Marilyn Geary

Journeys Illuminating the Old Ways

Marilyn Geary

2014 April Day20 Rapallo


No more schedules. No more rigid regimes. We are on our own, and left the flat about 9am to find some breakfast. Not far from the flat we found Canepa 1862, a cafe and pasticceria in business since 1862. A very good start to the day with coffee and delicate pastries.

But wait, there’s more. Just down the street, we saw a crowd formed outside a panificio. The focaccia was to die for. We only sampled the plain focaccia and must come back to Le Pellegrine for more varieties. Franca insisted on taking our photo instead of the other way around.

Plain, simple and delicious.

Rain began to come down in sheets, and many took refuge under the cover of Rapallo’s ancient arched gallery.

Once the rain stopped, the day became brilliantly sunny. We decided to take the funicular up to the Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montallegro, about 612 meters above sea level. This sanctuary enjoys a gorgeous setting high in the hills overlooking Rapallo.


On this spot in the 1500s, a shepherd saw the Madonna and was given instructions to memorialize her in this location. Over time the sanctuary has grown in importance.


Most moving are the over 3000 ex-votos, or offerings to the Madonna, for blessings received due to her intervention. Some are centuries old, others from the 21st century, but all thank the Madonna for her help.

After the rigorous jaunt up to Montallegro, we needed refreshment, and frigidarium was the place where we order coffee gelato. It seemed like the crowds just wouldn’t stop for the gelato, granita, and other goodies.




In the evening we sat by the tiny beach and watched the children play in the rocks. Kids here focus on Their smart phones, same as elsewhere.

We walked along the lungomare, with people strolling in the late afternoon sunlight or sitting on benches watching the crowd.

This afternoon we contacted our relatives and set up times to visit with them. We are very excited to get together with them once more after 20 years absence.


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