Welcome to La Spezia, a stunning city located at the head of the Gulf of La Spezia in the southern part of the Liguria region of Italy. As the second-largest city in the Liguria region, La Spezia boasts a rich history, beautiful museums, and charming churches. The city is known for its military and commercial harbours, as well as its connection to the Cinque Terre. Join us as we uncover the many treasures of La Spezia and reveal why this enchanting destination should be on every traveler’s bucket list.

La Spezia and its province have been settled since prehistoric times. In Roman times, the most important center was Luni, not far from Sarzana. After the fall of the Republic of Genoa, an independent state until 1797, La Spezia grew, developed, and changed, though along lines similar to Liguria’s capital Genoa. This Ligurian influence can still be seen in the urban layout as well as in the types of buildings and decorations.

The city’s narrow street divides the Old Town into two, and it is called Via del Prione. Walking landwards from the sea, it is possible to see partly hidden, but still evident, traces of history: engraved stones, capitals, and portals in fourteenth-century sandstone, double lancet windows vaguely reminiscent of the future renaissance style of mannerism, baroque pediments, and decorations similar to those adorning the portals of the palaces once belonging to the Doria family and the Princes of Massa. La Spezia developed substantially after 1861 when the great naval arsenal there was commissioned by the Royal government.

As a popular seaside resort, La Spezia is also a significant railway junction with notable museums. The city boasts several beautiful churches, including Cristo Re dei Secoli, the Abbey Church of Santa Maria Assunta, and Santi Giovanni e Agostino. La Spezia also has several museums, including the Ubaldo Formentini-Civic Museum in the Castle of San Giorgio, Amedeo Lia Museum, and Palazzina delle Arti and Museum of Seals. Additionally, La Spezia is home to several beautiful gardens, including the Public Gardens and several Art Nouveau-style villas.

La Spezia is a point of departure for the villages of the Cinque Terre, either by train or boat. The boat also serves Lerici and Portovenere before turning into the open sea toward the Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre villages are accessible by public transport, 15 kilometers (9 mi) from the central railway station.

La Spezia has a borderline humid subtropical (Cfa) and Mediterranean climate (Csa). The city enjoys hot summers, chilly damp winters, and very changeable and rainy autumns and springs. La Spezia is a chief Italian naval base and arsenal, and the base for a navy navigation school. It is also a commercial port, with shipyards and industries producing machinery, metal products, and refined petroleum. La Spezia’s public transportation services are managed by ATC La Spezia, which owns urban, suburban, and interurban bus routes, as well as the local trolleybus network and other services within the city. Since 2002, a university named G. Marconi has had its headquarters in La Spezia. The Distretto Ligure delle Tecnologie Marine (DLTM) is a research hub in La Spezia, Italy, focused on blue economy.

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