What to visit when staying longer? The Gulf of Poets, a pearl of the eastern Liguria and a perfect excursion from the Cinque Terre.
Ci sia arriva con il battello per Porto Venere e prendendo successivi collegamenti via mare da lì, oppure raggiungendo La Spezia in treno e poi spostandosi con gli autobus cittadini o ancora con le autovetture elettriche a disposizione dei turisti in città. Il nostro consiglio è però, per un’esperienza veramente indimenticabile e su misura, è quello di organizzare una gita in barca personalizzata, contattando uno dei barcaioli elencati qui.
Not only poets
The Gulf of Poets is actually the Gulf of La Spezia, so named by the playwright Sem Bonelli who during the funeral of Paolo Mantegazza pronounced a historical phrase for those who live in this area: “Blessed you are, oh poet of science who rests in peace in the Gulf of Poets”.
Among the poets who loved and sang the gulf stand out George Sand and Alfred De Musset, David Herbert Lawrence, Emma Orczy, Montale, Petrarca, Marinetti, Soldati, D’Annunzio, Lord Byron, and Shelley, who drowned right in the gulf, sailing on board of his schooner, Ariel.
But the gulf was also drawn by great painters such as Turner and Botticelli, who painted here his Venus, Simonetta Cattaneo, loved by Lorenzo the Magnificent and lady of the villa of Fezzano, whose vestiges can be visited today.
A picturesque fishing village nearby Porto Venere, famous for the yards of traditional fishing boats, for the storage of historic Tall Ships and other prestigious sailing boats, for the archaeological park of the Varignano residential villa of Roman-era and for the homonymous bastion, once lazaret of the Republic of Genoa, later penal bath of the Kingdom of Sardinia and today seat of the Italian Navy’s “Incursors”.
An ancient village with an important history, Porto Venere is today one of the most renowned seaside villages in Liguria, with one of the most colorful and photographed Genoese palaced building and narrow alleyways that climb from the marina to get to the church of San Lorenzo and from there to the Castello Doria and its beautiful views. Love at first sight is usually the reaction when discovering the church of San Pietro, overlooking the sea.
A quelli che giungono dal mare appare nel lido il porto di Venere e qui
nei colli che ammanta l’ulivo è fama che anche Minerva scordasse per tanta dolcezza Atene
San Terenzo is a hamlet of Lerici and they are connected by the Vassallo seafront promenade. An ancient village where time seems to stand still and where the sea dominates unchallenged and marks the life of those who pass by. Its clear beaches are certainly the highlight of the village, but the castle built on the cliff, above the cave known as Tana dei Turchi, is also remarkable.
In the Middle Age and until the Baroque era Lerici was a very important port, from which goods and pilgrims left along the Via Francigena or towards northern Italy. The Jewish ghetto, the castle, the geo-paleontological museum, Villa Marigola with its park in a dominant position, and then the typical alleys and squares on the sea are simply very beautiful.
Fiascherino is a small corner of paradise, known above all for Caletta Lerici with its emerald green sea and a cliff of rare beauty.
Tellaro is a typical seaside village perched on the cliff, entirely pedestrianized, made up of staircases, and salty steep alleys impregnated with brackish. The medieval fortifications are still clearly visible: the walls to the north and the two towers of Pisan origin transformed respectively into the bell tower of the church of San Giorgio and into the town gate.
The islands in the Gulf of Poets
In front of Porto Venere there a lovely archipelago with the Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto islands.
La Palmaria è l’isola più grande della Liguria e offre un bel sentiero per il trekking nonché bellissimi punti panoramici sul tutto il golfo.
Tino is a military zone and can only be accessed on San Venerio, on 13 September, when the patron saint of La Spezia, protector of the lighthouse keepers, is celebrated.
Tinetto is a small spur of rock coming out of the sea, home to an ancient oratory whose ruins can be visited. Famous among sailors because a statue of the Madonna, the Stella Maris, was installed on its southern tip to signal an outcropping rock.
Also known as Torre di San Giovanni Battista, it is a pentagonal military building of the Republic of Genoa, built in 1606 on an islet in the heart of the Gulf of Poets. Defensive location of Palmaria together with the Cavour and Umberto I fortresses and the Batteria Semaforo.