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WorldMediterraneanItalyLigurian CoastRapallo

Rapallo, Italy

44°20.65′N, 09°14.03′E Chart icon.png
Porto Publico (top) and Carlo Riva Marina (bottom)

The town and harbour of Rapallo lie in a sheltered position at the head of a small gulf, which has one of the most benign climates along the whole of the Ligurian coast of Italy. This accounts for its popularity with wealthy Italians living in NW Italy, whose opulent villas line the hills behind the town. Famous residents attracted by the mild winters and scenic hinterland include the American poet Ezra Pound and the English writer Max Beerbohm. Rapallo has its place in history, too, as the venue for the signing of a peace treaty between Italy and the future Yugoslavia in 1920, which defined the borders between the two nations, and a similar treaty between the Russians and Germans in 1922, which lasted until the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941. The attraction for yachtsmen here is the sheltered harbour and its Carlo Riva Marina, which offers a useful alternative to the frenetically busy harbour of Portofino four miles to the S.


British Admiralty
1998 - Nice to Livorno


The prevailing winds along the western part of the Ligurian coast during the summer are a SW or SE seabreeze, which rarely gets up much above force 4-5. Along the eastern part of the coast, the winds tend to come more from W or NW and are again usually little more than moderate. While infrequent, gales are not unknown during the spring and early summer and are typically caused by depressions further west in the Golfe du Lion which bring strong N winds as they move further E. In winter, the tramontana, a strong N wind off the Alps, is more frequent, although the libecchio is a strong SW wind that can affect the whole of the Ligurian coast and blow for several days, causing heavy seas.

Sources for weather forecasts:

  • There is a continuous (computerised voice) weather forecast on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on VHF coastal stations following a notification on channel 16
  • Navtex weather forecasts are broadcast from stations at La Garde (Toulon), Roma and Cagliari (Sardinia)


Popular passages/routes, timing, etc.




Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The harbour of Rapallo lies at the head of the Golfo Marconi four miles N of Capo Portofino. The harbour breakwaters and a castle situated on the shore at the N end of the bay are conspicuous in the approach. Entry is from N around the L-shaped outer breakwater.


There are two basins in Rapallo harbour, the Porto Publico to the N and the Carlo Riva Marina to the S. In effect, the Porto Publico is invariably full of local craft and is, in addition, rather shallow. Visiting yachts normally berth in the Carlo Riva Marina, where there are 400 berths for yachts up to 45 metres on three piers and the breakwater quays. It gets very busy here during the July and August peak season.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs


  • In settled weather a yacht can anchor off the beach at the head of the bay, clear of the small craft moorings. Depths here are 3.0 - 5.0 metres and the bottom is mud. Shelter is good from all directions except S and SE.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


In Carlo Riva Marina.

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

In Carlo Riva Marina.

Things to do Ashore


The town and waterfront of Rapallo, while not as picturesque as Portofino, are most attractive. At the northern end of the bay is the impressive Castello sul Mare (castle on the sea), built in the 16th century to protect the harbour from pirate incursions. A cable car runs up to the top of the mountain of Montallegro, where there is a 16th century sanctuary commemorating a sighting of the Virgin Mary in 1557. The hinterland is green and mountainous and there are some lovely walks in the Parco Naturale Regionale di Portofino of which Rapallo is part. The philosopher Friedrich Nietsche is said to have conceived the idea for his monumental work Also Sprach Zarathustra while walking here.

Castello sul Mare, Rapallo
Shrine of Montallegro, Rapallo

Grocery & Supply Stores

  • Good shopping for provisions in the town.
  • Excellent farmers market on Thursdays.


Numerous trattorias and bars along the waterfront.


In Carlo Riva Marina.


Motorbike & Car Rentals

Rental outlets in the town.

Garbage Disposal

In Carlo Riva Marina.



Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


References & Publications

See Italy.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Rapallo and this page's details validated:

  • Data compiled from web research (please update if possible)--Athene of Lymington 11:51, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

This page has an outline in place but needs completing. Please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to suggest further content or alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

SailorSmiley.gifContributors to this page

Names: Lighthouse, Athene of Lymington

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