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July 2024

What to see in Portovenere

The Regional Natural Park of Portovenere, a plate for the tourists that look

Portovenere is a small town in Liguria not far from the city of La Spezia. It is famous for its beautiful places: old castle, houses, churches and picturesque islands with numerous caves. Here you will find interesting excursions and places to rest. Together with Cinque Terre this area is the site of world heritage. Study this page more carefully in order not to miss anything during your visit. All places of interest are indicated on the map on the right.

You need only one day to visit all the interesting places, take a "Three Island trip" and walk on the island of Palmaria. But then, you don't have time to relax on the beach and bathe in Ligurian Sea.

Hotel bookings (special offers).

What are there in Portovenere:

A. Excursion: "Three Island round trip"
An exciting boat excursion around the three famous islands. You will be told about their history, will be shown the caves and many others places, go to this page for more details.

B. Palmaria Island and its paths
The island is well known for its hiking trails, there are a lot of beautiful nature trails, which attract people from all over the world. For more details go to "Hiking" page.

The city gate, town gate, Portovenere, Italy

1. Town Gate and Tower
The entrance to historical center of Portovenere just to its main street Via Capellini, lined with shops and restaurants now, was built in 1113, and in 1161 the tower was built nearby. This ancient building, old houses and a narrow street seem to take you back a thousand years in the past. A very beautiful place!

Church of San Lorenzo, Portovenere, Italy

2. Church of San Lorenzo
This church was built between years 1118 and 1130, after Portovenere had become the part of Gulf of Genoa. It has undergone several restorations and withstood the ravages of time, now it is a beautiful church, situated in the center of the town not far from the Doria Castle. Every year on August 17 people celebrate the Miracle of the White Madonna, the patron saint of Portovenere.

Doria Castle, Portovenere, Italy

3. Doria Castle of Portovenere
This beautiful castle standing on top of the rock in Portovenere was built in XII-XIV centuries (exact date is unknown). It belonged to the Doria family who played a very important part in the life of Gulf of Genoa. Now it is one of the main landmarks in Portovenere, from where you will have spectacular panoramic views over the town and San Pietro church. The castle is open to visitors, don’t miss a chance!
Price: € 5.
Opening hours: 10.30am - 6.30pm.

Old Mills, Portovenere, Italy

4. The Mills
Between San Pietro church and Doria Castle one can find the ruins of two cylindrical structures. They used to be mills and guard towers at the same time, which used to be built along the shore to give the population an advance warning if enemies were attacking.

Arpaia Cave (Byron), Portovenere, Italy

5. Arpaia Cave (Byron)
This area is famous for its beautiful caves, there are 36 caves on Palmaria Island, more information is given about them during Three Island trip and the boat even goes inside some of them to show tourists all their beauty. Cave Arpaia is situated on the continent near San Pietro church, from the church square there is even a way descending to the observatory near the cave.

Church of San Pietro, Portovenere, Italy

6. Church of San Pietro
This is the first building the tourist can see while approaching Portovenere by boat. At first it seems to be a large castle fortified with towers and high ancient walls, but actually it is a very beautiful and old church, which withstood the ravages of time and is open for visitors. It was built in 1198.

The Palazzata, The facades over the sea, Portovenere, Italy

7. The "Palazzata"
The sea front is lined with old houses, it wouldn’t seem strange, but these houses are unique, there is a rock on their other side, they seem to have been anchored on this rock and are hanging over the sea. Staircases of long tunnels connect the sea front with the main street of Portovenere, which goes along the coastline but a little bit higher, just behind these houses.

Tino Island, Portovenere, Italy

8. Tino Island
A small island situated to the south of Palmaria island. It is a military zone, so it is closed for visitors. Access is allowed only during the festivities in honor of Saint Venerius, on September 13 (and on the first Sunday after the holiday). Saint Venerius was a hermit who lived on island in VI-VII centuries, a monastery was built on the place of his grave, the ruins of this monastery are still found here.

Cinque Terre near Portovenere, Italy

+ Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is situated nearby. These are five beautiful villages, which are visited by millions of tourists every year. We advise you to pay attention to them.
You can find more information on this website, which is completely devoted to Cinque Terre.


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