A grand dame in the Belle Epoque seaside holiday tradition, the Excelsior Palace opened in Rapallo in 1901 as one of the Riviera di Levante’s most celebrated society haunts. It’s home to Italy’s first casino and the filming location of Battesimo di Nave, one of the first movies shot outdoors. During the jet set’s heyday, Rapallo and the Excelsior welcomed international royalty and the glitterati to its opulent rooms and private beach, the likes of Rita Hayworth and the king of Jordan hobnobbing over Aperol spritzes on the seafront terrace. Nowadays, the casino is gone, but the movie stars and cognoscenti on holiday return, attracted by the old world glamour of the hotel’s soaring columns and arched windows, panoramic Tigullio Gulf views from private balconies, yacht club–style bars, and the decadent health-and-fitness club with spa treatments. After all, the Excelsior doesn’t need to be cutting-edge anymore. A stay here takes you back to a bygone era, where boat excursions and afternoon aperitivos are de rigueur. Just don’t forget the fedora and oversize sunglasses.