The Gulf of La Spezia

Like a rainbow of painted plaster, the village of Portovenere hangs onto the cliffs above the swirling seas of the Gulf of La Spezia on the coast of Liguria – the home of fine wines and a one-time haunt of Byron’s.

We know it’s a tough decision, trying to decide between the Amalfi coast and the Cinque Terre but this image poses one more reason to get there.


The Gulf of La Spezia is also known as the Poet’s Gulf – and for good reason. Portovenere and the villages of the
Cinque Terre were often frequented by the English wordsmiths Byron and Shelly, as well as the indigenous poet Gabriele d’Annunzio. Portovenere itself is a beautiful town, made more so because of the vibrant colours that the houses have been swathed in.

The Cinque Terre area is well known for its wines. The ‘standard’ white wine from the area is the delicate Cinque Terre, but the same grapes are used to make a dessert wine known as Sciacchetrá. The five villages which make up the region have only recently been connected by road (previously you had to use the railway between them), though the roads are deliberately windy to discourage traffic.