THE CITY, SET IN THE NATURAL GULF CALLED GOLFO DEI POETI,
TESTIMONY OF THE MANY ARTISTS AND WRITERS THAT HAVE BEEN FASCINATED BY THIS LAND,
IT IS EMBRACED BY A VEGETABLE AND PROTECTIVE HILL CHAIN.
La Spezia is the first city in Liguria that people coming from the South meet. Set in a natural gulf called Golfo dei Poeti, because of the many artists and writers who were impressed by the charm of this land, the city not only represents an important starting point to visit Portovenere, the Palmaria island, Cinque Terre Park and Lerici, but it also has a lively old town, full of shops, bars and typical restaurants.
A green and protective chain of hills embraces the whole town and that’s why a great Military Arsenal was built there, making the city one of the most important merchant ports of the Mediterranean.
La Spezia is an interesting city to explore also for the artistic and historical jewels located in the area such as the Castle San Giorgio, a manor that stands on the hill of Poggio built in 1262 on the initiative of Niccolò Fieschi as a symbol of his power. The castle included within it the original urban nucleus, of which little remains today even though the various restorations, which followed one another in the 20th century, have kept the castle accessible.
The annex Ubaldo Castle Museum Formentini houses a fine collection of Roman and pre-Roman finds, including some from the Bronze and Iron Ages, in particular some statues menhir of the IV millennium BC.
S. Maria Assunta’s Church
The Naval Museum is definitely worth a visit. It’s considered the largest of Italy’s naval museums. Among thousands of finds you can admire a collection of figureheads belonging to boats of the XV-XVII century, scale models of ships and sailing ships of every age, legendary naval means including the “pig”, the assault boat and the explosive and much more.
The Sigillo Museum and the Civic Museum Amedeo Lia are very interesting too. They are located in an ancient monastery, where visitors will find a remarkable collection of works of art including some works by Titian and Bellini. We also recommend a visit to the Santa Maria Assunta’s Church from the 13th century, inside you will find works by Andrea della Robbia, Giovanni Battista Casoni and Luca Cambiaso.