Welcome to La Spezia, land of sailors, poets and writers. One of the most amazing and spectacular piece of Italy, absolutely to discover.
Here you can discover the wonderful Gulf of Poets, The Cinque Terre and a hinterland of hidden treasures.
La Spezia
La Spezia, photo by kappazeta, via Flickr


1. Best things to do in La Spezia (Liguria)

La Spezia enchants and fascinates tourists with bars and restaurants, from the most elegant ones in Porto Mirabello to the simple ones downtown. "Hell" is a small inn that serves local cuisine (mesciua soup, cereals, peas and beans) and local seafood. 

At the old pizzeria "La Pia" you can taste the tipical flat bread made of chickpea flour.

A must is a visit to the Archaeological Museum of the Castle of San Giorgio, where you can admire the bay and the city, a visit to the Museum of the Seal and one to the rich Naval Museum.

Portovenere and the villages of Cinque Terre were designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site
Portovenere, photo by Mathew Knott


2. The Cinque Terre and surroundings

What most strikes the visitor's eyes in this worldly paradise is the Riviera with the famous Gulf of Poets

Effigy earned from these places that have enchanted and bewitched dozens of storytellers and poets... today, an UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site.

Flying as a seagull all above Lerici, with its castle overlooking the sea, you can find Porto Venere, Palmaria island, Tino and Tinetto islands and the hidden gem Tellaro.

We recommend not to miss any of these beauties in Liguria, starting from Porto Venere: a lot of narrow streets filled with curious shops: here you can buy delicious pesto sauce or a slice of yummy stuffed cake (with pesto, soft cheese or bacon, let’s try "La Pitonetta"). A few hundred meters will be sufficient to be channeled into the old town and to find yourself in front of the Sanctuary of “Madonna Bianca”, an evanescent show that finds its best declination in August, lit by thousands of candles, to celebrate the "Madonna Bianca". The Sanctuary on one side overlooks the gulf of the port and on the other one overlooks the beautiful cave dedicated to Lord Byron, a charm that only pictures can tell. 

The beautiful Palmaria is accessible by boat, searching for unexpected and hidden corners. Tellaro, welcomes tourists with the faint sound of the waves dashed on the walls of the houses, the strong aromas and lemon trees. The church on the rock is a treat not to be missed going up and down the alleys. Let’s have a rest in Bar "La Marina", a breathtaking corner of the country.

Vernazza it's a village of Cinque Terre
Vernazza, photo by Carlos Mejía Greene


The Cinque Terre make up a separate chapter: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso, lapped by the hills and drawn by the sea. Ideal place for walkers who want to try the famous "Street of Love."

Last but not least, Ameglia, Sarzana, Bocca di Magra and Monte Marcello, in particular from Monte Marcello it is possible to climb down to two beaches Punta Corvo e Punta Bianca. The first walk is reserved to experienced trekker, but it reveals a caribbean sea…

Boiled pancakes is boiled pancakes, so to make this dish right you have to give the sauce 110%. Extra virgin olive oil (preferably from Liguria), genovese basil, pine nuts, garlic. Blended with mortar and pestle!
Testaroli with pesto, photo by Rowena, via Flickr

3. Tastes and local food

In La Spezia you can eat pesto souce, fresh fish, olive oil, testaroli and so on.

The local winemaking vocation is summarized in the rows of vineyards in the valley of the Magra. The wines of the Cinque Terre are simple but intense, with persistent aromas and fruity as Cinque Terre Sciacchetrà (DOC). Another local delicacy is the special olive oil that does not cover the flavors of the sea.

Taste stuffed mussels (mussels with a lot of delicious things inside) at the restaurant "The Mussel" La Spezia, you will be delighted.

Lovers Walk between Manarola and Riomaggiore
Lovers Walk, photo by Karin


4. Nature, sport and green itineraries

La Spezia offers to you everything you can dream about: nature in all its forms, from the mountains to the valleys, from the cliffs to the beaches.

Explore all of this is a privilege: starting from the Natural Park of the Cinque Terre and then go diving and snorkeling; actually, the depths of Liguria are charming and colorful. Animal lovers will find whales and sperm whales.

Back on land you can have a mountain bike tour in the middle of authentic and intact nature. Enjoy food and wine festivals, fairs and concerts, especially in summer, and do not miss the Octopus festival in Tellaro, the second week of August.


5. Where to stay in the city and surrounding

Discover all eco-friendly accommodations in the province of La Spezia, organic farms surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, or small B&B set in pastel-colored villages, beautiful camping or hotels overlooking the turquoise sea.

Discover all eco-friendly accommodations in La Spezia


Author: Angela Sebastianelli

Cover photo by sgirolimetto via flickr