La Spezia Area
Beaches overlooking a crystal-clear sea, set amidst enchanting landscapes, an artistic heritage that deserves to be discovered, small villages bearing witness to ancient traditions immersed in the green valleys: all this and more is the province of La Spezia.
One of the most beautiful stretches of the Ligurian Riviera is the Gulf of Poets. This area was named after poets and writers that described these breathtaking landscapes in their poems.
Craggy cliffs, thick pine forests, romantic inlets and beautiful shores draw the coastal landscape, with picturesque villages perched on the rock.
Real Estate Agency Immobiliare Porta Parma
The Immobiliare Porta Parma agency is located in the medieval town of Sarzana, right next to the city centre. It is 40 minutes by car or train from the International Airport of Pisa (Galileo Galileo) and 1 hour and half from Genoa Airport (Cristoforo Colombo). The international Airport of Florence is 110 km away. Milan is 250 km away and Nice is 300 km away.
Sarzana is surrounded by a lot of popular touristic destinations: Pisa (70 km), Lucca (60 km), Florence (110 km), Portofino (80 km), Rome (400 km), Monaco (280 km), and Venice (350 km).
Sea areas and more
Lerici, Porto Venere, and the Palmaria Island with the islets of Tino and Tinetto are the most prominent places, with La Spezia in the middle of the gulf. Continuing along the path, we encounter one of the most scenic locations in Italy – the Cinque Terre. Along with Portovenere, the UNESCO Committee has considered Cinque Terre to be recognized as a World Heritage Site for the breathtaking scenery- it is a truly natural work of art. Located one in front of another, Lerici and Portovenere are two unmissable towns.
Symbol of Lerici is the awe-inspiring Castle, one of the most interesting defensive constructions of Liguria, from which you can enjoy a marvelous view that extends to the Island of Palmaria. Narrow “carruggi” and steep stairways unravel between the picturesque houses of the ancient nucleus of Lerici.
Art, nature, and sea are the three elements that characterize Portovenere, with a small port located at the foot of the ancient village and steep steps that climb the walls of the promontory. The colours of the houses beautifully mix with the green of the Mediterranean. The small and renowned Church of San Pietro appears to be part of the rock that it is perched on amid the islets of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, which are part of the Regional Natural Park of Porto Venere.
Equally as charming are Ameglia, Tellaro, Bocca di Magra and Montemarcello. The sea, surrounding nature, history, and delectable cuisine undoubtedly characterize these fascinating places. Tellaro is counted as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and is recognized as “poetry written on the water”.
Art and history between Sarzana and Luni
Sarzana, where our agency is located, is a charming town that boasts significant monuments, such as the two Fortresses and the Cathedral and offers excitement. The city is infact enlivened by festivals that promote local products and cultural events. One can enjoy a peaceful lifestyle in an environment that is both culturally and historically unique.
Next to Sarzana, you can admire the Guinigi tower, 33 m high, in the town of Ortonovo and Luni, one of the most important archaeological sites in Italy with the remains of the ancient Roman city.
The Cinque Terre National Park
Still in the Province of La Spezia are the five villages of Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. Each with their own natural and artistic treasures, they are unique places to discover.
On the last stretch of the coast of La Spezia you find Levanto, Bonassola, Framura and Deiva Marina. These lovely cities overlook the sea and have green hills behind them. They are all characterised by multicoloured houses clinging to the rock, terraces planted with vines and olive trees and cliffs bathed by a cobalt blue sea.
When you are surrounded by a landscape as beautiful as a painting, you know you are in the Cinque Terre National Park: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. You can get to these villages them through the paths that link them to each other. You can admire their treasures of art and history, discovering even the most hidden corners of these places, with vibrant colours and fresh scents of agaves, brooms, and mimosa.
La Spezia and its hinterland
The province of La Spezia is not solely defined by the sea. The hinterland has many treasures, including its green woods, rolling hills, and wide valleys marked by the rivers. Small medieval villages form an evocative landscape, rich in history and ancient tradition and removed from the noise of modernity, a place where people still love taking care of their land. This land returns the love with fruits rich in flavour, complementing the local cuisine.
Though the beauty of the coast and the seaside villages are, undoubtedly, the main attraction of the province, the town of La Spezia also has beautiful attractions. A walk along the promenade offers a beautiful panoramic view of the gulf dominated by the Apuan Alps. You can also admire the Gulf from the San Giorgio Castle, recently restored to house the Formentini Civic Museum with an interesting archaeological section. Other museums include the CAMeC – Modern and Contemporary Art Centre – which exhibits a rich collection linked to the main currents of the 20th century, and the Museo Civico Amedeo Lia with masterpieces by Sebastiano del Piombo, Tintoretto, Titian and Pontormo.
