What are some activities to do in La Spezia?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

Exploring La Spezia

La Spezia is a city located in the Liguria region of Italy, known for its picturesque harbor, historic landmarks, and stunning scenery. This charming city is often considered a hidden gem of Italy, and it offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages.

Whether you are interested in exploring the historic old town, taking a stroll along the waterfront, indulging in local cuisine, or enjoying a boat tour of the bay, La Spezia has something to offer for everyone. In this article, we will explore some of the top activities to do in La Spezia that you won’t want to miss.

Discover the Charming Old Town

La Spezia’s old town is a maze of narrow streets, colorful buildings, and charming piazzas. The pedestrian-only Via del Prione is one of the main streets in the old town, lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes. You can also visit the Cathedral of Christ the King, a beautiful church with a stunning dome and intricate decorations.

For a more local experience, head to the Piazza del Mercato, where you can browse through the stalls of the daily market and sample some of the local produce. Don’t forget to visit the historic Palazzo delle Poste, a stunning building with a unique mix of architectural styles.

Take a Stroll along the Waterfront

La Spezia’s waterfront is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. The promenade is lined with palm trees and offers stunning views of the harbor and the surrounding mountains. You can take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, stop for an ice cream or a drink at one of the many cafes, or simply sit and enjoy the scenery.

The waterfront is also home to several historic landmarks, including the Arsenal of La Spezia, a former military shipyard that has been converted into a cultural center, and the Monument of the Four Moors, a statue symbolizing the victory of the Republic of Genoa over the Ottoman Empire.

Visit the Naval Museum of La Spezia

The Naval Museum of La Spezia is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in naval history. The museum is housed in the historic Arsenal of La Spezia and features a collection of artifacts, models, and exhibits that showcase the history of the Italian Navy.

Highlights of the museum include the models of famous Italian warships, a collection of naval uniforms and weapons, and a section dedicated to the underwater archaeology of the Mediterranean Sea.

Explore the Castle of San Giorgio

The Castle of San Giorgio is a historic fortress located on a hill overlooking the city of La Spezia. The castle dates back to the 13th century and was built to defend the city against attacks from the sea.

Today, the castle has been converted into a cultural center and hosts a variety of events and exhibitions throughout the year. Visitors can explore the castle’s ramparts and towers, enjoy the stunning views of the city and the surrounding hills, and learn about the history of the castle and the city.

Indulge in Local Cuisine

La Spezia is known for its delicious local cuisine, which features fresh seafood, pasta dishes, and traditional Ligurian specialties. Some of the must-try dishes include the trofie al pesto, a pasta dish with a sauce made from basil, garlic, and pine nuts, and the farinata, a savory pancake made from chickpea flour.

You can sample the local cuisine at one of the many restaurants and trattorias in the old town, or head to the Mercato Centrale for a taste of the local street food.

Enjoy a Boat Tour of the Bay

A boat tour of the bay is a great way to explore the stunning coastline of La Spezia and the surrounding areas. You can take a leisurely cruise around the harbor, stopping to admire the colorful buildings and historic landmarks, or head out to the nearby islands of Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto.

Many boat tours also offer the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, making it a great way to cool off on a hot summer day.

Trekking in the Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located just a short distance from La Spezia. This stunning coastline is known for its picturesque villages, colorful buildings, and scenic hiking trails.

You can take a train from La Spezia to the Cinque Terre, or hike along the famous Sentiero Azzurro trail that connects the five villages. The trail offers stunning views of the sea and the surrounding hills, and is a great way to experience the beauty of the Italian coastline.

Visit the Palio del Golfo

The Palio del Golfo is an annual boat race that takes place in the Gulf of La Spezia. The race features boats from the various districts of the city, and is a popular event for both locals and tourists alike.

The Palio del Golfo takes place in August, and is preceded by several days of festivities, including food stands, music, and fireworks.

Experience the Nightlife in La Spezia

La Spezia offers a vibrant nightlife scene, with a variety of bars, clubs, and music venues to suit every taste. You can enjoy a drink at one of the many bars in the old town, dance the night away at a club, or catch a live music performance at one of the city’s music venues.

Shopping in La Spezia

La Spezia offers a variety of shopping options, from the daily market in the old town to the modern shopping centers in the suburbs. You can browse through the stalls of the market for fresh produce, local cheeses, and handmade crafts, or head to one of the shopping centers for a more traditional shopping experience.

Conclusion: La Spezia, a hidden gem of Italy

La Spezia is a city that is often overlooked by tourists in favor of better-known destinations such as Florence and Rome. However, this charming city offers a wealth of activities and attractions that make it well worth a visit.

Whether you are interested in exploring the historic old town, taking a boat tour of the bay, or indulging in local cuisine, La Spezia has something to offer for everyone. So next time you are planning a trip to Italy, be sure to add La Spezia to your itinerary.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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