La Spezia and Porto Venere

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Porto Venere

The main reason we decided to stay in La Spezia was because we wanted to see Cinque Terre (the famous five towns along the coast). However, we were visiting outside of peak tourist season, so we figured that there wouldn’t be a whole lot of activity and restaurants open in the touristy Cinque Terre area.

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Part way up the hill beside the castle walls

When we arrived at La Spezia, we had half a day left to fill, so our host suggested that we visit Porto Venere. We are so glad we followed her advice, because it was amazing. We took the bus, which was a half hour trip from La Spezia. When we arrived, we found a set of steep stone stairs next to the ruins of some castle walls. The views from the top were awesome.

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The sun in the afternoon from our spot on the hill

We continued following the walking path a bit higher up the hill and then decided to go back down and visit the little Gothic style church that we could see from our vantage point.

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The view while climbing the hill – the church can be seen on the rocks

On the way to the church was a grotto where we went for a quick walk and again enjoyed some lovely views before continuing up to the church.

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The view from the grotto

After we had seen the inside of the church, we found some stairs that led to an open roof, where we sat and watched the sunset over the sea.

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Inside the Gothic style church

Although it was very cold on the roof, it was also very beautiful. I have to say it was one of the most stunning sunsets I’ve seen.

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Looking out to sea from the church


Although it was quite small, I really think Porto Venere was just as amazing as the towns that make up the Cinque Terre, and was really worth visiting.

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The amazing colours of the sunset

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The sea and sky just after the sun went down

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