The Cernaia staircase and its trees
The staircase of Cernaia is perhaps the one which has most maintained over time as before: it was built and the first years of the ‘900 and its name recalls the battle won in the Crimea against Russia from the Piedmont and France. Its”sister” dedicated to Lazzaro Spallanzani, natural scientist who performed some experiments in Portovenere, it underwent radical changes at the bottom during the Second World War, when it became an air raid shelter, and recently for the construction a tunnel that connects the opposite sides of the city. Both stairs were built to link the lower part of the city to via XXVII Marzo, the Via of the castle and Via dei Colli, originally a military connection, in view of an urban extension upwards.
The two staircases are decorated with perspective games, the shaped treads gracefully to allow the water to drain and the railings that are twisted around double facing fanned ramps . A double row of Sophora japonica trees is a small green lung for the city and the cool air on the way up.
Palaces of the 19thand 20th centuries, among the most beautiful in the city, some of which retain ancient decorations, you can see the stairs.
The stairway of Saint George leads from the center of Via Manzoni, crossing Via XX Settembre up to the Castle of St. George. From its highest point you can admire one of the most beautiful views in the city-and the sea.
But there are many stairs of La Spezia to discover, some through the oldest part of the city, are not always in good condition, but climbing by one or more of these scales is definitely something you should do to enjoy a great look characteristic of the city, and understand its different levels and its stories.