Town of Liguria placed not far from ‘Tuscany’; it is situated on the coast of the gulf which has the same name. Today in La Spezia you can find several tourist offerings linked to the sea, the gulf and the nearby villeges of the ‘Cinque Terre’ and the surroundings. Both the recent remaking of the historic centre and new-opened museums offer the tourist important cultural routes.
Itineraries & Tours
The gulf of La Spezia
It’s also know as ‘Golfo dei Poeti’, because its beauty was praised by famous poets such as Shelley and Byron who lived here for months, charmed by the sea, the wonderful coast and the neighbouring villages. In the west you can find Portovenere and the islands of Palmaria and Tino and the territory of Tramonti leading to ’5 Terre’; in the east Lerici with its medieval castle and the rocky promontory of Montemarcello with its small bays.
A fishermen village placed in the far east of the gulf of La Spezia at the bottom of a hill full of small villages and villas. This sea village is a maze of small squares and tiny streets. The ancient name ‘portus illycis’ may come from the greek word ‘iliakos’ wich makes us think that Lerici was founded by a group of Trojan exiles.
Portovenere praised since 1338 by F. Petrarca is a dream village made up of a group of house shaped like yellow, pink or grey towers in a row along the quay. On the top of the promontory overlooking the sea there is the small church of San Pietro built on the ruins of a early Christian church.
It’s the biggest of 3 isles of the gulf devided from Portovenere by a short channel. Pamaria island, wonderful natural park rich of beaches and rocks, is crossed by paths ideal for trips in nature. The trip that you can’t miss is the one from Terrizzo climbing the XIX century Forte umberto I and going down to the beach of Pozzale as far as the point of Carlo Alberto, opposite St. Pietro in Portovenere.
Thanks to the beauty surroundings its small villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso) and the blue sea 5 Terre have become possessions of UNESCO. They are parts of a natural land and sea park with flora and fauna protected this is also known as the ‘trecking paradise’.
Lively and colourful seaside resort in summer, in winter silence is broken only by the noise of the waves smashing against the rocks. The oldest part of the village goes back to the XIV century; while the external area goes back to the second half of the XIX century. From the Cerricò hill, where you can see the ruins of a XII century castle, you can have a wonderful view.
The second village in 5 Terre is linked to Riomaggiore by the wonderful path know as ‘Via dell’Amore’. It is carved in the rock over the cliffs. Every year at Christmas on the hill at the back of the village, the inhabitants prepare a ‘presepe’, where the characters, hand made, are lit shapes visible only after sunset.
It differs from the other 4 villages of ‘Cinque Terre’ because it is the only village that does not look on to the sea. Indeed it is situated on a 100 meters high promontory surrounded by the typical terraced veneyards. To get to Corniglia you have to go up a long fly of 337 steps knows as ‘Lardarina’ or to walk along the street that links Corniglia to the railway station. Corniglia ia also well known for one of its beautiful beaches, Guvano, that is the meeting point of nudists.
Vernazza is not only the goal of tourists interested in the natural beauties. Many painters have tried to portray and to depicts its wonderful landscape. It is characterized by the guard towers testifying the importance of the village when Genova was powerful over the sea. The houses are built on a tongue of rock leaning out to the sea like the bow and the forecastle of a vessel.
It is the most western village of the 5 Terre. It’s placed in the middle of a natural gulf and it is protected by an artificial reef. In the west of the village, behind the ‘Colle dei cappuccino’, there is the built up area of Fegina that is the expansion of the old sea village. Compared to the other 4 villages, Monterosso is a very lively village. It is the most visited one by the inhabitants of La Spezia and the nearby small towns. It is indeed a tourist and seaside resort in summer, a Sunday destination in week when nothing can be compared to the mistery and charm of the rough sea.