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The town of Rapallo offers some truly breathtaking buildings and museums that reveal the region’s rich historic past.
Guarding the shore of the city is the Castle, which dates to the 16th century. It was used to defend the town from pirate raids. Damaged over time it is only a shadow of its former self yet remains an imposing guard over the town’s coastline. The castle originally had two floors, including an upper firing position, and the walls are nearly two meters thick in some parts with firing holes designed for canons and other small arms. The castle was upgraded and renovated in the 17th century and improved battlements were added. This fortress, which today is open as a museum was used as the estate of the Captain of Rapallo during the late Middle Ages. It was converted to civil use, and used as a warehouse for many centuries. Since 1964 it has been restored and is open to the public.
The Villa Casale houses the International Library and the Museo del Pizzo del Tombolo, or as it is often called the Lace Museum. Numerous exhibits include examples of local craftworks, tapestries and other items. Built in the 17th century the building has been owned by the town since the 1970s and makes for a most fascinating of museums. The close by Villa Porticciolo is another Renaissance villa, which was built at roughly the same time. Today it is part and serves as a small museum.