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  • Writer's pictureMarcelo Di Liscia

Rapallo, in the eastern Ligurian Riviera


Exploring Rapallo in the commune di Liguria offered a delightful coastal experience. During our stay, we booked a small apartment in the area between the SS1 road and the "Lungomare Vittorio Veneto." The historic center of Rapallo, which is part of the town's central area, is an ancient district with medieval roots that has managed to retain its original layout. This neighborhood was full of beautiful alleys lined with a variety of restaurants, bars, and stores, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere. Convenience was key, as we discovered two Carrefour Supermarkets in the area, one being an Express store and the other open 24 hours, making grocery shopping a breeze.


One of the notable attractions in Rapallo is the "Castello de Rapallo," located on the waterfront. This historic castle provides a glimpse into the town's rich past and offers scenic views of the surrounding area. Additionally, on Thursdays, the waterfront hosts a public market, where visitors can peruse a variety of local products and enjoy a bustling atmosphere.


While the public beach along the waterfront in Rapallo may not be the most picturesque, there is a beach club close to the "Castello de Rapallo." This beach club offers a more comfortable and relaxed experience. The waterfront area is a great spot to enjoy a leisurely stroll and take in the beautiful views of the Ligurian Sea. To the west, you can find the Public Beach of San Michele and Stella Beach, offering beach clubs for a relaxing seaside experience.


From the pier in Rapallo, we had the opportunity to embark on a boat excursion operated by Tigullio Marine Lines, called "Servizio Marittimo del Tigullio." This allowed us to explore nearby towns such as Santa Margherita and Portofino. Portofino, in particular, is a charming small town with a public beach called "Spiaggia pubblica Paraggi," located about a 20-minute walk from the pier. However, due to time constraints, we opted to stay in Rapallo, treating our kids to delicious ice creams and enjoying freshly squeezed orange juices.


Later, when returning to Rapallo, we made a stop at Santa Margherita to visit its public beach along the waterfront. Although it was nicer than Rapallo's beach, we found it to be somewhat unclean. To ensure a more relaxed experience, we opted to pay for a beach club, which provided peace of mind regarding our belongings and allowed us to fully enjoy our time with the kids. The cost for a half-day at the beach club was €28.


For those arriving in Rapallo by car, there are parking options available. Street parking in the blue marked spots is an option, with rates varying depending on the signs. The typical cost is €1.50 per hour from 8 am to 11 pm, and parking is free from 11 pm to 8 am. However, for longer stays, it is advisable to park at the Piazza IV Novembre parking lot on Via Armando Diaz, close to the seafront. The parking rates there are €1.50 per hour from 8 am to 8 pm, and a reduced rate of €0.50 per hour from 8 pm to 8 am, providing a more convenient and secure parking option. Please note that on Thursdays from 5 am to 1 pm, the parking is reserved for the public market, so you cannot park during those hours.


Lastly, if you find yourself in need of a laundromat, there are options available outside the "old town" area, such as the Lavanderia Self Service Lava Più. This ensures that you can take care of your laundry needs during your stay in Rapallo.


On our last day in Rapallo, we bid farewell to the town and set off for Milano. However, with the flexibility of having a car, we made a spontaneous decision to make a stop at the beautiful Paraggi beach along the way. As we arrived, we found parking available behind the beach, although it came with a charge of €6 per hour. The beach itself offered a variety of options, with exclusive beach clubs charging between €215 and €285 for entry. However, nestled in the midst of it all, there’s the small public beach that was incredibly crowded but well worth the visit. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and fine golden sand, the beach in Paraggi was simply stunning, making our brief stop a truly memorable experience.


After our brief but enjoyable moment in Paraggi, we continued our journey towards Milan, eager to explore the city's rich history, art, and culture.

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