La Spezia is a city in the heart of the Gulf of La Spezia in the Liguria region of Italy, and is the primary deep water harbor in the area. Its rustic, coastal location has national park status, is filled with traditional fishing villages, incredible coastal paths and unforgettable scenery. If you are looking from a relaxing and culturally immersive Italian experience, there are a number of exciting things to see in La Spezia, Italy. Check out our list of the top things to do in La Spezia, Italy.
The Cinque Terre National Park
Enjoy the scenic coastal walking paths throughout the Cinque Terre–a national park made up of five small fishing villages–Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, that have been dug into the cliff sides. Take to one of the many beautiful 15th Century coastal paths, such as Via dell’Amore (Lover’s Lane)–which was sadly shut down after an avalanche but is scheduled reopen this year–and enjoy exploring the quaint Italian villages. Particularly the village of Monterosso al Mare (the largest of the five villages) with its historic old town, modern new town, beautiful beaches and the pastel covered Vernazza, with its picture-perfect harbor. On this hidden network of routes discover small beaches of your own, small quaint villages, olive groves, vineyards, and beautiful views over the Mediterranean. Note that you do have to pay a toll to take the walk, invest in a Cinque Terre Card for your stay as will work out cheaper and allow you to take in all of the villages in the park.
Visit the medieval Castello di San Giorgio
The 14th Century Castle of St. George was built by the Gonzago family as part of the Ducal Palace, the Palazzo Ducale di Mantova. With its frescoes, towers, and drawbridge, the Castle is set on the top of the Poggio hill-top, so be prepared for a steep walk–but it’s well worth it! Inside the Castle you will find the Ubaldo Formentini Archaeological Museum, with Medieval, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age artifacts. The Castle also has great views over the Gulf of Poets, where some of the most famous poets of all time have resided, including Lord Byron, Dante and Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Wine tasting in Chianti
The Chianti wine district is just a short drive from La Spezia and is well worth the trip. Chianti is the oldest of Italy’s wine regions, and it’s also one of the most beautiful. You can organize this trip yourself, but it’s sometimes easier to pay a little extra for a chauffeured tour from La Spezia through the Chianti region, and enjoy organized wine tasting and samples of other local produce. Many organized tours also include trips to Pisa, famous for its leaning tower, and the fort town of Lucca, all in one day. Most of the tours will meet at La Spezia shore.
The Museo Amedeo Lia
The museum of fine art in La Spezia is one of the city’s star attractions. Set in a restored 17th-century friary, the Museo Amedeo Lia includes paintings by masters like Tintoretto, Montagna, Titan and Pietro Lorenzetti, as well as Limoges treasures. The gallery has over 1,500 pieces dating from the 13th to the 18th Century – and includes exhibits such as pottery, ceramics, bronze, enamels and sculptures.
The Museo Tecnico Navale
As a large and important port, and base for the Italian Navy, the Museo Tecnico Navale (Technical Navel Museum) offers you the chance to learn about the city’s marine history. The naval history of the region dates back to 1570, and the museum history features a collection of underwater weapons, arms, naval houses, and World War II ships.
The Villages in the Gulf of Poets
La Spezia’s attraction might be well known as the Cinque Terre, but the underestimated villages in the Gulf of Poets are arguably equally as spectacular. Famous for being the home to a number of famous poets, including Shelley, Byron and Dante, the gulf is renowned for its incredible seafood restaurants, villages and beaches. Be sure to check out the eastern town of Lerici, an ancient city and Roman port that was home to Mary Shelley and D.H. Lawrence in the early 19th Century, and the medieval village of Portovenere. The gulf also has some great beaches, especially the Ciccillo a Mare and the Venere Azzurra that offer water sports for the adventurous traveler.
The Waterfront and Public Gardens
Walk along the Passeggiata Morin from the Molo Italia pier to the Porto Mirabello (where some of the most incredible yachts in the world are), and take in the Italian waterfront, one of La Spezia’s famous attractions. Then, across from the busy Viale Italia take a stroll in La Spezia’s public gardens, a unique feature within this Italian city. Built in the early 19th Century when the city’s medieval walls were removed, and feature a Garibaldi equestrian statue and a variety of plants.
Enjoying La Spezia with Auto Europe
When you’re ready to embark on the vacation of time and explore La Spezia, Italy, give Auto Europe a call, at 1-888-223-55555. Whether you need a luxury car rental in Italy, international airfare, or even hotel accommodations. With over 60 years as a travel industry leader, Auto Europe has worked hard to develop unique supplier relationships that allow us to pass on significant discounts to you.