Golfo dei Poeti
"...on some days the sea is like a garden in bloom. The wind carries messages. Venus is reborn from the gusts of the “maestrale”.... "
"...on some days the sea is like a garden in bloom. The wind carries
messages. Venus is reborn from the gusts of the “maestrale”. O churches
of Liguria, like ships ready to be launched! " Vincenzo Cardarelli
“The most beautiful gulf in the universe" according to Napoleon Bonaparte
At the beginning of the 19th century Napoleon had already foreseen the military potential of the gulf, where he planned to build a fortified defensive system. This idea was revived and carried out by the Savoia family. In 1869, after eight years of work, the Arsenal, a vast military structure, was inaugurated. Its scope was the construction of ships for the newly united state of Italy. After the construction of the Arsenal, the historical city centre was enlarged and modified, creating a city within the city. The surface area was enormous, with kilometres and kilometres of streets. .Thousands of people lived and worked within the town walls. Over the years the Arsenal became an integral part of the urban, industrial and historical reality of La Spezia.
The Gulf of Poets is a small area located along the Mediterranean coast. It holds the secrets of many poets and artists who came to live here. Shelley, Lord Byron, Wagner and Montale have all been inspired by the beauty and the romantic scenery of La Spezia, Lerici, Portovenere and the small cliff top villages facing the sea. The towns and villages of the gulf are all popular tourist destinations, thanks to their enchanting atmosphere.
Few words describe the exceptional beauty which travellers find when visiting La Spezia. The wide streets and bright seafront houses are surrounded by palms and gardens. However, it isn't easy to discover the essence of the city and its intimate hidden part.
Lerici “The Pearl of the Gulf
Lerici is a true jewel. It is set in one of the most beautiful bays of the Ligurian Riviera. It is a legendary land, founded by Hercules, who called it Erice in honour of the goddess. Lerici is a fascinating town, which offers natural beauty and interesting historical monuments.
During the summer season, some of the most important poets and contemporary writers come here.
Today Lerici is a small exclusive tourist centre, which preserves its history intact.
Portovenere and its Archipelago
Portovenere is perhaps the most fascinating and brightest pearl of the Gulf of La Spezia. It is a unique and beautiful town, very different from the other seaside towns along the Riviera. The most enchanting way to see Porto Venere is to approach it by sea, rounding the small peninsula on which stands the romantic church of San Pietro. However, the road which arrives in Porto Venere from La Spezia also offers beautiful views. There is a small archipelago composed of three tiny islands: Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto in front of Portovenere. These tiny islands have been part of the Regional Park since 2001.