Words by Carla Passino

A handful of luxurious villas and panoramic apartments are available for sale in one of the few new-builds to be allowed on the Ligurian hills above Rapallo

Cream, pink, yellow, the graceful turn of the century palazzos that line the Rapallo seafront are a splash of delicate colour against the azure waters of the Ligurian sea on one side and the dark green of soaring hills on the other.
Situated just 15 minutes away from Portofino, Rapallo is a thriving market town which hugs the Tigullio gulf like a horseshoe. Once a medieval borgo, it grew enormously in the early 20th century, when it became the summer playground of the Edwardian beau monde—Ezra Pound, Oscar Kokoschka and Max Beerbohm all spent time here, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor often came on holiday. After the Second World War, the town saw another growth spur, but in recent years it has had a shortage of new builds, partly because of its geography—like much of Liguria, Rapallo is caught between sea and mountains—and partly because of the strict planning controls in force throughout the region.
One exception is the Paxin development, a new complex which is being built on the hills above Rapallo, just one kilometre away from the Golf Club (http://www.golfetennisrapallo.it), with its 18-hole course, practice ranges, putting green and tennis courts, and two kilometres from the Yachting Club and the harbour, which has 400 boats and 500 berths for public use.
Paxin is one of the very few new builds to be allowed locally. It is small, with only ten properties to be completed this summer.
The homes are set among olive groves and fruit trees, and enjoy far-reaching views over the lush Ligurian countryside. Among them are the four independent apartments of the newly released Pini complex, which have two and three bedrooms and range in size from 80 to 110 square metres. All have private gardens.
Larger homes are available in the Aranci neighbourhood, including the luxurious Villa Est, a 145 square metre home with four bedrooms, a large panoramic terrace and private garden. The villa also had an additional 65 square metre area in the lower ground floor that can be developed into hobby room or wine cellar. As for the interiors, buyers who reserve their unit early can customise layouts and finishings of both villas and apartments.
To reduce the impact on the environment, all homes have solar powered hot water. Buyers also have access to a swimming pool which is situated in the communal gardens.
Prices start from €280,000 and go up to €865,000 for the Villa Est. For more information contact Italian Property Online on +44  (0)161 499 7879 or www.italianpropertyonline.com.