Gulf of Poets

Beyond Genoa's claustrophobic eastern sprawl, this narrow strip of coast between the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean and the ruggedly mountainous Ligurian hinterland is home to some of Italy's most elite resorts, including jet-set favourite Portofino and the gently faded Santa Margherita. Anything but off the beaten track, this glittering stretch of coast is hugely popular, but retains pockets of extreme natural beauty and profound authenticity.

Lerici

Magnolia, yew and cedar trees grow in the 1930s public gardens at Lerici, an exclusive retreat of terraced villas clinging to the cliffs along its beach, and in another age Byron and Shelley sought inspiration here.

Porto Venere

Perched on the dreamy Golfo dei Poeti's western promontory, the historic fishing port's sinuous seven- and eight-storey harbourfront houses form an almost impregnable citadel around the muscular Castello Doria.

Palmaria Island

This is the most visited and best known of the three islands of the Archipelago in front of Portovenere, Palmaria island is part of the "Regional Natural Park of Porto Venere", especially loved by people living in the La Spezia area. The island's name probably originates from the word "Balma" = Cave rather than from the dwarf palms to be found there, and we can encounter an interesting variety of scenery, according the different relief features of its coastline. The eastern coast, covered with rich Mediterranean vegetation slopes gently to the bay, whereas the western side features steep cliffs up to a height of 188m.

Sarzana

Thanks to its location, from time immemorial Sarzana is an important crossroads of communication routes between the regions of Liguria, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.

Since antiquity in fact, the town has been an important agricultural, commercial and strategic nucleus, and in the Middle Ages it was also a significant religious and legal centre with an Episcopal see and a justice court.

The town still now preserves the ancient aspect of the medieval centre, despite the following fortification works, such as the walls, the towers and most of all the Cittadella, which modified the urban condition of the town.

Where

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