Together with the 16th-century Castle of Santa Margherita Ligure, located to the west, and the Castle-on-the-Sea from Rapallo, to the east, Castello di Punta Pagana it was part of a defense system built by the Republic of Genoa for the protection of the coast and villages on the western part of the Gulf of Tigullio.
The construction work of the fortress started in April 1625, comissioned by the Republic of Genoa and the municipalities of Rapallo, Recco, Chiavari, Moneglia and Sestri Levante. The structure became necessary due to the open hostility between the Genoese republic and Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy, Duke of Savoy, and for the fear of a possible attack by sea.
The works were carried out quickly and, by December 1625, the structure was almost finished. In 1627, the moat with the drawbridge was completed and three years later, on July 1631, the fortress was placed under the service of the Republic of Genoa.
Although the fortress was equipped with weapons, ammunition and gunpowder necessary for a sudden attack, it never suffered an aggression from pirates or enemy soldiers. In 1644, the Genoese senate took the decision to abandon the castle and send all the military equipment to Genoa.
The fortress was later garrisoned by local soldiers and became the seat of the Health Commissariat of Rapallo. In 1684, after the naval bombardment of Genoa by the French fleet, the castle was rearmed. Fortunately, an attack did not occured.
Castello di Punta Pagana was definitively abandoned in 1705, and in the following centuries it became a private property. In 1959, the last owner of the estate donated, through his will, the entire complex consisting of the villa, the garden and the fortress to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
HOW TO GET THERE
Unfortunately, the castle can not be visited, but it can be admired from the sea. If you take the boat to Santa Margherita Ligure or Portofino, you will pass near the Punta Pagana and the castle.