The Ligurian coast that embraces the Gulf of La Spezia in an amphitheatre is the destination of this journey that takes you to discover the beauty of the Gulf of Poets by camper and of which we are certain you will fall in love.
In this tour we propose you a panorama between the villages of Lerici and Portovenere.
The crystal clear waters of the Ligurian Sea are the backdrop of a beautiful picture, in which the colorful and typical tall and narrow houses overlook the seafront and the squares and where three castles act as sentries and protection to the Gulf of Poets.
Gulf of Poets
But do you know why the Gulf of La Spezia is called the Gulf of Poets?
It is said that in 1910 the playwright Sem Benelli dedicated to a friend originally from San Terenzo a prayer where for the first time this name is made, referring to the many characters who were attracted here by the beauty of the gulf.
In fact, they passed by and some stopped there, painters , poets, writers such as Dante, Petrarch, Shelley and his wife Mary (author of the book Frankenstein), D’Annunzio, Marinetti and Lord Byron. Hemingway himself remembers a trip here in one of his “Forty-nine stories”.
Lord Byron, who spent years in this land, as a noble swimmer as he was, tried several times the crossing of the Gulf from Lerici to Portovenere; a plaque recalls the feat but this fact over time has become a famous crossing race that is repeated every year in August. In Portovenere you will find the famous Arpaia cave, called Byron’s Cave; it seems that here the writer loved to stop and meditate and find inspiration for his writings. Today an icon of Botero admires the horizon between the foaming of the sea and the fluttering of seagulls.
The beauty of the places and the scenic atmosphere still attracts tourists and foreign artists.
Gulf of Poets by camper what to see
Starting from the North of the Gulf you should visit:
- Portovenere world famous with its beautiful medieval village and houses colored towers overlooking the port in front of the island of Palmaria. In the extreme point you will find the remains of the castle and the very photographed church of San Pietro with its black and white marble in the Ligurian spirit. Entering the pedestrian zone from the door of the village dominated by the Capitolare Tower you will find three “pools”: they were the three sizes for grains and wine. To this tourist resort are annexed the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto.
- Palmaria the largest of the three, thanks to the presence of beaches and restaurants is easily accessible by ferry and taxi directly from Portovenere .
- The Tino is a military island owned by the Navy and the Tinetto is little more than a rock. We recommend visiting the islands on an organized tour.
- Le Grazie and Fezzano are two small villages dating back to ancient times. Less touristy than the nearby Portovenere but very characteristic with the carrugi that degrade on the colored squares of the area on the sea. Two small tourist harbours welcome boats with which to start for excursions by sailboat or gozzo.
- San Terenzo, dominated by the ancient castle and the “Grotta dei Turchi”, tells you about the defensive origin of the village. The castle can not be visited, but in summer it is often home to art exhibitions. From the square overlooking the fine sandy beach, begins the walk through the Venus Azzurra, the most famous and beautiful beach of this part of the Gulf of Poets, up to Lerici with the panorama of the islands and Portovenere.
- Lerici is considered the Pearl of the Gulf of Poets, for the beauty of the glance on the historic village and the view that can be admired from the promontory on which stands the castle of 1100. Inside it is possible to visit the geopaleontological museum. From here the carrugi descend among the typical colored tower houses to reach the square on the marina in a particularly characteristic walk. From the port a tunnel dug under the castle leads to a magnificent bay where there is the beach of San Giorgio and the historic restaurant Ciccillo a Mare.
- Beyond Lerici open a series of small beautiful coves, where to dive in the summer arriving by dinghy or sailing. We talk about Caletta, Cala Maramozza, and the famous Eco del Mare. You get to Fiascherino and Tellaro, two pearls loved by tourists and the last part of this tour of the Gulf of Poets by camper. Tellaro is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Reaching these two last places with our vehicles especially in the bathing season is not recommended. Better to leave them in more suitable areas and move around either by public transport or scooter.
Gulf of Poets by camper what to taste
If the wonder of the landscape hasn’t touched your heart yet, the goodness of the local cuisine will certainly make you fall in love. We’re telling you about the fish that is great in these deep waters and the mussel farms that they call muscles here.
Real floating nurseries anchored to the seabed, in the tradition break the mussels are present since 1887 for the particular tranquility of the waters rich in plankton and poor salt. Famous in Lerici and not only are the muscles stuffed with meatballs and cooked in a pan with a sauce in red: mouth-watering and ask for an encore. From Ciccillo to Mare to Lerici are really a bomb.
Even the oysters always raised here are of excellent quality and you can enjoy them fresh just opened with an aperitif.
Another dish is the octopus of Tellaro, simply seasoned with garlic and parsley; sometimes you can find it with the addition of tomatoes and potatoes.
But in this corner of Liguria there is also a strong bond with the earth: in Portovenere over the centuries, fish was a precious commodity for the markets and therefore the inhabitants ate more often the products of the earth. So don’t be surprised if you find vegetable soups like Mesc-ciùa, made with chickpeas, beans, cannellini lentils, wheat and spelt seasoned with the excellent Ligurian olive oil.
Not to mention the farinata made with chickpea flour and focaccia from Liguria. In San Terenzo you have to stop by the Linetta in the morning and take a piece of the focaccia della Linetta, in fact; the classic Ligurian focaccia here is masterfully interpreted. Not only we tell you, but the long queues that in summer you always find in front of this historic bakery.
Our tour in the province of La Spezia that from the sea borders with the nearby Tuscany ends here, but if you love the itineraries at sea out of season we also recommend you
Where to stay by camper
Unfortunately visiting the Gulf of Poets by camper does not offer many equipped areas and this is a sore point of an otherwise splendid tour. But we give you some pointers:
- In Lerici you can stop in an area with 8 stalls for campers without any services in the parking lot in La Vallata.€ 3,00 per hour from 8:00 to 20:00
- In Portovenere the stop is allowed in locality Cavo in the rest area with waste water and lighting. Stop max 36 hours at a cost of € 1.85 per hour. Bus stop near the area.
- A Le Grazie Olive Tree park lit up €1.85 per hour from 10:00 to 20:00
- In La Spezia you will find the equipped rest area in Via San Bartolomeo in Pagliari. electricity connections not in all pitches however, water, drain well, toilet. € 6.00 daily rate and € 5.00 electricity connection. Convenient to the bus stop.
- Obviously in the area there are also some seasonal campsites. We point out the Campsite Maralunga in the municipality of Lerici.
This corner of Liguria for Angela has always been a classic destination on winter Sundays or weekend at the sea and even now that you move by camper always recommends it.
While the wet cold and fog dominate the plain, here you can enjoy sunny days, the mild climate of the coast sheltered from the typical hills of the Ligurian landscape, where you can take beautiful and long walks in the pleasant winter sun.
An ideal place for a weekend in a camper by the sea that you can do all year, don’t you think?