Portofino & Portovenere from La Spezia
Portofino & Portovenere: beauty, beauty and more beauty!
A NOTE ABOUT DRIVING TIMES
La Spezia-Portofino, 75-90 min; Portofino-Portovenere, 1.75 hrs, Portovenere-La Spezia, 30 min.
As Portofino is rather a long way from La Spezia and not advisable in the summer months due to traffic congestion, you might want to consider our excursion to Cinque Terre (which includes Portovenere) as an alternative.
DETAILS: PORTOFINO & PORTOVENERE from La Spezia
Portofino is a world where natural splendor meets man made luxury. Made famous by celebrities and royalty (most memorably Elizabeth Taylor) this small paradise welcomes common folk and VIP’s from all around the world, curious to know the reason why such a tiny place is so adored.
Thanks to its protected location, Portofino has been a working port since antiquity. Even in Greek times, Portus Delphinus (so named because of the plentiful dolphins in the Tigullian Gulf) was a thriving commercial center. Today the beauteous natural surroundings and the lively scene are still preserved for us.
Things to do in Portofino:
- The Oratory of Santa Maria Assunta and the Cristi, a huge crucifix carried through the town during religious festivals
- The church of San Giorgio on the promontory, with its extraordinary view of the village
- Castello Brown, overlooking the bay
- stroll through the stone-lined streets to look at the gorgeous villas
- A trek through the verdant Regional Park to the lighthouse and the terrace overlooking tranquil Tigullio Gulf
Before you leave, don’t forget to lounge on a sunny terrace and sip a coffee or sparkly beverage (perhaps on the terrace of Hotel Splendido so you can feel like a celebrity)!
The history of Portovenere is long and interesting, dating back to the 1st Century BC, but most folks simply enjoy it for its charm. One of the main attractions is the imposing 13th Century church of St. Peter with its striking black and white stripes; as you approach it you may feel as if you’re in the land that time forgot!
Literature lovers will remember that Lord Byron swam across the gulf of La Spezia from the grotto now named after him to visit Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1822. (Sadly, the grotto has since collapsed.)
Portovenere has evolved from fishing community during Roman times to base of the Byzantine fleet after the fall of the Western Roman Empire to gateway to Cinque Terre today: a living picture postcard of lush green terrain set against the brilliant blue sea.
PORTOFINO & PORTOVENERE from La Spezia
DURATION: 9 hrs
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