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Rapallo, Liguria

Rapallo is a resort town that is somewhat less crowded and larger than Santa Margherita and Portofino down the way, so it's definitely worth a visit. Founded by the Romans, this town brags that Hannibal used one of its bridges as he led the Carthaginian invasion of Italy in the third century B.C. Also, several semi-major peace treaties have been signed there. Rapallo's mild climate makes it particularly temperate, largely because of the hills that protect from the cold winds.

The best way to arrive is by a ferry from Genoa from that city's Aquarium Dock. The second-best way to get to Rapallo is via the frequent buses from Santa Margherita or Camoglia, after you take a train from an outlying city to Santa Margherita.

Piazza Cile holds an extensive market that's worth attending. A funicular to Montallegro allows you to visit a spot where the Virgin Mary was sighted in the 16th century, the former convent called Santa Maria in Christ Velly. There's also a castle from the same period nearby.

View open-air concerts in Rotunda Marconi, or check out the Castello, a small castle with a drawbridge, overlooking the harbor. Two gardens, the large Parco Communale Casale and the smaller Giardini Publici, offer excellent views. If you get bored, you can also go for the more typical resort activities, like golfing, bowling, mini-golf, and water sports.


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