The Gulf of the Poets

Tramonto sul Foldo dei Poeti, ph. Riva
Sunset on the Gulf of the Poets, ph. Tiziano Riva

Villages and hills gathered around the bay of La Spezia to admire the evocative, inspiring beauty of perfecly blended nature and architecture.

The La Spezia Bay is known as the Gulf of Poets, because many poets have praised its beauty throughout time.

Since Ancient Roman times, when La Spezia didn’t exist as a city and the Emperor would give his most valuable and noble friends pieces of land to relax in a at the time pristine land, the Poet Persio would live here, possibly in one of the many Roman Villas that still can be seen in the area.

But the naturally evocative power of the steep reef, the quiet asperity of people and land, the restlessness of the sea have been inspiring especially for romantic poets, who wanted to feel the power of nature above men : George Sand so described the sea she viewed from her window:

The sea is a painting that changes in color and mood every minute, day and night. There are profundities here filled with a clangor whose dreadful variety is hard to imagine; all the cries of despair, all the curses of hell intermingle here, and under my little window I hear in the night voices from the abyss that sometimes roar in a nameless bacchanalia, at others, savage hymns fearsome even in the extent of the consolation they bring.

Gulf of the Poets

Gulf of the Poets
La Spezia Portovenere Lerici Palmaria Island Tellaro

La Spezia

La Spezia is a small town nestled at the center of the Gulf of Poets. It is just been considered as the transport gateway to the more famous Cinque Terre for long time but in latest times it’s been more and more appreciated by tourists who choose to spend some time in town, also thanks to a higher care for local attractions and developement.


Portovenere is one of the most beautiful locations in the Mediterranean sea. An evocative place for romantic poets and lovers, its position at the very end of the Gulf of the Poets offers unique views on the bay and on the Cinque Terre Riviera from the rooftop of the Saint Peter's church, standing on the rocks tough against the waves.


Lerici is a quaint village at the eastern edge of the Gulf of the Poets, with an imposing fortress on the sea connected with many other fortresses of the historical Lunigiana region, at the border with Tuscany and at the center of many wars for the control of the strategical area.

Palmaria Island

Palmaria Island is a true natural paradise, where the pristine nature of rare bird and plant species, half-submerged turquoise grottos have been preserved throughout time.


Tellaro is a jewel, a quaint fishing village with long traditions, charming architectures, evocative atmosphere loved by many poets who lived here and a splendid view on the Gulf of the Poets.

Not to miss in the Gulf of the Poets

the octopus that saved tellaro
The stair of the doomed on Palmaria Island
madonna bianca in Portovenere
the byron grotto
San Venerio, welcoming hermit

The Gulf of the Poets in six points:


La Spezia

A new vibrant, city, with interesting art and techinical museums, good restaurants and bars and a relaxed atmospere, La Spezia is at the center of the Gulf of the Poets


The Portovenere Archipelago

Is formed by the Islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. Only the first one is accessible, even if not in its entirity: visit the beautiful Marine area by Kayak


Beautiful Beaches

La Spezia beaches are not in town, bu the Gulf of the Poets are partly easily reached from the town, while others need a few instructions


Summer Parties!

In Summer Times, plan to visit the area during one of its most fun and spectacular events, suche as the Portovenere Natural Pool, the Madonna Bianca, the Palio del Golfo


The Poets' places

Why this evocative name? What did the poets say about this Gulf, where did they go? A journey through the Poets’ places.   


Enjoy the Golden Hour

Viewing one of the suggestive sunsets offered by the localties of the Gulf is highly recommended: while tasting and aperitivo from Lerici or Portovenere is probably the best choice. 

How to travel in the Gulf of the Poets

  • By car: all localties are served with good driveways, while most of them do not have a railway. 
  • By ferry, you can reach Palmaria Island and many localties of the Gulf by ferry from La Spezia, view our La Spezia ferry schedule.
  • Cycling to reach the many localties of the Gulf is possible, although e-assistance is recommended if you are not trained. View our bike guided tours

The ferry crosses the Gulf of the Poets.


All villages of the Gulf of the Gulf of the Poets are wortha visit: we recommend to invest one or two days crossing the bay by ferry, enjoying the many percpectives on the Gulf offered by each place. 
At the moment, the Gulf of the Poets are less crowded with tourists than the more popular Cinque Terre in the high season. 

Top Experiences in the Gulf of the Poets

Book One of these Unique Ideas to enjoy the Cinque Terre Area
You will meet Davide 5.0 - ★★★★★
€ 50
You will meet Marco
€ 200
You will meet Marco
€ 80
You will meet Martina
€ 30
You will meet Paolo
€ 38

This post is also available in: itItaliano

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