Deeply rooted in maritime tradition, the town of La Spezia is all about its harbors, both military and commercial, lined around the natural bay it’s located on. The surrounding mountainous region is called the CinqueTerra national park and provides the perfect escape for tourists here on holiday
Mostly known for its naval dockyards that even provide the military with quarters, La Spezia however manages to hold enough appeal that it retains some of its fame as a popular Yacht Charter destination.
Settled by people from prehistoric times, history is the one thing this town has got plenty of. The other thing its got plenty of is sunshine. When you combine these two things with a lovely natural setting at the foot of a mountain range overlooking a natural bay (ironically called Golfo dei Poeti – Gulf of Poets) on the Italian east coast of the Ligurian Sea, you’ll get one of the main Yacht Charter attractions of the Italian Riviera.
Travel & Arrival
La Spezia is very well connected with the rest of the cities in the region, making the perfect place for any Yacht Charter adventurer to start their expedition of Italy’s coastline. By air you have two options: either the airport in Genoa
, some 110 km away, or the airport in Pisa which is a little closer, just 86 km to the southeast. Most low cost airlines fly to both these locations.
For those Yacht Charter drivers who want to come up here in the family van, the good news is that you’ll have the benefit of driving on the A12 highway from any major Italian town in the region. The bad news is that traffic is hectic during the summer months both in and around the city.
If you want to avoid the traffic lines but are too afraid of flying, there’s only one option for you: take the train. La Spezia is directly linked with cities such as Rome, Genoa and Pisa so you shouldn’t have to have any problems booking a ticket. An added plus is that the rail track passes through the CinqueTerre national park which will definitely give the Yacht Charter traveler a reason to look out the window.
Boats and ferries ensure the town is reachable by water too. Mostly, these ferries connect La Spezia with other towns in the bay and their frequency depends on the season, so your Yacht Charter might want to make reservations ahead or risk ending up “high and dry”.
Avant & Apres Sail
For the Yacht Charter addicts, La Spezia’s nautical heritage is simply irresistible and that’s why you should head to the Technical Naval Museum first. After that, you can check out places like the Ubaldo Formentini (Civic Museum in the Castle of San Giorgio), the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Palazzina delle Arti.
Some of the local architecture can be admired in churches like Cristo Re dei Secoli, the Abbey Church of Santa Maria Assunta (from the 13th century) and the Santi Giovanni e Agostino (built in the 16th century).
But overall, all the Golfo dei Poeti region and the CinqueTerre national park are perfect for daytrips, in case you and your hardy Yacht Charter sailors want to escape the noisy city life.
For the true Italian dining experience, the Yacht Charter tourist with an appetite can head down to the harbor where the restaurants serve authentic Italian food, as well as some of the local specialties which include fish, shellfish, cheese, olive oil and lots and lots of wine made out of the local vines which adorn the neighboring hills.
Events & Actions
The town’s patron saint is San Giuseppe, celebrated on March 19th, is an interesting enough time for those seeking to get a glimpse into the local customs and traditions. However, a definite must see for any self-respecting Yacht Charter devotee is the Palio Del Golfo, basically a rowing challenge that takes place in the first Sunday in August. There’s a parade, a race and an award show for the winners of the 13-village challenge.
Other than sailing and sunbathing, there isn’t that much to do in La Spezia. Many of the regular Yacht Charter tourists like to spend time in cafes, shopping or walking on the promenade in the evening breeze.