Rapallo is a resort town on the coast of Liguria, off the waters of the Tigullio Gulf of the Ligurian Sea between Portofino and Chiavari, southeast of Genoa in Italy.
The town is famous for having been the site of two important peace treaties, after the First World War, one between the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1920 and the other between the Republic of Weimar and ‘Soviet Union in 1922.
The city is the largest seaside resort on the Riviera di Levante and is located about 33 kilometers southeast of Genoa. Rapallo is located in the western part of the Gulf of Tigullio. The city extends from the coast to the hills. Among several estuaries that cross the territory, the most important is the Boate, also historically called “Bogo”, which divides the city in two.
The city was assigned in 2006 the Blue Flag for the quality of the services of the tourist port – Porto Carlo Riva – .Among the illustrious personalities who visited and stayed in Rapallo there were the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche ,who in Rapallo, in January 1883, composed the first part of the work So he spoke Zarathustra.
The composer Jean Sibelius (1901), the president of the United States of America Theodore Roosevelt (1910), Franz Liszt, the writer Guy de Maupassant, Lord Carnarvon, Eleonora Duse, Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway ,who will cite his stay in Rapallo in the story Cat in the Rain – Cat In The Rain.
King Hussein of Jordan, the Empress Soraya of Persia, the last king of Lithuania Mindaugas II who died in Rapallo in 1928, Princess Luisa of Habsburg-Tuscany and her husband Enrico Toselli (1909), the writer Sem Benelli, Prince Augustus William son of William II of Germany (March 26, 1910) and, in more recent years, the philosopher Luigi Pareyson.
Access : Coordinates: / By train : Rapallo is located on the Genoa-La Spezia-Rome line. In its train station, Regional, Intercity and Eurostar trains stop / By plane : Genoa International Airport (GOA) is located 38 km (40 minutes) from Rapallo and guarantees a wide range of international connections.
/ By car : Via Aurelia: the state road n.1 that runs along the Ligurian coast crosses Rapallo from east to west and connects it to La Spezia, on one side and Genoa on the other. – A12 (Tyrrhenian route): Rapallo can be reached by light and heavy traffic on the A12 motorway, exit at the Rapallo motorway toll booth.
- The harbor fortress of Rapallo : Among the most famous castles of eastern Liguria, the Rapallo seaside castle impresses with its characteristics: a medium-sized fortress built against the small fishermen’s beach, near the mouth of the San Francesco stream and the Vittorio Veneto waterfront.
- Old town center is the Piazza Cavour with the parish church, the bell tower is from 1857 / the former conventual complex of San Francesco d’Assisi dates back to the 16th century.
- Museo del Pizzo a Tombolo, the lace museum at the city park. / the parish church of Santo Stefano (XI century), the oratory of the Disciplinanti (XV century) and the neoclassical basilica of Santi Gervasio and Protasio of medieval origins.According to a commemorative plaque, present in the basilica, the dedication to the two saints could be dated back to 1118 , with the papal bull of Pope Gelasius II.
- The Sanctuary Nostra Signora di Montallegro : The Sanctuary Nostra Signora di Montallegro located 600 meters above the city (sixteenth century)./ the thirteenth-century monastery of Valle Christi, near the golf course on the road to the Rapallo hamlet of San Massimo.
- the ruins of the oldest Romanesque monastery of Saint Thomas of the 11th century in the homonymous district near the hamlet of Santa Maria del Campo. In the same hamlet there is the seventeenth-century sanctuary of the Madonna di Caravaggio.
- the most famous shrine of Our Lady of Montallegro, at about 600 meters above sea level and with a wide panoramic view on the entire Gulf of Rapallo, is a testimony of secular religious and popular devotion.
- Monastery of Valle Christi : The Gothic monastic complex of Valle Christi from the 13th century , Among the best known, and declared a national monument by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, there is in the district of San Massimo the monastery of Valle Christi built at the beginning of the XIII century by the Masters Comacini and officially open to the enclosure order in 1203.
- Monastero delle Clarisse : The monastic complex was a Catholic place of worship located in the municipality of Rapallo, in Piazzale Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, The first stone of the monastic complex of the Poor Clares was laid on December 24, 1633
- Oratorio dei Bianchi : Dating back to the second half of the fifteenth century , the oratory of the Santissima Trinita or dei Bianchi is located in the historic center of Rapallo near the ancient parish church of Santo Stefano and the municipal palace.
