Rapallo, Italy

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Cruising to Rapallo

Located just across the bay from the more relaxed town of Portofino is the popular seaside resort of Rapallo, which is perhaps the liveliest of all the small holiday destinations on the Lugurian coast. The town is defined by the waterfront promenade that skirts the semi-circular harbour and is lined with palm trees, restaurants and shops, with many of the buildings sporting an art nouveau look.

The beaches here are fairly small although there are a number of public lidos along the coastline which are excellent for swimming, while the beachfront itself is separated from the historic centre by the Saline Gate - the last remaining vestige of the old city walls.

Within the historic centre you'll find some charming pedestrianised streets that are brimming with shops and pretty buildings, while those who want to take a closer look at Rapallo's past are sure to be impressed by Rapallo Castle. Sitting on a small piece of land that juts out into the sea, this 16th-century structure was built to protect the city from pirate attacks, and these days holds regular art exhibitions.

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