Are you planning a fall break in Italy? After all, this colorful season is just around the corner! If you are looking for a charming destination full of character and entertaining activities, consider enjoying autumn in Liguria – and in particular – in the Bay of La Spezia (or Bay of Poets).
The amazing scenery here is a feast for your eyes and soul. The name itself stems from the inspiration that the area has had on poets and artists who have been struck by its beauty. Among them: writers David Herbert Lawrence and Percy Bysshe Shelley, writer and painter George Sand, and poet Lord Byron.
As one of the most wonderful stretches of the Ligurian Riviera, the Bay of Poets is famous for its idyllic sea landscapes and beautiful beaches. However, the local territory offers a lot more than just summer beach tourism. Small villages with ancient traditions, local artistic legacy, delicious wine & food, and the strategic location between the Cinque Terre and Tuscany, are some of the features that make the Bay of La Spezia a great destination even for a visit in off-peak seasons like autumn.
The Bay of Poets is home to some exquisite, little known gems that are ideally located next to each other and near world-famous destinations like Cinque Terre and Portofino in Liguria, the Versilia Riviera in Tuscany, and Milan in Lombardy.
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From Portovenere and La Spezia you can catch the ferryboat that takes you directly to the Cinque Terre (La Spezia also offers a train service from its main station to each) or taxi boats for any destination of your choice.
The importance and uniqueness of this part of the Ligurian Coast has been recognized by UNESCO, which has listed Portovenere and the Cinque Terre as a World Heritage Site for their extraordinary and harmonious relationship between man and nature.
Are you in the area only for a short short break? Here are some tips for enjoying “48 Hours in Portovenere and Cinque Terre”.
Nature Sports & Eco-Tourism
The Gulf of La Spezia is home to the beautiful Island of Palmaria and the Islets of Tino and Tinetto, as well as to the Regional Nature Park of Portovenere and its Protected Marine Area. The neighboring territory is also another safeguarded sanctuary thanks to the Cinque Terre National Park and its Marine Protected Area.
All of these protected areas offer the opportunity to enjoy trekking and cycling itineraries, as well as diving and other water sports, and even eno-gastronomic routes such as the Sciacchetrail – a unique path that mixes trail running among the vineyards and getting to know the Sciacchetrà and other local wines.
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Click on each thumbnail to find out more about each nature reserve, local fauna and flora, and activities (links open in a new window).
Foodie Fall: wine and seasonal cuisine
During early fall, you might still be able to witness the ancient tradition of grape harvest on the terraced hills of the Ligurian Riviera.
With the picturesque colors and that particular feel that is unique to autumn, visiting vineyards and wineries during fall is a truly rewarding experience. Foodies can indulge in wine tasting sessions, as well as guided tastings of local products and recipes.
A fun activity for adults and children alike is to get your aprons on and join a cooking lesson with local chefs. The experience usually ends at the table, where participants get to enjoy their culinary creations.
What are your fall travel plans? Would you consider enjoying autumn in Liguria?
Share your thoughts below!