- Ancient little church of Sant’Anna, built in 1629 , in the Sant’Anna district. / The small church of San Bartolomeo in Borzoli / Church of Sant’Agostino in the locality of the same name in the Cerisola district / Church of the Saints Gervasio and Protasio in the locality of the same name near the sestiere of Costaguta / Church of Sant’Agostino in the locality of the same name in the Cerisola district.
- Chiesetta di San Rocco in the locality of the same name near the Seglio district. / Monastery of St. Joseph of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites along the provincial road 58 of the Crocetta to Coreglia Ligure and the Fontanabuona valley. / Former Anglican church of Saint George, built in 1902 , declared a national monument since 2001. Today the building is privately owned. In this church the funeral of the English writer and caricaturist Max Beerbohm was celebrated on May 20, 1956.
- Former Evangelical German Church. Its construction, in neo-Gothic style, was desired at the beginning of the twentieth century / The parish church of Nostra Signora Assunta in the hamlet of Santa Maria del Campo / Parish church of Sant’Andrea in the hamlet of Sant’Andrea di Foggia. Consecrated by the bishop of the diocese of Chiavari, Monsignor Amedeo Casabona on April 29, 1928 , the oldest records of the parish registers date back to 1606.
- Church of San Giovanni Battista. Built between 1665 and 1688 at the behest of Giuseppe and Rolando Valle , the small church was consecrated in 1697 . The building is open to the public only for the religious solemnity of St. John the Baptist, June 24th. / Parish Church of San Martino near the hamlet of San Martino di Noceto.
- Parish Church of San Maurizio near the hamlet of San Maurizio di Monti. The first acts of the parish register date from 1526 / Parish Church of San Michele Arcangelo near the hamlet of San Michele di Pagana. Dating back to 1133 / Parish Church of San Pietro Apostolo near the hamlet of San Pietro di Novella. The parish originally had, under its jurisdiction, the communities of Sant’Andrea di Foggia and San Quirico d’Assereto . He has been a forerunner since June 29, 1935.
- Parish Church of San Quirico near the hamlet of San Quirico d’Assereto, whose parish registers date back to 3 July 1638 . / Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the hamlet of Montepegli, built in 1910 .
- Castello di Punta Pagana – Castle of Punta Pagana : Located in the most extreme point of the Prelo bay, near the district of San Michele di Pagana, at the administrative border with Santa Margherita Ligure, the fortification of Punta Pagana was built by the Republic of Genoa in the first half of the seventeenth century.
- “Castrum Rapallinum” and “Lasaniae” : The first fortifications, necessary for greater control of the municipal territory, which in more remote times extended far beyond today’s land area, were built near the low mountain peaks between the Rapallo hinterland and the middle Val Fontanabuona. An archaeological survey in the historic northern forest paths of the city started between 1996 and 1997.
- The “Porta delle Saline” – It is the only survivor of the five gates of the ancient “walled village” – between the seafront and the historic center.In ancient times the village of Rapallo, in the heart of the historic center and home to the most important activities and city authorities, was enclosed in the medieval period by a wall: access was allowed only through five doors.
- Torre civica – Civic tower : The “Civic Tower”, symbol of the Municipality and bell tower of the parish church of Santo Stefano.The largest and the most important of the ancient towers of the city, the Civic Tower is a structural work of 1473 . According to historical sources, its construction was intended by the noble citizens to symbolize peace among the inhabitants of the village after a century upset by infighting and power among the major city factions of the medieval era.
- Torre dei Fieschi o del Menegotto – tower of Menegotto – : The first definite information on the existence of this tower – also known with the nickname “of Menegotto” from the name of the district of the same name, located between the districts of Laggiaro and Sant’Anna – are mentioned in a sale deed dated 26 May 1254.
- Il lazzaretto – The lazaretto : in the territories of the estates of Rapallo and Recco, to convince the medieval Rapallo community of the need for a temporary shelter for the sick. The donation of a plot of land by a Rapallo citizen, Giacomo d’Aste , in the Bana area between the hamlets of San Massimo and Santa Maria del Campo, gave the impetus for the construction of the building.
