Locals refer to Italy’s Santa Margherita Ligure as “Santa.” You can travel the winding streets and hills between between Santa, Rapallo, and Portofino (or Porto) by car or motorcycle, though these streets become congested during the summer months. If you want to avoid the traffic in high season, you can travel from town to town by boat.
We also recommend staying at Hotel La Vela Castello, a modern-day castle perched high above the bustling port. The castle was built during the 19th century by a wealthy couple who wanted to live in a dwelling fit for royalty. A room will set you back between €80 and €99 a night.
Here’s a hint. Ask for the large honeymoon suite even if you’re not celebrating your nuptials. Said suite runs €99 a night and includes its own private wrap-around balcony. We were tempted, while staying in this room, to perform a soliloquy from Romeo & Juliet.