As the capital of the Italian province of the same name, La Spezia contains one of the world's most celebrated regions: the Cinque Terre-a cluster of 5 coastal villages that remain entirely free of cars. In a region known to be the cradle of the Italian Renaissance, with the close proximity to Pisa and Florence, enjoy world-class shopping, tours of historic landmarks and sites of local heritage.
From the port of La Spezia, you can take a boat tour to Portovenere and discover one of the most beautiful ancient fishing villages on the Italian Riviera. Also accessible by boat is Portofino, an elegant resort where you can gaze upon the colorful town square. Short jaunts beyond the borders of the Province of La Spezia will take visitors into some of the world's most illustrious cities:
- Pisa (1 hour by car)
The world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of many works of art and architecture in the city's Square of Miracles.
- Florence (2 hours by car)
Admire the stunning Fountain of Neptune or the marvelous works of Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Raphael at the 16th-century Uffizi Gallery. From Florence, you can explore further into Tuscany where the coast of Forte dei Marmi boasts nearly 3 miles of sandy, golden beach.
Places to Explore
- Cinque Terre
Escape to 5 picturesque villages that rest upon sheer cliffs plunging steeply into the sea. Once only accessible from water, the pristine area is a national park and a recognized site of important world heritagee.
- Castle of San Giorgio
Recently restored, this commanding castle features towering battlements and reinforced walls. Aside from being a relic of the city's maritime history and an important tourist attraction, it also houses the "Ubaldo Formentini" or Civic Museum of La Spezia.
Cross over the Arno River on the 14th-century Ponte Vecchio bridge, lined with small shops operated by fashionable jewelry merchants. The Piazza del Duomo and the outstanding Cathedral of St. Maria del Fiore are popular attractions to consider once inside the Florence city limits. As the city holds a vast world of wonders, visitors will find it necessary to be selective in their sightseeing.
Discover Pisa's Field of Miracles and marvel at the Duomo, Campo Santo and the world-famous Leaning Tower. Construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa began in 1173 and was built over a span of 200 years. It proudly stands 180 feet high and leans 14 degrees. Legend has it that Galileo used the tower for his experiments with gravity.
Explore an ancient walled Tuscan town featuring a remarkable Amphitheatre Piazza and an ethereal 12th-century Romanesque cathedral. Here, you can experience a journey back to medieval times with regular performances of flag flyers, drummers and duelists clothed in extravagant period costumes.
Italian is the official language. All public signs are written in Italian.
The Euro is the main currency. Major credit cards are accepted at many shops, stores and restaurants. Payments under 10 Euros are customarily made with cash.
- How to Get Around
- Tender boats ferry guests from the ship to a promenade approximately 200 yards from downtown La Spezia. The walk to the city's main shopping district takes about 10 minutes.
- Taxis are available 200 yards from the pier. Prices are generally determined by a meter with additional fees for time of day and holidays. A display in the cab lists some standard rates. For longer distances, Guests should negotiate a price before departing.
- Most major venues are accessible by foot, but there are 2 major bus lines. Line "L" (to Lerici in 35 minutes) departs every 15 minutes. Line "P" & "11" (Piazza Chiodo to Portovenere in 1 hour) departs every 30 minutes. Tickets are purchased at newsstands.
- The railway station is a 15-minute walk from the pier. The train provides transportation to the Cinque Terre National Park. Guests can buy train and park tickets inside railway station.