Gulf of La Spezia, poetry of Liguria
Travelling along the coast of Liguria, you will find a variety of landscapes; white and grey cliffs from one end to the other, pebbly bays, sandy beaches and more or less large gulfs.
But only one of these is the Gulf of Poets: that of La Spezia, the most romantic on the entire Riviera. Visiting it is an experience that will take you to places of rare beauty, capable of enchanting poets and men of letters through the ages.
Famous figures who fell in love with these lands include the writer David Herbert Lawrence, the poet Lord Byron and the novelist Percy Bisshe Shelley. And then Gabriele D’Annunzio, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Eugenio Montale, Vincenzo Cardarelli, Mario Soldati and many more.
This territory and its ability to bewitch anyone is celebrated even in Petrarch’s verses;“To those who come from the sea, the harbour of Venus appears on the shore, and here, in the hills adorned by olive trees, it is known that even Minerva forgot Athens, her homeland, for such sweetness…”
Embarkation is from a pier fringed with palm trees, where you will experience the feeling of being embraced by the circularity of the harbour. Beyond the dam, the water turns deep blue, brooms and euphorbias stain the green above the little harbour of Le Grazie with yellow.
Here, evidence of the land-water link is also present on the table, where you can enjoy the exquisite rice cake and fish buridda. Having rounded Punta Castagna amidst sprinklings, the view of the strait between the coast and the islands is one you won’t easily forget.
Once you have landed in Porto Venere, all you have to do is enjoy the landscape that opens up before your eyes;the narrow, colourful houses are a multicoloured palette shimmering under the sun and reflected in the waters. Remember to have your smartphone handy so you can capture this spectacle! If you follow the rocky promontory with your gaze, you will be able to see the Gothic church of San Pietro, which, from the cliff and with the same colours, projects itself onto the sea, witness and guardian of beauty.
And if you work up an appetite, you can choose from tasty fish soups and wonderful ice creams to be enjoyed in the cool shade of the inner alley between the old houses, or looking out from the pier at the islands opposite you: Palmaria, Tino, Tinetto, the three gems of the gulf.
If you are looking for the best views, all you have to do is reach the hill of Portovenere and the tip of Terrizzo, where you will be confronted with breathtaking panoramas. Beyond the strait, the light of the open sea illuminates unexpectedly high white cliffs that plunge into the blue, announcing the other side of Palmaria.
Here the view opens onto pebble beaches fringed with greenery, while the scent of “muscoli alla marinara” from the historic trattoria enters the nostrils. One experience you should definitely try is eating under the pines at the water’s edge, with the salty air ruffling your hair, and, as your gaze wanders into the blue as far as Lerici and Tellaro, enjoy a sublime pasta with clams.
On the Tino island, if you scan the area with a careful eye, you will be able to see, amidst the dense vegetation, a monastery from the year one thousand dedicated to Saint Venerio, patron saint of the gulf. A little higher up is the lighthouse surrounded by Aleppo pines. On Tinetto, however, there are the remains of an oratory and a hermitage inhabited by a colony of wall lizards.
Every corner of these lands hides a surprise: proper gems to be discovered during your holiday. On the other side of the gulf, from the tip of Tellaro, the coast opens up into long sandy strips with the renowned beaches of Fiascherino, Lerici, S. Terenzo and S. Teresa. Gazing, you will discover other hills, other villages, other castles, oleanders and olive trees to complete a green and blue circle that will still amaze you.