IY1MR Rapallo, Italy

On the Italian Riviera at about 32 Km south east from the city of Genoa, is located Rapallo (locator JN 44 OI).

Rapallo is a beautiful tourist seaside resort. Since the last century it has been considered a fashionable holiday centre where a lot of people like to spend the coldest part of winter thanks to its mild climate.

Guglielmo Marconi spent times in the Tigullio Gulf , also called Marconi Gulf in his Honour. Here he accomplished several important experiments.

It is for this reason that in our territory every town and place has a road, a place, a school named after him. As an example, our Club bears his name.

We hams are very proud of that, and spend a lot of time to honour him.

Every year the International Marconi Day (I.M.D.) gives us this opportunity, as it allows us to let people come to know our activities. We also bring radio to people not aware of our hobby. To be more effective, last year on I.M.D. we brought our equipment in our city’s places and put a radio station on operation on the sidewalks, where people could see our activities and our links. It was a success and it arose interest in the public- we will therefore repeat this operation this one and the following years.

All stations that will come into contact with us should therefore know that not only they will receive our QSL card, but they will be part of that “ham spirit” that we want to pass to those people not yet aware of our radio activity.

For those who do not know Guglielmo Marconi’s work in the Tigullio Gulf, here is a brief summary of his achievements:



His boat Electra comes to Santa Margherita and is moored before Hotel Laurin. Marconi begins his experiments with microwaves between the boat (that is cruising on the sea) and land.


Marconi, together with Dr. Mathieu, a technician, shows to the public some experiments with microwaves from Villa Repellini (in Santa Margherita on the road leading to Portofino) to Sestri Levante (some 18 km. away); he uses wavelengths of 50 cm. and rigs built by the Marconi Factories in Genoa. The signals are received very clearly and with a good strength.


Marconi uses wavelengths of 10, 20, 30 and 40 cm. from Villa Repellini to Villa Gualino, on the hills above Sestri Levante.


Marconi presents the technicians of Marconi Company the results of the experiments he is doing in the Tigullio Gulf.


Marconi, Adm. Pession, Dr. Gorio and Dr. Mathieu pay visit to the Santa Margherita Mayor, and together go to Levanto where more experiments are under way.


Mayor Devoto cables Marconi in Rome- “On behalf of Santa Margherita, proud to have been chosen by Your Excellency as field of the new very important experiments with ultra-shortwaves, I send you my admiration and deep thank. Regards”. To whom Marconi cabled back-“I thank you and Santa Margherita ‘s people for the kind expressions sent to me in your telegram”.


Marconi is once more in the Tigullio Gulf to prove the new rigs build in the laboratory of Elettra in autumn of 1931 and show the possibility to conduct radio speech on the same wavelength in either direction and at the same time. High military officers, technicians and experts are present. The transmission is made between Santa Margherita (Villa Repellini) and Sestri Levante (Villa Gualino) and is ruled as a success, though the British carrier Clorious is of some hindrance. The carrier’s captains excuses himself and invites on April 16 Marconi and his wife for a lunch on board.


The boat Elettra leaves Santa Margherita for Sestri Levante where it will stay for a few days for some experiments: from there it will sail to Rome and will be eventually back in Santa Margherita.


Marconi arrives in Santa Margherita to continue his experiments on the ultra-shortwaves. The boat Elettra is moored before the Miramare Hotel on whose terrace the rigs for the short waves experiments are put, experiments that are a continuation of those made two years earlier.


Between Aug. 2 and 8 Marconi experiments between Miramare Hotel in Santa Margherita and the Elettra some 150 km. away at sea transmission of radio and telegraphic signals with 55 and 60 cm. wavelengths, from an high of 38 metres above sea level.


In Santa Margherita rigs are put down and shipped to Rocca di Papa near Rome, from thence on to Sardinia to be installed on Mount Figari.


Dr. Mathieu is back in Santa Margherita in Miramare Hotel, just a few days before Marconi’s arrival.


Marconi, after a check on the instruments at Villa Gualino in Sestri Levante, reaches Santa Margherita to prepare the rigs on Miramare Hotel’s terrace. The experiments are made in a triangle between the boat Elettra, Miramare Hotel and Villa Gualino in Sestri Levante, while another link is made later with the station in Sardinia.


Marconi experiments the “Marconi beacon” before technicians and officers of the Italian and British Fleets and journalists. He proves a directive radiotelegraphic transmission by linking his boat Elettra and the land stations in Santa Margherita and Sestri Levante. He shows how it is possible to lead a boat in fog or leading it inside a crowded port avoiding obstacles, by using only radio waves. The experiments go on until the 30th, with 63 c. waves. This is the basis of present days’ radar.


Marconi takes his beacon in Sestri Levante to a new location and places it at a 90 m. high on sea level.


Marconi moves his experiments to higher locations, and chooses Rapallo’s hills, near Montallegro Shrine. The transmitting station is put inside a cabin near the top of Mount Rosa, at 680 metres on sea level, while the receiving one is on the slopes of Mount Burrone, some 10 kilometres from Livorno, not far from Montenero Shrine (200 metres above sea level). With his experiments Marconi wants to test the possibility to transmit a good average of energy with reflectors, and show that ultra-short waves are not hindered by bad weather.


Marconi is back in Rapallo. During July-September he is after some experiments that are at the core of television transmission. In particular he is pursuing the elimination of the “double image” in the reflection of radio waves. On Mount Rosa, linked with the boat Elettra and Mount Burrone in Tuscany, the scientist makes several experiments linked with this problem, that goes on for the whole Summer. A few years ago a plate was placed just behind Montallegro Shrine on the path leading to Mount Rosa. It reads:



Marconi is once more in the Tigullio Gulf. His boat Elettra is moored in Santa Margherita until November.


On November 11 and 12 Marconi makes a telephone conversation between the Elettra, the city of New York and two planes flying over New York itself.