The Passeggiata dei Baci (Walk of Kisses) is an 8.5 km long route connecting the towns of Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure, Paraggi and Portofino, in Liguria.
The itinerary, in the section from Rapallo to Paraggi, runs along an almost flat path that skirts the coastline.
From Paraggi, on the other hand, the path climbs into the woods and, with a few slightly more demanding ups and downs, ends in the village of Portofino.
Along the way, the Walk of Kisses allows you to admire the beautiful eastern Ligurian Riviera, with its beaches and picturesque villages.
Walk of Kisses: itinerary from Rapallo to Santa Margherita Ligure
The first section of the Walk of Kisses goes from Rapallo to Santa Margherita Ligure and is about 3.5 kilometres long.
The walk begins on the Rapallo seafront, opposite the Castle.
It follows the promenade in a westerly direction, passing through the port of Rapallo and the hamlet of San Michele di Pagana, arriving in Santa Margherita Ligure in about an hour.
▶ If you want more information on Rapallo, you can look at this article.
Walk of Kisses: itinerary from Santa Margherita Ligure to Paraggi
The stretch from Santa Margherita Ligure to Paraggi is also approximately 3.5 kilometres long and can be walked without any particular difficulty.
You pass the picturesque village of Santa Margherita and its castle, arriving near the Covo di Nord Est, a famous meeting place for young people, in about half an hour.
From here, still skirting the coastline, along a route that gradually becomes more and more scenic, one arrives at the enchanting bay of Paraggi.
▶ If you want more information about Santa Margherita Ligure, you can look at this article.
Itinerary from Paraggi to Portofino
Once past the bay of Paraggi, take the path that climbs into the woods, opposite the historic Le Carillon restaurant.
The signs, however, are clearly visible.
The walk in this section is 1.5 kilometres long and takes half an hour to forty minutes in the shade of the trees.
Route is a little more eventful than the previous ones and, at one point, you have to cross the carriage road, but it does not require any particular effort.
N.B. We have seen several people reach Portofino along the asphalt road where the cars pass.
Personally, we recommend taking the road through the woods, which is a little longer but much safer as there is no pavement in the carriageway section.
Walk of Kisses ends in Portofino, near the Romanesque church of San Martino.
One descends a few more steps, finally arriving at the picturesque little square by the sea, with its colourful buildings framing the beach and moored yachts.
▶ If you want more information about Portofino, you can look at this article.
Advice with children
The itinerary is also easy for children as the path is mostly flat and never exposed.
Even the section in the forest has a minimal difference in height and the path is made up of stones and bricks, so a simple pair of sneakers is sufficient.
Just bear in mind that the distance is quite a lot as, between the outward and return journeys, you cover 17 kilometres.
If you want to walk it in its entirety, you could consider returning by bus or ferry.
On the first section of the path from Paraggi to Portofino, which is currently closed due to a landslide (November 2023), there is a children‘s play area.
How to get there and where to park
The solutions for walking the Walk of Kisses are many.
You can arrive by car and park in the main towns.
Or you can arrive by train, getting off at the Rapallo and Santa Margherita stations and continue on foot or by bus.
Along the entire route of the Walk of Kisses, you will find several stops (Line 782).
The last alternative is to arrive by ferry.
Where to park your car
The best (because cheapest) car parks where you can leave your car are those in Rapallo and Santa Margherita Ligure.
The price is around €2.50 per hour.
In both cases, you can look for a place either near the seafront or in the inner streets.
On the seafront, you also pay on public holidays.
Even in Paraggi and Portofino, you can find a few parking places (in Portofino there are only a few so head there by car only if you have found nothing else) but be prepared to pay a fee of €6.00 per hour.
How to get there by boat
The boat connects Genoa’s Porto Antico with the villages of Nervi, Camogli, Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino .
The ferry is very convenient both if you want to avoid taking the car and to return from the promenade in case you do not want to walk it again.
When to walk the Walk of Kisses
The Walk of Kisses is freely accessible all year round.
Thanks to the mild climate of the Ligurian Riviera, it can be walked even in the colder months.
However, I do not recommend the summer season because of the intense heat.
Remember that if the weather is unfavourable, the ship-bus (ferry) service is suspended.