From the hidden villages to the sea, from the Val di Magra to over the Cinque Terre: a journey through the province in 12 exceptional pictures.
From east to west, from the border with Tuscany to the Cinque Terre and Beyond: the area of La Spezia is a postcard land. You can also visit it searching for its many sights, to close it in a series of infinite beauty shots.
You will get a surprise route, made of sea views, and not just that. Below the one we would be building, starting a thread across the border of the area.
Fosdinovo: from the Val di Magra to Portovenere
Fosdinovo is one of the first villages of the province of Massa Carrara, not La Spezia, yet has very few flaws. From the small terraces that open along the walls of the village, you can enjoy a breathtaking view over the Val di Magra. In clear days you embrace in a single glance the Gulf of Poets and the Versilia sea. The sea, the plain and the Apuan mountains: from Fosdinovo you don’t miss a thing.
From Ortonovo, on the Magra Valley, the Nicola pearl shines bright
Anyone who thinks that the province of La Spezia is only sea, is wrong. It is easily demonstrated by the picturesque view of the village of Nicola that is enjoyed from Ortonovo. Typical medieval village, Nicola of Ortonovo stands on a hill overlooking the Val di Magra and was built just a little in foreground to Ortonovo. The small town is definitely worth a visit, with its narrow streets and its small squares; viewed from behind, though, tall and proud on its hill, is enough to explain the beauty of the many local villages.
Bocca di Magra is renowned – among other things – to have fascinated over the years more than one prominent personality (including Giulio Einaudi). No wonder so many remained bewitched if you take the road that goes to Montemarcello . Along the way it will give more than a fabulous panoramic window on the plain of the Magra River. The Apuan “Alps” in the background, the sandy coast that slowly turns into Tuscany and – under the eyes – the mouth of the Magra: observing the meander of the river on the plain, are gathered together the importance of the river fand the various souls of the district, which is tourism, agriculture and industry. A indispensable postcard to fully understand the province.
Montemarcello: quiet, reserved, wonderful
From the sea, Montemarcello is a high reflection, almost a mirage. Watching the Gulf from Montemarcello you feel instead you are part of the mirage. The town of Ameglia is among the most beautiful villages in Italy , and with some reason. The view it offers of the Gulf of Poets is unique. There are two sights: a small terrace in front of a house that is on the left of the main road (the one from which the photo was taken) and former military battery, overlooking the sea, just over the path starting point for the beach of Punta Corvo (the trail entrance is next to the headquarters of Montemarcello Park, opposite the bar that overlooks the road that allows to cross the village by car). In both cases you will enjoy a superb view over the archipelago of La Spezia.
Tellaro, the balcony of dreams
You cannot touch the soul of the Gulf of Poets unless you have been on this small terrace , extreme tip of the east extremity of the deep bay of La Spezia.
It can be reached with a short walk through the alleyways and stairways of Tellaro , pearl among the pearls of the surroundings. Just passes the Oratory Selaa – where, next to the small church now deconsecrated and room for exhibitions and cultural events, it opens a rooftop terrace that overlooks Tuscany – we are leaning on a railing overlooking the sea.
At that point, open to the winds and with the free look to range between the rocky coast and the horizon, despite the space on the terrace is not much, it will not be difficult to meet photographers, lovers or just watchers.
The Gulf of the poets wants to be admired: the coast runs to the right, leaving the colorful village of Tellaro and its rocks, to bend in the inlet of La Spezia and reappear before the eyes high all the way up to Muzzerone .
On clear days, before our eyes, will be distinguished clearly the profile of Portovenere , the last of the mainland flap before the attachment points to the infinity of Palmaria , Tino and Tinetto .
La Serra, where are born unforgettable sunsets
Maliciously, it is said of Porto Venere is beautiful and Lerici is beautiful because you see Porto Venere. Following this logic, La Serra is extraordinary: from the main square, in fact, from above and in front of Lerici it opens the whole scenario of the gulf.
The view is amazing at sunset, when the sun goes out behind Porto Venere, drawing between sea and sky the profile of the church of San Pietro. The real treat are the months of November and December: at this time is in fact the sea channel between the Palmaria and Porto Venere to offer itself for the plunge of the sun.
From Palmaria Portovenere: exclusive marvel
Palmaria island is a real jewel, a Mediterranean diamond so far virtually untouched. To visit because it is beautiful, it is also an exclusive point of observation for the man-made beauty of Porto Venere.
After reaching the summit of the island with one of the trails that go through it, you can throw a glance at Porto Venere. You will find a surprise wonder in light and dark lines of St. Peter and – behind the church – the ride of the coastline.
From Campiglia to Portovenere, almost in paradise
The coast of Tramonti is a miracle, in whole, centimeter by centimeter. It is one of the most undervalued locations of Italy, because hard to explore, maintain, and even love. It offers absolute scenic corners of ecstasy: the stairs to Persico and Monesteroli, the Albana Rosse and the fabulous swimming ponds cut into the rocks. If you have to choose, though, a single shot, to catch its soul it is the path that runs between Campiglia and Porto Venere.
Sublime path and less tiring among those in the area (although not without difficulty points), it provides at one point a overview on Muzzerone coast with Porto Venere that sticks out of the sea before Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto archipelago.
It is impossible not to stop spellbound.
Montenero, the sanctuary that watches the Cinque Terre
Curiously, many La Spezia ignore the existence of this treasure.
The santuario di Montenero, with its magnificent terrace overlooking the coast between Palmaria and the Mesco , it is one of the mysteriously unrecognized pearls in the area of La Spezia .
To reach the sanctuary, which dominates Riomaggiore, you can follow a short path that branches off from the coastal path, off the Telegrafo or climb along the difficult path that starts from the village of the Cinque Terre.
NOn clear days, you can see unfolding before the eyes the entire span of Liguria, taste the summit of Monviso and guess the coast of the Tuscan and Corse archipelago.
The b-side of Vernazza: beautiful and proud
The Cinque Terre villages are all a postcard. Among the many dream scenarios, one more than the others seems significant: the b-side of Vernazza when you reach the path that comes from Corniglia.
That moment when the tower of the village rises to the sky, stealing space from the sea, is a pride.
Even for the way Vernazza reacted to the wounds and resist with its beauty.
Mesco, Majestic closing of the Cinque Terre
End point of the Cinque Terre, an imposing rock soaring marking the boundary between Monterosso and Levanto, the Mesco is a natural theater.
The climb to its summit, if you leave from Monterosso, cut legs and breath, but the view pays absolutely the effort.
The terrace of the Cinque Terre is absolutely priceless, as well as the view of the many paragliders that often throw themselves into the air from there.
Bonassola and the Madonna della Punta
“The Cinque Terre are five villages, Bonassola is only one “so say the fans of the seaside resort in the Far east of La Spezia area.
It must be said that Bonassola has plenty of admirers for its main beaches, but also for the many coves that draw the coast along the pedestrian and cycle tunnel to Levanto.
Pretty hamlet by the beautiful sea, nestled in a green large bay, Bonassola will amaze those who still do not know it and keep those who already love it.
The loggia of the Punta della Madonnina, offering a look at the beach and another to the open sea, is an excellent location for enjoying breathtaking sunsets.
The cover photo is by Claudio Ratti