Visiting a foreign city is always very interesting, however sometimes is difficult to decide how to use your time, what is worth seeing and what to do.
La Spezia is a small city, so you might think that there’s not too much to do; the truth is that this little city has a lot to offer.
Which are the best things to do in La Spezia? Here’s a list for you!
The Naval museum
La Spezia has many museums but this one is for sure one of its kind. It has a great selection of real figureheads, about 150 models of ships, military weapons, anchors and much more! The museum is close to the main entrance of the Naval base (viale Giovanni Amendola, 1) and the ticket it’s very cheap.
Saint George’s castle
It should be in your “to do list” if you are wondering what to do in La Spezia. It’s a medieval building that dominates the city and it can be easily reached using the elevator in the main road of La Spezia. The castle itself is definitely worth a visit and once you are there you can also visit the museum and enjoy the view of the city from the hill.
Cinque Terre national Park
There’s no need for an introduction, this area is quite famous all over the world. These five little villages perched over the sea are unique. Riomaggiore and Manarola (the first two villages if you are coming from La Spezia Centrale train station) are the smallest two, but the perfect spot to have a good “aperitivo” enjoying the view! The third one, Corniglia, is peculiar and the actual village is on the top of the hill and not close to the beach. Then there is Vernazza, great if you want to do some activities such as kayaking and the last one, Monterosso which is perfect place to lay on the beach and relax! Read here our article about visit Cinque Terre in 3 days!
If you like hiking and you are still unsure about the best things to do in La Spezia, I would consider hitting some trails. There are so many paths you can choose from here! One of the most evocative in my opinion is the one that from Campiglia leads to Monasteroli and it’s called “sentiero 4b”. I won’t lie, it can be a little hard because it’s basically a very long staircase (2000 steps!), but you will be rewarded with one of the most charming views of the area. If you are more into easier trails, I recommend you the circle path in the Palmaria Island. As I said before, we have so many trails in here that you can easily find one that is good for you.
I think this is one of those places you cannot miss if you are in La Spezia. It’s a little village located between the city center and the Cinque Terre National Park with plenty of colors and things to see: the Doria castle, the old town, the Byron cave and of course the St. Peter’s Church standing on the rocks. It might be nice to reach the town by ferry, this way you could also make a stop in Palmaria, the little Island in front of Portovenere.
Lerici and San Terenzo
Something that you might not know is that the Gulf of La Spezia is also known as “the Gulf of Poets” and that’s because many poets have lived here delighted by the beauty of the landscapes; San Terenzo for example was the village where Mary and Percy Shelley spent some years and their house is still there, on the main street. If you go to Lerici and San Terenzo you can enjoy the promenade starting from the castle of San Terenzo to the castle in Lerici and you’ll see why these towns should be on your “things to do in La Spezia list”.
Markets in La Spezia
In La Spezia there are three main markets that might be nice to visit. The daily market, where every day from very early in the morning until noon is possible to buy any kind of food, like fresh fish, vegetables, pesto sauce, walnut sauce, genoese focaccia, cheese etc… then the Friday Market along via Garibaldi, which is the perfect place if you are looking for some clothes, leather bags or shoes and you can be sure to get some good deals. Otherwise, there is the flea Market in Piazza Cavour, just on the first Sunday of each month.
If you are a shopaholic choosing the things to do in La Spezia will be easy! You cannot miss the shops in the main streets: Via Prione and Corso Cavour. Here you can find any kind of shop you need! From the little local shops to bigger brands.
You are in Italy, and you probably noticed how much the food is important here, so I would suggest a Food tour! If you are interested in knowing better the culture of the local people, you should try one of the “Do Eat Better Food Tour!”
You will taste the typical food from La Spezia while a local guide will be with you while walking around in the city. It’s perfect if you just arrived in the area and you are not sure about the best things to do in La Spezia.
Looking for something to do in La Spezia at night? Read here!