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Italy in Photos

Photos of Italy taken on Walks in the Cities Towns & Villages of Italia

Porto Venere is a beautiful town and comune (municipality) on the Ligurian coast of Italy, in the province of La Spezia. It consists of three villages: Fezzano, Le Grazie and Porto Venere, and three islands: Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. Porto Venere is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the nearby Cinque Terre villages. Porto Venere has a rich history and culture, dating back to the ancient Romans, who dedicated a temple to the goddess Venus on the promontory where the church of St. Peter now stands. The town was later a Byzantine naval base, a target of Saracen raids, and a fiefdom of Genoa. Porto Venere has been admired by poets and artists such as Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, George Sand and Eugène Delacroix. Porto Venere offers stunning views of the sea and the mountains, as well as beautiful architecture and natural wonders. Some of the main attractions are the Gothic church of St. Peter, built on the rocks overlooking the bay; the castle of Doria, a medieval fortress that dominates the town; the grotto of Byron, a cave where the poet used to swim; and the three islands, which are part of a natural park and a marine reserve. Porto Venere is a perfect destination for those who love nature, history and art. It can be reached by car, bus or boat from La Spezia, which is about 15 km away. Porto Venere is also a great base to explore the Cinque Terre and other gems of the Ligurian coast..

Via Giuseppe Garibaldi is a street in Porto Venere which runs from the outskirts of the town to Via Olivo. (Photos 1-2-3) – Scalinata Arenella is a street in Porto Venere which runs from Via Giuseppe Garibaldi to Via Olivo. (Photos 4-5-6) – Passeggiata Aldo Moro is a street in Porto Venere which runs from Via Olivo to Via II Traversa Olivo. (Photos 7-8-9-10-11-12-13-18-19-20-21-22-23-24) – Via II Traversa Olivo is a street dead end in Porto Venere which can be found along Via Olivo. (Photos 14-15-16) – Via Olivo is a street in Porto Venere which runs from the outskirts of the town to Piazza Bastreri. (Photo 17) – Via Calata Doria is a picturesque street located in the charming coastal town of Portovenere. This area is known for its beautiful harbour views and is a gateway to the Cinque Terre region, renowned for its stunning landscapes and colourful villages. The street hosts a variety of local businesses that cater to both residents and tourists. You can find Bar Doria1, Maragià Boat Tours, and Palmaria Noleggio – Rent Boat among others, offering a taste of local life and opportunities for exploring the area by sea. The location is perfect for boat tours, with services like Maragià Boat Tours providing trips around the stunning Cinque Terre coastline and the Golfo dei Poeti. These tours offer a unique perspective of the area’s natural beauty and are a popular way to experience the Ligurian coast. (Photos 25-26-27-28-29)

Piazza Spallanzani is a charming square located in the ancient town of Porto Venere. This picturesque spot is situated in front of the Church of San Pietro, which is renowned for its panoramic views and striking architecture1. The church itself is a symbol of the town and is famous for its unique position overlooking the sea, offering visitors breathtaking vistas. The square and the surrounding area are steeped in history that dates to ancient Rome. The oldest and most enchanting part of Porto Venere is the series of towering homes along the marina, which served as the first line of defence against sea-borne enemies. These historical buildings are connected to the town’s main street, the carruggio, by two vaulted staircases. The carruggio runs through the entire village, leading up to Piazza Spallanzani1. In addition to its historical significance, the area is part of the Porto Venere Regional Natural Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997. The park is also a Marine Protected Area, known for its crystal-clear waters and rich marine life. (Photos 30-31-32-33) – Via Vittoria is a street dead end in Porto Venere which can be found in Piazza Spallanzani. (Photos 34-35-36-37) – Piazza S. Lorenzo in Portovenere is home to the Church of San Lorenzo, also known as the Sanctuary of the White Madonna. The church was originally built in Romanesque style around 1098, possibly on the site of an ancient temple dedicated to Jupiter. It was consecrated in 1130 by Pope Innocent II. Inside, you can find a painting of the Virgin Mary, known as the White Madonna, which dates to the 14th century and is revered by the locals. The church has undergone several restorations due to fire damage in 1340 and partial destruction in 1494. These restorations included replacing black marble columns with white ones and reconstructing the bell tower. The Church of San Lorenzo stands on a hill, offering a dominant view over the town and is a short climb from the main square of the town. It’s a testament to the rich cultural and religious heritage of Portovenere. (Photos 38-39-40-41) – Salita Castello is a street in Porto Venere which runs from Piazza S. Lorenzo to Via Giovanni Capellini. (Photos 42-43-44-45-46-47-48-49-50-51) – Via Giovanni Capellini is a street dead end in Porto Venere which can be found in Piazza Giacomo Bastreri. (Photos 52-54-55-56) – Piazza Paolo Centinaro is a charming pedestrian zone located in the picturesque town of Portovenere. The piazza is home to fountain Fontana dei Leoni and offers a delightful atmosphere for visitors to enjoy. The piazza and its surrounding areas are steeped in history and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for those exploring the Italian Riviera. (Photo 53)

Porto Venere Cuisine: – Porto Venere offers a delightful array of traditional dishes that reflect its rich culinary heritage, combining the flavours of land and sea. – Minestrone with Seasonal Vegetables: A hearty vegetable soup that varies with the seasons. – Spaghetti with Mussel Sauce: A pasta dish featuring a savoury sauce made from Porto Venere’s famous mussels. – Stuffed Mussels: Mussels filled with a mixture of raw mussels, bread soaked in milk, eggs, cheese, garlic, parsley, and a hint of nutmeg. – Fried Fish: Particularly mullet, which is a common catch in the area. – Scabeccio: A traditional marinated fish dish that can be kept for up to a week. – Mes-ciùa: A soup made with mixed cereals and legumes, such as barley, spelt, and beans. – Rice Cake and Easter Cake: Seasonal cakes with unique local flavours. – Buccellato: A dessert made with flour, eggs, sugar, a little butter, grated lemon peel, and sometimes a splash of Marsala or vermouth.

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Photo Gallery of  Walk 1 – Via Giuseppe Garibaldi to Via Calata Doria
Approximately  3.52 km –  2.19 miles

The walk starts in Via Giuseppe Garibaldi – Scalinata Arenella – Passeggiata Aldo Moro – Via Olivo – Via II Traversa Olivo – Walk back along Via II Traversa Olivo , Via Olivo & Passeggiata Aldo Moro to Via Aldo Moro – Piazza Bastreri – Piazza Darsena – Via Calata Doria
Please note, some of the street names were taken from the Michelin Street map for Portovenere
https://www.viamichelin.co.uk/web/Maps/Map-Portovenere-19025-La_Spezia-Italy

Photo Gallery of  Walk 2 – Via Capellini to Piazza Bastreri
Approximately 0.86 km – 0.53 miles

The walk starts in Via Calata Doria –  Piazza Spallanzani – Via Vittoria – Via della Chiesa – Piazza S. Lorenzo – Salita Castello – Castello Doria – Continue down Salita Castello to Via Capellini – Piazza Bastreri