Lerici & Portovenere

The pearl of the Gulf and the Faithful
You can’t leave our Riviera without spending a day or a couple of hours in Lerici, the pearl of the gulf and Portovenere, the so-called Faithful.
Two spectacular seaside villages, found in history and culture, with breathtaking landscapes. Learn why our gulf is called Poet’s Gulf and imagine a talk with Lord Byron and Shelley, regular guests of the area.
You can spend an entire day in the Gulf visiting Lerici and Portovenere. Both villages have easy access by sea or by land so starting from La Spezia you can plan your day and have a wonderful glimpse of our territory.
If you should have only a few hours just choose one of them!
Portovenere: let’s have a stroll along the Palazzata, discover the medieval Castle Doria and the secret alleyways of the village, where inhabitants escaped from pirates and Saracens, taste some pesto or sip a glass of local white wine.

Portovenere highlights:

  • Doria Castle
  • Palazzata with its colourful tower houses and waterfront
  • Church of San Lorenzo
  • Church of San Pietro
Lerici: an amazing and relaxing cittadina, a small city, as we call it in Italian, lying at the very end of the Gulf. Take a walk along the waterfront, enjoy the breathtaking view of its Castel, overlooking the sea and discover why Genoa and Pisa fought desperately for centuries to rule the town.
Lerici highlights:
  • Church of San Francesco
  • Oratory of San Rocco
  • San Giorgio Castle
  • Geo-paleontologist Museum
  • The Public Gardens and the waterfront


“Did sea define the land or land the sea?”

Seamus Heaney asked himself standing on the wild coasts of the Aaran Islands and actually this is the question which comes back in my mind every time I’m in Portovenere..

“..and there – comes Triton / from the waves that lap / the threshold of a Christian temple/ and every near hour is ancient. / Every doubt takes you by hand /as if by a young girl friend./ There- no one’s eyes/ no ears are bent on self./ Here – you are at the origins/ and deciding is foolish: re-begin later to assume a nature.”

(Portovenere – Eugenio Montale)