This port town exudes energy with a busy harbor and streets buzzing with local activity. It’s also home to places of historic and cultural interest.
Hop off the tourist trail and experience the lively atmosphere of this busy La Spezia. Visitors use this naval city as a gateway to the picturesque villages of the Cinque Terre coast. A pretty harbor, art nouveau-style villas, appealing museums and interesting churches also make La Spezia a worthy destination on its own.
The city is in an attractive setting, situated between the olive tree-strewn hills of the Ligurian Apennines and the deep blue waters of the Gulf of La Spezia. It is easy to navigate the city on foot as it has a pedestrianized grid system. Head to the deep-water harbor and watch the ferrymen, fishermen and tourists dock at the bustling port. Then stroll along the palm-fringed promenade for views of the beautiful craggy coast.
La Spezia has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with evidence of Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman settlements in this area. Learn about its varied history at the town’s museums. Examine historical artifacts at Castello San Giorgio and Museo Civico Etnografico Giovanni Podenzana or educate yourself on its naval heritage at Museo Tecnico Navale.
Wind your way through the narrow lanes of La Spezia’s Old Town to discover several sacred buildings including Cattedrale di Cristo Re, the Church of Santi Giovanni e Agostino and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. The latter is home to an impressive array of renowned religious artworks.
Art lovers should also pay a visit to the popular Museo Civico Amedeo Lia to admire fine Renaissance pieces from Tintoretto, Titian and others. Stop in the covered market at Piazza Cavour to pick up snacks or supplies for dinner.
Take the train or drive from major Italian cities to reach La Spezia. Leave your car here and continue to Cinque Terre for a daytrip or longer visit with a regional hike-and-ride rail trip year-round or passenger ferry in the summer.
With great museums and an exciting urban ambience, La Spezia is a perfect destination for those seeking an authentic experience of Mediterranean life.