La Spezia2020-04-24T17:16:12+02:00

La Spezia

La Spezia is a town of the Eastern Ligurian Riviera, a tourist destination par excellence which has recently become a cruise port. It overlooks the Ligurian Sea and borders to the west with the Region of Tuscany and the mouth of the River Magra.

With the Apuan Alps as spur, the town is situated right in the centre of a Gulf that bears the same name, known also as “The Gulf of Poets”, close to the Cinque Terre and its Natural Park , which is a Unesco location near many other areas which are part of the World Heritage, such as Portovenere and its islands, Lerici, the beaches of San Terenzo and the historic town of Sarzana.
La Spezia is a province made up of different areas, facing the pier, with a modern waterfront and hills at the back, that climb towards the panoramic state road.

A town of “wide roads, tall and yellow houses”, as Ernest Hemingway once wrote, that started its life as an ancient seaside village and then has become a pole of international importance for every kind of tourism.
Its typical winding alleys and the architecture of the past, can be found in the buildings facing the seafront promenade, Passeggiata Morin, which is not far from the Navy Arsenal.



The history of La Spezia is rich and certainly much older compared to many other towns that are along the coast, we can say unique in its kind.
As regards the name of the town, there are several opinions about it, the historians believe that it was probably for its hospital role, but perhaps because of its trades and the salt tax, which was a basic necessity in the houses of the aristocrats, as it was shipped throughout Europe.



When you stay in La Spezia, you should not forget about the inland. Worth to mention are the historic gardens, open to the public, a small botanical garden located in the town centre, behind the historic centre of via Chiodo, where there are benches for resting and admiring beautiful examples of the local flora, such as the scented cedars of the east. For those who don’t want to turn down the sea, Morin promenade is just there in front of you, there are kiosks and eateries in abundance, waiting for you.



In Piazza Giulio Beverini you can pay a visit to the church of Santa Maria Assunta, actually it is more like an abbey than a church. The church is probably the oldest religious building of La Spezia.
Even if it was bombed during the war, it was subsequently renovated and it hasn’t lost its Christian charm, with the typical Ligurian architecture, divided into wide naves with columns on both sides, and two smaller aisles, the outer cover is vaulted, with grey stones on top of the light yellow plaster, with the characteristic stripes.



The wide inlet that contains the Gulf of La Spezia, stretches from Lerici to Portovenere, the easy paths that run through the woods and the hills are worth seeing, and suitable also for families with children.
Near the Bothanical Park in Montemarcello or in the alleys of the villages located on the High path of the Ligurian Mountains, in La Serra or in Pignone, cycling or going along the paths by the sea, from Sarzana to Versilia it is possible to find relaxing moments for all tastes.



Like other Ligurian towns, the cuisine in La Spezia uses simple ingredients, and aromatic herbs. The main dressing is DOC olive oil, there are plenty of tasty wines, which are the symbol of the local microclimate: Cinque Terre Doc, Lievantu Doc, Vermentino Colli di Luni and Sciacchetrà from Riomagiore, a suitable wine for desserts. We suggest to taste it with a good trifle or in winter with a slice of delicious chestnut cake, castagnaccio.



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Explore the Gulf of Poets

The Gulf of La Spezia (Italian: Golfo della Spezia or Golfo dei poeti) is a body of water on the north-western coast of Italy and part of the northern Tyrrhenian Sea, specifically of Ligurian Sea. It measures some 4.5 (length) by 3-3.5 (width) kilometers.
The gulf is named for the Italian city of La Spezia, located at its middle point, which is also the main military and cargo port in the gulf, including several arsenals of the Italian Marina Militare. At the gulf extremities are the two tourist resorts of Lerici (western) and Porto Venere (eastern).
Islands in the gulf include Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto.
The poet and dramatist Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned in the gulf in 1822 due to a severe storm.