- There are also numerous residential and historic villas, especially in the first hills of the territory, built between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries for the stay in the town which became, with the advent of tourism, one of the most prestigious localities of eastern Liguria and Liguria . Among the most famous are Tigullio villas (home to the municipal bobbin lace museum and the international civic library), Villa Porticciolo, Villa Queirolo (headquarters of the general secretariat of Panathlon International) and the villa “of the Treaty”, famous for the treaty held in 1920.
- The Clarisse theater-auditorium, housed in the former rooms of the church of the Clarisse monastic complex of 1633 , then definitively abandoned in 1902 , is the only city theater with a maximum capacity of 265 seats.
- Ponte di Annibale – Hannibal Bridge : The Roman-style bridge known as “di Annibale” The bridge known as “of Hannibal” is a building with a single Roman arch that was probably built for the first time in the medieval period . The origin of the name is still unknown: the connection to the famous Carthaginian leader Hannibal does not find any historical evidence or links with the city . The oldest document attesting to the presence of the bridge is an act of 7 April 1049
- Monumento di Colombo – Columbus Monument : Monument to the navigatorm and explorer Christopher Columbus, symbol of Rapallo emigration. The monument to Christopher Columbus, inaugurated May 21, 1914 adjacent to the public port, was strongly desired by the immigrants of Rapallo in the Americas. The work, fruit of the mastery of the Italian-Argentine sculptor Arturo Dresco , was completely financed by the emigrants in memory of their native homeland.
- Gazebo ottocentesco – 19th century gazebo : The nineteenth-century gazebo is located in the heart of the historic center, in Piazza Venezia, home to the daily fruit and vegetable market.
- “partisan wall” – or simply “the wall” – sadly known to the Rapallesi for the atrocities carried out in front of this stretch of anti-landing wall that divided the area of port of Langano from the rest of the city.
- Towards the city waterfront, near the “delle saline” area, another war memorial is by the sculptor and painter Nicola Neonato who built it in 1977.
- The Spota cross : The monumental cross of Spota was built in 1935 on the hilltop of Spota as a monument to the fallen of the First World War. 15 meters high and in reinforced concrete, designed by Filippo Rovelli , it was solemnly inaugurated on the morning of May 30, 1935 . The Spota cross is visible from different areas of the city.
- the Municipal Urban Cemetery : the non-Catholic section of the Municipal Urban Cemetery (entrance on the west side – Via Cerisola) with old tombstones mainly for foreign residents, which made Rapallo an end of the 19th century and an elite tourist center until the outbreak of the Second World War . Ezra Pound’s father, Homer Pound, is also buried in this area of the cemetery.
- Chiosco della Musica – Music Kiosk : The music kiosk, located on the Vittorio Veneto waterfront near the central outlet between the historic village and the coastal area, inaugurated on 3 November 1929, recalls the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Liberty style for its architecture. Wanted by the immigrants of Rapallo in Latin America (especially in the area of Chile and Argentina) as a gift to the city of origin to host band concerts, the project was carried out by Luigi Devoto who built a pavilion of 10 m in diameter and 9 m high and with 12 columns supporting the dome.
- Villa Tigullio, home of the lace museum and the civic library. / The lace museum is located in the Tigullio villa. The museum was officially opened to the public in 1990 and after a careful expansion in the underlying halls in 1997 / The museum “Attilio e Cleofe Gaffoglio”, located on the ground and the cloister of the former monastic complex of the Monastero delle Clarisse
- The milling and museum complex of the “Giovanni Pendola” peasant civilization was founded above all to make known not only to young people, but also to tourists the Rapallo “of the past” by placing the historical complex in an ancient mill near the hamlet of San Maurizio di Monti, on the provincial road 58 for the sanctuary of Montallegro. In the two buildings owned by the Pendola family , whose local oil mill dates back to the seventeenth century , but remodeled during the twentieth century , there are objects, tools and much more related to the rural world and to the ‘agriculture.
Activities : visit the farmer’s market / sightseeing / photo opportunities / Enjoy trattorias and gelaterias in the back-streets
Go next : The nearby Cinque Terre / Genoa (Genova). the capital of Liguria region / Emilia-Romagna to the east and Tuscany to the south.