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Liguria UNESCO Spots of Porto venere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)

So it is not all about Rome, Venice and Milan. The Ligurian coast between Cinque Terre and Porto venere is a cultural landscape of outstanding scenery hard to beat, even in Italy.


Liguria UNESCO Spots of Porto venere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)
Liguria UNESCO Spots of Porto venere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)

This stretch of western Italian coast is part of the Italian Riviera offering all that the eye could ask for, from sunrises and sunsets, passing boats and the ever-looking stylish Italians that effortlessly potter about. It is a place for everyone - the solo traveller, the couple or the family. Fishing, hiking, window shopping are common ways to pass time, along with sea swimming, visiting the historical buildings and churches or simply just people watching with an Italian coffee, ice cream or granite. Not only a summer destination, as the Rivieria offers a peaceful winer sanctuary for those in need of escaping from the hustle and bustle to just be in a place where catching up on work, reading or walking can be enjoyed. even in the winter these coastal villages and towns are best seen by sea and with year round excursions on offer it is possible.


Porto Venere is a small fishing town situated to the south of Genoa on the western coast of Italy. It is a charming town full of everything that you would expect to find and more in an Italian sea port village.

Liguria UNESCO site of Porto venere
Liguria UNESCO site of Porto venere

Along the waterfront the promenade is fulled with restaurants, boutique shops, gelaterias and offerings of boat excursions. Leading inland from the port there is a cobbled but walkable wide path leading up to the village with a wider accessible path running along the sea to the steps of Saint Peter’s Church and the old castle. Stunning views and well worth the walk.


Liguria UNESCO site of Porto venere
Liguria UNESCO site of Porto venere


A UNESCO World Heritage place, Porto Venere was once a large costal fortification

Liguria UNESCO site of Porto venere
Liguria UNESCO site of Porto venere

 

Cinque Terre, translating to ‘five lands’ could once genuinely be described as a collection of sleepy fishing villages, but now the Italian ‘place to go’ for both foreigners and nationals alike, however the villages have retained their Italian charm. Houses stand huddled together and coloured for the inhabitants recognition necessity from sea. Regular ferry service connects each of the villages, and from Manarola it is just a 10-minute cruise to Riomaggiore, the last of the five. It’s a nice ride with splendid views of the coastal cliffs and hills above, and the blue sea all around.


Liguria UNESCO site of Cinque Terre
Liguria UNESCO site of Cinque Terre


There are many villages dotted along this Cinque Terre coast, with the most popular being:

Monterosso al Mare: the largest of the towns with a beach within walking distance of the town if you are headed there by train. A once small village living off wine making and fishing.

Vernazza: famous for its picaresque harbour.

Corniglia : The inland town on the cliff

Manarola: famous for its location at the end of the ‘Via dell’Amore’ walkway with sharp cliff edges surging from the sea

Riomaggiore: houses tumbling down the cliffs to the water’s edge and a main pedestrian street rising up from the tiny cove, surrounded by terraced homes covering the hillside. Arrive by boat, walk up the steps and through a tunnel below the train tracks to get to the centre. Locals live right there at the port and everyday life it apparent even with cats pottering about as in all sea towns. Truly charming. Offering restaurants and shops as the other villages.



Liguria UNESCO site of Riomaggiore
Liguria UNESCO site of Riomaggiore


Trains to La Spezia - a nearby city - run from all major Italian cities

By car on the SP370 from the south or the SP51 from the north


Palmaria

The larger of the three island at 1.6 square kilometres, Palmaria is situated in the Ligurian Sea, at the westernmost end of the Gulf of La Spezia. A superb island in front of Porto venere which can be reached only by boat taking about 5 minutes with little expense. A triangular shaped island offering various views. The ferry boat takes people to Terrizzo but the rest of the island is not crowded. Palmaria is quiet and it has got fantastic views on Porto venere and the surrounding sea. The side of the island facing west, towards the open sea, is instead characterised by high cliffs overlooking the water, in which there are many caves: the Blue Grotto, can be visited by boat, and the Grotta dei Colombi are noteworthy. To the south of the island, called Pozzale, there are the remains of black marble quarrying. 2 hour walks around the island are a must and possible throughout the year. Trekking around the island is both scenic and relaxing. The paths of Palmaria will allow you to see this stunning island littered with military buildings, impressive cliffs and typical wild Mediterranean vegetation all with the beautiful Ligurian sea as a backdrop.



Liguria UNESCO Spots of Tino and Tinetto islands
Liguria UNESCO Spots of Tino and Tinetto islands

Tino Island

‘The Middle Island’, part of an archipelago of three closely spaced islands jutting out south from the mainland at Portovenere. The largest of the three, Palmaria, lies to the north and the tiny Tinetto to the south. Also on the UNESCO list, Tino is a military base access to public is restricted, except on San Venerio's days around the mid of September. Saint Venerius was a monk and hermit living in a monastery situated on the island. He is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church and is the patron saint of the Gulf of La Spezia and, as of 1961, the patron saint of lighthouse keepers. Saint Venerius' feast is celebrated annually on the island of Tino on September. A statue of Venerius is carried out to the sea on this day from La Spezia to the island, accompanied by a blessing of the fishing boats.


Tinetto Island

The island of Tinetto is the smallest of the three islands in the La Spezia Archipelago, and is separated from Tino island by only a few submerged rocks.

Simply a small place to enjoy the sea and the true tranquility of nature. On this islet, among other things, there is what remains of the first church with two naves built in Liguria dating back to around the 5th century. Breathtaking panorama from the top of the island will leave you satisfied as you plan your swim in the crystal clear waters below.


 

For all your trip planning please ask a member of the reception team at the Hotel Astoria, Genoa who will be more than happy to offer advice, bookings and let you know of best possible ways to make your holiday unforgettable…


Where to find or contact us:


Address: Piazza Brignole 4, Genoa, Italy, 16122


Tel: +39 01 0455 6125



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