gorgeous blue seas, plenty of restaurants and bars on its seafront and many health and wellbeing hotels. Not to be missed is Alassio’s pier, known as “Molo di Alassio” or “Pontile Bestoso” which offers lovely views back to the town. An unusual highlight of the town is the Muretto di Alassio, a wall of the public gardens near the seafront of the town. The wall consists of 550 ceramic tiles signed by celebrities who have visited the town over the decades. You may not have heard of some of the famous names, but this tradition which started with Ernest Hemingway in the 1950’s, is something different and well worth viewing.
How to get there:Alassio is a little further away than the other towns however can easily be tied into your Liguria trip. To drive from Rapallo to Alassio would take approximately one hour and 30 minutes. The scenery on the drive is beautiful and very picturesque.