Once you pass the National Park of Cinque Terre, continuing the journey along the coast, you will find beautiful nature and pretty places equipped to offer every comfort. Known as the Valle dei Borghi Rotondi, Val di Vara is peppered with charming ancient villages where streets, squares, and houses are circled around the church or the castle, aligned with the typical medieval urban layout.
Limpid streams flow across the thick woods and green plains. The majestic castle in the town of Varese Ligure is placed around the church of San Filippo Neri and Santa Teresa D’Avila. The Cathedral of Brugnato, built on an ancient Benedictine settlement, is now visible through special windows.
Val di Magra is crossed by the river with the same name and offers a variety of different landscapes stretched between two mountain ranges. Typical of the medieval era, these ancient villages are scattered along this particular strip of the province that borders Tuscany.
What to do in the La Spezia area
The province of La Spezia is therefore a land where nothing is lacking: mountains, valleys, waterways, cliffs, beaches and the sea. There are countless ways to explore this province. It is difficult not to start with the sea, the dominant element of the landscape. So beautiful and precious that it is protected by the Protected Marine Area of the Cinque Terre National Park. Scuba diving, seawatching and snorkelling are three ways to discover the underwater treasures of this great marine heritage. Prairies of sea fans and posidonia, rocks and cliffs and sudden depths form the splendid seabed of this stretch of coastline, one of the most fascinating destinations for those who love to experience the sea in depth. Whales, dolphins and sperm whales in summer gather in the basin of the Cetacean Sanctuary, of which the Cinque Terre area is also a part. A whalewatching excursion is an educational and exciting experience for both adults and children, a way to get to know these marine giants up close and learn the rules of behaviour to be adopted to protect this precious environment and its inhabitants. The Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Path) is an itinerary that winds along the entire coast, joining Riomaggiore, Monterosso, Manarola, Corniglia and Vernazza. An opportunity not to be missed for those who love trekking and walking in contact with the scents and colours of nature.
The Riomaggiore-Monterosso stretch, carved into the rock in the early 1900s during work on the railway line, is now called the Via dell’Amore (Love Road) because of the beauty of the scenery that surrounds it and which also makes it a suitable place for romantic walks. Canoeing, kayaking, rafting, canyoning and hydrospeeding are fun ways to venture along the waters of the Vara and Magra rivers, among woods, rocks, bends, ravines and beaches.
Charming nature trails cross the two valleys of the province and the Montemarcello-Magra Park. Trekking, mountain biking or horse riding – the ways to cross them are different and all ecological. The important thing is not to miss the opportunity to explore authentic nature.
Local food and wine
Winetrekking is an original way of experiencing the province that allows you to encounter history, art, nature and, above all, the flavour of the wines produced in the lands of La Spezia.
Festivals, fairs, concerts and cultural events are organised in the provincial capital and in the small villages to showcase typical products – gastronomic and artisanal. One of the most exiting event in La Spezia is the Palio of the Gulf of Poets: a rowing race in which the 13 maritime borgate of the gulf take part, preceded by a procession of themed masks.
Wine and oil are the basis of La Spezia’s culinary tradition. The vineyards that cover the sunny terraces overlooking the sea and the hills of the Magra Valley tell of the ancient local vocation in the art of wine-making.
A passion that is strongly perceived, together with the perfumes and essences of this land, when tasting a glass of wine produced in the province of La Spezia.
The wines of the Colli di Luni, the Colline di Levanto and the Cinque Terre go very well with the simple but tasty local cuisine. Golden colour with amber reflections, intense and persistent aroma, with hints of apricot, dried fruit and acacia honey, this is Sciacchetrà the famous DOC wine of the Cinque Terre, excellent with spicy cheeses and, in the liqueur version, with dry pastries.
Another highlight is the extra virgin olive oil, obtained from the vast expanses of olive groves cultivated on the coast and inland. The oil produced in this arc of land, nestled between the Alps and the Tyrrhenian Sea, is protected by the D.O.P. Riviera Ligure mark, a consortium that brings together the producers of the four Ligurian provinces and guarantees compliance with the regulations of the Protected Designation of Origin. A special oil that enhances the preparation of local recipes, mainly based on fresh fish caught in the clean waters of the Ligurian Sea. These include the muscoli ripieni alla Vecchia Spezia, i.e. mussels stuffed with eggs, bread, mortadella, grana cheese, parsley and oil.
Excellent are the anchovies from Monterosso to be eaten raw with a squeeze of lemon, fried or stuffed, or in brine. Typical of the province of La Spezia and especially of the town of Sarzana are the farinata, a dish made from chickpea flour, and the mesciùa (mixed), a tasty soup of legumes and cereals on which a drizzle of fine Ligurian oil and a sprinkling of black pepper are spread. Pizzas, focaccia and homemade pasta are the other specialities of La Spezia cuisine, not least trofie al pesto, a dish now adopted by all the provinces of Liguria.