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Rapperswil, Switzerland

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Lying 37km south of Zürich, the small lakefront town of Rapperswil repays a gentle afternoon's exploration and makes a pleasant day trip out of the city. Avoid the modern part of town and lose yourself in the quiet Old Town alleys, which weave around and between a succession of plazas. Prettiest is Fischmarktplatz, not least because it's open to the lake, lined with terrace cafés and has a shaded promenade alongside a little marina. A lane or two back is a Capuchin monastery dating from 1597, with, beside the main gate, a delightful walled rose-garden – one of a handful around town …
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