Top 10 things to see in La Spezia

Sit tight dear reader, we're about to embark on a captivating journey to La Spezia, a vibrant, sun-kissed gem nestled on Italy's Ligurian coast. This city is more than just a pit stop on your way to Cinque Terre or Portovenere, it's a melting pot of mesmerizing seascapes, chic eateries, and outstanding museums. So hoist the anchor, adjust your sun hat and let’s set sail!

Coastal city cinque terre

Things to do

  1. Castello San Giorgio: Start your voyage at the elegant Castello San Giorgio. Its towering walls whisper tales from the 14th century, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city's rooftops and the tantalizing turquoise shimmer of the Ligurian Sea beyond. Just remember, the hike up to the castle can be a bit steep, so comfortable shoes are a must!

  2. CAMeC - Modern and Contemporary Art Center: Art lovers, brace yourselves! La Spezia's CAMeC is a treasure trove of modern and contemporary art, boasting an array of evocative works from notable Italian and international artists. It's a feast for your artistic senses

  3. Naval Technical Museum: A tribute to La Spezia's maritime heritage, this museum is a must-visit. Browse through the meticulously restored boat models, a submarine, and a wide collection of naval artillery. A reminder, though, it's closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

  4. Wander the La Spezia Historic Center: Spend a leisurely afternoon strolling through the vibrant streets of 'Centro Storico'. Colorful facades, charming boutiques, aromatic boulangeries, and the bustling Piazza Sant'Agostino create an enchanting urban tapestry that’s nothing short of a delight!

Things to see

  1. Church of Santa Maria Assunta: Nestled in the heart of La Spezia, the church has an impressive façade and a beautiful interior with ornate frescoes. Be respectful of the ongoing services, and make sure to dress appropriately when visiting.

  2. Market Day in Piazza Cavour: Engage your senses at the local market! Held each morning in Piazza Cavour except Sundays, you'll find an array of local delicacies, fresh fruits and vegetables, and various regional crafts. And oh, don’t forget your reusable bag!

  3. Explore the Museo Amedeo Lia: Located in a former convent, the Museo Amedeo Lia houses a collection of more than fourteen centuries of art. Ranging from Roman glass and Sienese gold-work to Renaissance paintings, it's an art aficionado's paradise.

  4. Walk the Promenade: Enjoy a tranquil sunset stroll along the scenic harbor adorned with palm trees noticing the hues of pink and purple paint the sky with their soft edge of romance. Gelato in hand, sea breeze in your hair - it doesn't get more Italian than that!

  5. Eat at La Pia Centenaria: When in La Spezia, forget your diet for a day and head to La Pia Centenaria for the divine experience of the local delight Farinata – a thin, crispy chickpea pancake. Your tastebuds will thank you!

  6. A word of caution, though! Be wary of random parking locations. Certain areas of La Spezia are only allowed for locals or require special permits, and the fines can hit you hard! The city is straightforward to navigate on foot or by public transport, so save those Euros for some extra gelatos!

Restaurant Recommendation

A restaurant with reasonable prices and local clientel we alway return to whenever we're in La Spezia is All'Inferno. You descend below the ground to some pretty darned good Ligurian cooking. Via Lorenzo Costa, 3 near the market. Closed Sunday. Tel: 0187.29458, it's always crowded at lunch time.

Buon viaggio, dear readers, as you embrace the vibrant and rustic charm of La Spezia!

Getting Around

Boats from the port of La Spezia to to Portovenere and the Cinque Terre from Saturday 27th March 2010 until the 1st of November.

There is a bike sharing service called Spezia-in-bici, where you can rent a bicycle for a time period.

Getting Around: La Spezia - Lunigiana - Gulf of the Poets expertly describes ways to get from here
to there in the La Spezia, Portovenere, Lerici, Ameglia, and Sarzana area.