History and culture Magra Valley & Lunigiana What's Up

Dante and the Lunigiana Castles in a photo exhibit

On 6 October 1306 Dante Alighieri was the exceptional witness of the Peace of Castelnuovo, the event that put an end to the long war between the Bishops of Luni and the Malaspina family for the ever-uncertain borders between the castles of Lunigiana and spiritual power in the territory. It is the historical episode documented at the base of a long relationship between the Poet and the region, less historically attested, but it seems important both in the biography and work of Dante that in the history of Lunigiana. It…

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Gulf of Poets History and culture La Spezia Sightseeing Tips

Visit of the Technical Naval Museum in La Spezia

Many visitors in wish to see the Naval Base and arsenal of the city, but the Technical and Naval Museum of La Spezia next to it is is definitely worth a visit. La Spezia naval base is since 1870 one of the main Navy ports in Italy, but visiting it is not possible for security reasons. Yet, those who are interested in the navy and telecommunication history can definitely enjoy a visit to the Technical Naval Museum in La Spezia, right next to the base. Specially kids will love the…

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Private tour of La Spezia
History and culture La Spezia

The Castiglione Countess, a dandy from La Spezia

Observes passersby in front of her house with a strange monocle is the Countess of Castiglione, who had a father from La Spezia, with her original personality made her beauty a dandy icon, while playing with the strategies and tactics of diplomatics. Virginia Oldoini was born in Florence in 1837, daughter of the Marquis of La Spezia Filippo Oldoini and cousin of Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, who a few years later in Spezia put his eyes to build a formidable military base at the time, taking advantage of the natural…

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Highlights History and culture La Spezia local insider Lerici Sightseeing Tips

Tellaro: how an octopus saved one of the most beautiful hamlets of Italy

East end of the Gulf of Poets, Tellaro is on the list of most beautiful villages in Italy drawn up by the Italian Touring Club. The legend says that it was a bell-ringer octopus to save the village from a pirate invasion One with its cliffs, the end of the east of the town of Lerici, Tellaro is one of the most beautiful and scenic of the entire Gulf of Poets. The poet Mario Soldati lived here, but the real star of the village is an octopus, which is the…

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History and culture La Spezia local insider Sarzana Tips

Napoleone, the emperor from Sarzana

A plaque on a building tells of the bond between Sarzana and the Bonaparte, Napoleon himself mentioined it in his last memories. From exile to the control the world, the story of a family that departed from Sarzana Today 21 July 2016 , the city of Sarzana is celebrating 551 years. For the occasion was organized a huge party, with a White Night with a Pharaonic program . There are many famous people of the past who could also celebrate this birthday. Among the many that tie their story to…

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Gulf of Poets Highlights History and culture La Spezia La Spezia local insider Tips

Margaret, the ship sleeping leaning to the dam

Sank on the night of 2 and 3 December 2005, the Georgian ship is still lying against the dam of La Spezia. Virtually invisible to the eyes, hiding  its story under the sea On the night of December 2, 2005 was a stormy night. The Gulf of Poets, usually very sheltered, has wrought a force 5 sea with a violent south-west wind with gusts that reached 50 knots. On this horde night, the ship Margaret – a Georgian cement of 84 meters in length – left from Genoa to reach the…

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Eat Local History and culture La Spezia local insider

3 reasons why the Ligurian cuisine is not a poor one

Measured in condiments and mild in flavor, the Ligurian cuisine is called “cucina povera” by those who misunderstands it, because poverty is actually its wealth. The beauty of Italy is also made by what it can put on the table: there is no Italian region that does not have some culinary specialties known throughout the world. In many, especially those usedto strong flavors, define “poor” the Ligurian cuisine, meaning that it is dull, not rich in variety and second fiddle to other culinary traditions. It can not be made larger…

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Gulf of Poets History and culture La Spezia La Spezia local insider

Telemaco Signorini, the Macchiaioli painting art and the Riomaggiore skirts.

Around mid-nineteenth century, Riomaggiore became a refuge and inspiration for one of the founders of the Macchiaioli art school. Between the Gulf of Poets and Riomaggiore there are only 10 minutes away by train, through a gallery. There is no difference between the two, however, in the ability of the landscape to impress and stimulate the artistic sensibility. If along the coasts of the Gulf many great writers and poets have stayed, the first village of the Cinque Terre is a major center for the world of painting . Riomaggiore…

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Gulf of Poets History and culture La Spezia La Spezia local insider Tips What's Up

The Garibaldi Statue, two days of celebrations

A party like the that one can not forget. And I actually remember well, even if many years have passed since 1913, now. The inauguration of the monument to Garibaldi was scheduled for Sunday, June 1, but already on Saturday the city was full of Garibaldi partisans everywhere. It seemed that the world suddenly had decided to visit La Spezia. “A train arriving from Parma!”, “Here’s one from Pisa!” And then Bologna, Genoa, Turin: at the station trains kept coming. So go on, blowing in the brass instruments and –…

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History and culture La Spezia

La Spezia, one of Charles Dickens’s "Pictures from Italy"

In his “Pictures of Italy” Charles Dickens described his journey through Italy, and also painted a delightful close-up of La Spezia. The impressions from his journey were far from being positive, his description of the at the time so fragmented country are very different from those written by his fellow “Grand Tour” travelers. He loved, indeed, Mantova, Ferrara, Pisa, Milano, but Dickens thought Venice would smother him, and that Rome’s majesty somehow suffered its own history. His sincere words freely expressed disgust in describing the sight of a poor, run-down…

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