Best things to do in La Spezia and sightseeing in La Spezia
Vernazza - La Spezia
Dotted with pretty cafes and inconspicuous gelaterias, Vernazza is the most old fashioned of all Cinque Terre villages, yet the most photographed. It also has the best harbour of them all. Spending hours doing nothing or walking down Via Roma and sampling fried fish and chips is a very good idea. Getting There: A Cinque Terre Card, available at the La Spezia train station for around 12 Euros grants you free rides on trains connecting the villages up to the town of Levanto. If in case you are not walking along the Blue Trail, Vernazza is the fourth stop from La Spezia and the ride is approximately 20 minutes long. If you do not have a card, tickets can be bought for about 2 Euros at La Spezia or any of the other villages and require validation. The train mostly runs through tunnels but even the smallest glimpse of the sea is breath-taking.
Vernazza is also a town located in the Cinque Terre and it actually is my favorite of all the five towns. It is the fourth largest and is only a ten minute train ride from Monterossa (the train is the best way to travel since cars are only allowed in Monterossa). Vernazza’s beach is much smaller than Monterossa, even smaller than Old Monterossa, but I absolutely love it. It is located on the edge of the main piazza and it’s almost like the town surrounds you on one side and the Tyrrhenian Sea on the other. It is also great to climb all the way to the top of the hill to visit the citadel and the restaurant at the top is pretty darn good.
Cinque Terre - La Spezia
Cinque Terre (means five lands) consists of 5 tiny villages connected by footpaths and linked by boat, rail, and trail. At the Northwest coast of Italy, they date as far back as the 13th century and sit on the hillsides of that plunge into the Mediterranean Sea. Colorful houses seem to hang on the cliffs. Local churches sound their daily chimes. And the land is terrace farmed for food. Surrounding these five villages is an infinite mosaic of vineyards, olive and lemon groves, and fruited trees. These agricultural plots seem to hang onto the sheer cliffs above the sea. And from these marvelous fields, we receive tangy local wines such as Sciacchetra, purely extracted olive oils, and delightful herbed pesto. These five communities discourage auto traffic to preserve the tradition and ecological impact of the area – so they are best reached by train. It has now become a World Heritage Site and a UNESCO National Park. In fact, certain parts of the nearby sea are part of the National Park system as well. And it is the preservation of this area that makes for some clear water scuba diving and snorkeling. Over centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible corporate development. The villages are not influenced by modern development, and that simple, original look, combined with pretty colorful houses, arranged one upon another like stairs gives this piece of Ligurian coast a unique charm
Riomaggiore - La Spezia
The largest of the five Cinque Terre fishing villages, Riomaggiore is the starting point for the Sentiero Azzurro or the Blue Walking Trail. Its brightly coloured, uneven houses perched on top of cliffs paint a lovely picture with tiny fishing boats scattered here and there on the harbour below. Do not miss the glowing sunset view of the village and if you like to spend a few nights, apartments are available for rent. If you descend a few steps behind the train station, you could read a book and sip on to some coffee on one of its secluded beaches. Getting There: A Cinque Terre Card, available at the La Spezia train station for around 12 Euros grants you free rides on trains connecting the villages up to the town of Levanto. If in case you are not walking along the Blue Trail, Riomaggiore is the first stop from La Spezia and the ride is approximately 10 minutes long. If you do not have a card, tickets can be bought for a little over a Euro at La Spezia and require validation. The train mostly runs through tunnels but even the smallest glimpse of the sea is breath-taking.