Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Rapallo's castle


More on Italy, indeed the bella Italia!. Rapallo is a town in northwestern Italy, on the Ligurian Sea in the Genoa Province. The have an old castle offshore. Click on pic to enlarge. Now, if what you want is a really big pic, then click here for one second, it's my new playground...





Since I am afraid you cannot read the information pictured above, I will "read" it for you, literally:

"Off the shore of Rapallo is its "castle", built in 1551- It is surrounded by water and was designed by Mastro Antonio Carabo to protect the town from raids by the Barberian pirates, following a particularly heavy raid in 1549.

The fortress is typical of this period- which marked the changeover from traditional weapons to firearms. This is shown by the rounded walls which could deflect the cannonballs that at that time had very little piercing power.

At first there were two storeys, the lower one for the dungeons and the one above with firing square. Built entirely in stone with walls that were over two meter thick, its only external openings were for the cannons, in all four directions, and pit holes with flaps for the dungeons. Living quarters were minimal and cramped.

At the beginning of the 1600's a further storey was added and the firing square was moved to the tops so that the cannons with their improved range could command over the seas. At the same time the handsome tower was built and embellished with ornamental battlements without emrasures. Shortly afterwards a small appartment was built for the "Captain of Rapallo". When the castle was no longer needed for defence it was converted to civil use. It was finally restored in 1964 "

As for the term "emrasures" I wrote visitscotland.com since they describe one of the hotels as "The wall is pierced by a central gateway and ten gun emrasures" and no on-line dictionary gave me any light on this. I will update this post as soon as I hear either from them or from you! The castle nowadays is used for painting exhibitions all year. We saw the interesting works of a local artist. And then we could just sit outside at the "Old Ice Cream Parlor" almost across the street to enjoy our drinks and goodies (they are served with your drinks. They didn't only offer ice-cream!). We watched the castle and people walk by. I loved it!


16 comments:

  1. Hi. What a beautiful castle. It looks like a fanastic place to visit. I love visiting castles and we have quite a few in the UK. This one looks very picturesque being next to the sea. Btw - I have been told by a friend that 'without embrasures' refers to the fact that there is nowhere for the castle defenders to stand behind the battlements.

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  2. I have just been off and done some research of my own. It appears that an 'embrasure' was the low segment of the alternating high and low segments of the battlements. In that case doesn't a battlement simply become a wall???? :0) Hope that helps!

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  3. i'm lovin' your new playground! :) wish it was me sitting there, having a cold drink with a gorgeous Italian view.... shall hang on to that thought.
    have a luuuuuvely day Señora Mar :)

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  4. Beautiful Castle....I remember seeing similar places in the South Of France...not castles, but Protective Forts...
    I think that word is the word for the place where they put the gun through--slender long openings..But, I could be waaaaaay off! (lol)
    Love those goodies at the Ice Cream Place...

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  5. A gorgeous place, Mar. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. That drink looks realy good. I'll have one now. Even if it is only 8 a.m. :)

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  7. That is so beautiful! I have always loved castles too. In fact when we are on vacation in Europe we tend to do castle tours.

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  8. aboslutely wonderful! and thanks for translating it for our appreciation! drinks and goodies afterwards must've capped your day perfectly! ;)

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  9. Oh, what an awesome castle! I really enjoyed reading its history very much! *s*

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  10. I love castles and lighthouses. They have such interesting history attached to them! Very nice picture you have there! And thanks to bob-kat we all now know what an embrasure is!!

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  11. Love castles and that is such a gorgeous photo of one....really enjoyed all the photos you've been sharing :)

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  12. I am loving all this travel without leaving my house !
    New Zealand is such a "young" country compared to most of Europe.
    Love the castle, my husband was just saying yesterday he really wants to get to Italy some day.
    Ciao Bella !
    (sorry my blog had not been updated in awhile and today I updated but with an old post urgh slacker lol)

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  13. Now this is a trip I would love to take! There's a castle here in Florida, in the town of St. Augustine, that was built in the 1600's. I believe they added a fort in the 1700's that reminds me of the one pictured here.

    Loved seeing the photos from this trip, especially since I've never been to Italy. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Oi - I love Italy. I wish I would have visited it when we were still living in Germany. Thank you much for sharing the history of the castle and the beautiful pictures :). I miss the ice cream palors though...Many in Germany too.

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  15. Oh what lovely photos! I love the castle. It looks like South America.

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