La Spezia is the largest town on the Bay of Poets, and it is capital city of the namesake province in Liguria. It is just 20 minutes away by car and about 30 away by ferryboat from Portovenere. Apart from hosting a number of attractions, including the Naval Museum and the Archeology Museum, this sea town also offers a number of fun activities involving the local community and visitors from around the world. Two of our favorites are the organic farming initiatives by Orti di San Giorgio and the urban trekking itineraries by SpeziaOutdoor.
Between organic markets and panoramic cocktails
Orti di San Giorgio is an association that promotes awareness and love for nature, the environment, and the historic-natural landscapes. Its activities revolve around the concepts of biodiversity, local farming, botany and the use of plants for gastronomy, decoration and healing purposes.
It manages a space that is quite unique in Italy, comprising of a shared vegetable garden, an area for didactic activities, a citrus grove, a medieval-style Hortus conclusus (or enclosed garden), and a shared nursery-seedbed. Fifty local residents from La Spezia joined their forces and passion and became “urban farmers” at Orti di San Giorgio. Schools and groups can enjoy on-site activities organized in collaboration with the Slow Food association.
If you want to visit this amazing green space, it is located at the foot of La Spezia’s most imposing castle – Castello San Giorgio (address: Via XX Settembre 116). Make sure not to miss the Organic Farmers’ Market, held every second Saturday from 8am to noon (entrance at Via XXVII Marzo in front of Castello San Giorgio).
Poggio Orto-Bar is another initiative and place that was created within the amazing project behind Orti di San Giorgio. Here you can relax in the greenery with a view of La Spezia harbor, while enjoying breakfast or cocktails during an aperitivo. Upon advanced reservation, you can also enjoy a typical “spezzino” lunch or dinner.
Urban paths, nature routes, unique trekking
SpeziaOutdoor is a project by the local municipality. It offers a rich calendar of activities that allow locals and tourists to explore La Spezia and the Gulf of Poets through themed excursions. The trekking expeditions usually set off to explore nature and history along the Gulf of Poets, and urban landscapes and art in La Spezia.
The itineraries for the 2016 fall months has just been released:
- 8 October – Sentiero Liguria: from Spezia to Porto Venere
- 15 October – Explore the Gulf: via dei Pilastri
- 22 October – Urban Trekking: Spezia’s Umbertino Neighborhood
- 23 October – Urban Trekking: Spezia’s ancient walls
- 29 October – Urban Trekking: Spezia’s inner path
- 30 October – Saffron Cultivations
- 31 October – Urban Trekking: looking for the Churches that disappeared
- 5 November – Explore the Gulf: Muggiano – Pitelli
- 13 November – Urban Trekking & Art: looking for painter Agostino Fossati
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