In the heart of the Italian Riviera, the medieval port town of Genoa is famous not only as the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, but also for its regal heritage. Here are our picks for the city’s must-see palaces.
Via Garibaldi, 9, Portovenere, Italy
Portovenere is most often visited on a day trip from La Spezia, San Gimignano, Siena, Milan, or, most commonly, Florence. Most tours combine free time in this oceanside town with stops in the coastal villages of Cinque Terre for hiking, dining, and exploring. It’s also possible to admire the picturesque waterfront aboard a sailing cruise around the Golfo dei Poeti.
Things to Know Before You Go
If visiting in summer, be sure to pack sunscreen and insect repellent.
Public transportation to and from Portovenere is limited, so joining a tour is the best option for those without a car.
White some hotels, ferries, and attractions in Portovenere are wheelchair and stroller accessible, the village’s steep and narrow lanes can be challenging for those with limited mobility.
How to Get There
Located at the southern tip of Cinque Terre National Park along the Italian Riviera, Portovenere is reachable by car (year-round) and ferry boat (mid-April through October only) from nearby villages such as La Spezia, Levanto, and Vernazza. It is set 102 miles (164 kilometers) west of Florence and just nine miles (15 kilometers) from La Spezia.
When to Get There
The most atmospheric, albeit crowded, time to visit Portovenere is during the summer season (May to August). The town is a popular destination any time of year, but be aware that many hotels, restaurants, and attractions close down in low season.
The Legend of the Golfo dei Poeti
La Spezia Bay is better known as the Golfo dei Poeti, or the Gulf of Poets, and its natural beauty has been inspiring poets since Roman times. Poets Persio, George Sand, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Eugenio Montale have all mentioned the bay in their verses, while one of the coastal caves is named after former resident Lord Byron.
- Things to do in Genoa
- Things to do in Turin
- Things to do in Langhe-Roero and Monferrato
- Things to do in Lombardy
- Things to do in French Riviera
- Things to do in Emilia-Romagna
- Things to do in Milan
- Things to do in Monte-Carlo
- Things to do in Ferno
- Things to do in Parma
- Things to do in Tuscany
- Things to do in Swiss Alps
- Things to do in Rhône-Alpes
- Things to do in Provence
- Things to do in Lake Geneva
- La Spezia Cruise Port (La Spezia Terminal Crociere)
- Cinque Terre National Park (Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre)
- Monterosso al Mare
- Corso Italia
- Church of San Giorgio (Chiesa di San Giorgio)
- Portofino Marine Reserve (Area Marina Protetta di Portofino)
- Santa Margherita Ligure
- San Fruttuoso
- Galata Maritime Museum (Galata Museo del Mare)
- Piazza de Ferrari