2019 Summer Events in the Gulf of Poets

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Here is a selection of the main summer events in and around Portovenere, the village in a sublime location between La Spezia and Cinque Terre.


Music Concerts & Tastings

When: various dates from July until September (see detail below)
Where: Portovenere

Palmaria Restaurant and Venus Bar have a fantastic calendar of live music concerts, themed aperitifs and tasting dinners. These include the “Classical Music & Champagne” event on 4 July; “Byron’s Cup Menu” on 7 July; “DJ Set Music” on 10 and 24 July; “Muscoli Tasting Evenings” on most Thursday evenings in July and August; and more live music with Tiziana Gasparetti on Friday and Sunday evenings. You can find the complete calendar of events on palmariarestaurant.com/en/special-events.

International Jazz Festival of La Spezia

When: 22 – 27 July 2019
Where: La Spezia, Portovenere, Lerici

The La Spezia Jazz Festival (Festival Internazionale del Jazz della Spezia) is an international music event that music lovers cannot miss. The jazz music festival was founded in 1696 by Tiberio Nicola, a local musician and jazz lover from La Spezia. More info and calendar of concerts on festivaljazzlaspezia.it

Palio del Golfo

When: 4 August 2019
Where: La Spezia

The Palio of the Gulf (Palio del Golfo) is a historic regatta that takes place in the waters of the Gulf of Poets on the first Sunday of August. The race is among 13 handmade boats, each representing a borgata (hamlet or village) located on the bay: Portovenere, Le Grazie, Fezzano, Cadimare, Marola, CRDD (a sports society representing La Spezia’s historic center), Canaletto, Fossamastra, Muggiano, San Terenzo, Venere Azzurra, Lerici and Tellaro. The boats are handmade by local artisans with unique characteristics that make them fast and agile. To learn more about the boats and the history of the palio, read Palio of the Gulf: pride & tradition.

Suoni dal Golfo

When: 10 – 24 August 2019
Where: Lerici

Conductor Gianluca Marcianò launched Suoni dal Golfo festival in 2017 in his home town of Lerici. Together with violist Maxim Novikov, he established the concept of Orchestra Excellence – a training opportunity for emerging musicians. With many concerts in stunning locations in Lerici, San Terenzo and Tellaro, Suoni dal Golfo pays tribute to all those artists who over centuries drew inspiration from the wonderful surroundings of the Gulf of Poets. More info and calendar of events on suonidalgolfo.com.

Madonna Bianca

When: 17 August 2019
Where: Portovenere

Every year, on the 17th of August, Portovenere celebrates its local Patron Saint called White Madonna (Madonna Bianca). During the festival, the entire fishing village is lit up with over 2000 roman torches, including Byron’s Grotto and the rocky spur of Punta San Pietro. A traditional procession carrying the icon of the Virgin Mary takes place through the flower-decorated streets of the village. Learn about the legend in the article Portovenere’s “White Madonna” torchlight procession.

Pop Eat | Nutriamo il Borgo

When: 17 and 18 August 2019
Where: Castelnuovo Magra

This art and food festival combines the traditional cuisine of Liguria and Lunigiana with visual arts and conviviality. This event aims at promoting the gastronomic culture of the territory between Liguria and Tuscany as well as the artists who work mainly in the field of visual arts. More info about Pop Eat Festival.

San Venerio

When: 12 and 13 September 2019
Where: Tino Island

San Venerio was a hermit monk in the monastery that once existed on Tino Island. On dark nights, he used to light up a bonfire to help traveling ships to orientate themselves in the Gulf of Poets. The monk died in 630. Today, he is the protector of marine lighthouses. Tino is now home to the San Venerio Lighthouse. Its construction completed in 1840. It illuminates and guides the sailors in that part of Ligurian Sea. The Island of Tino – a military space that is usually closed to visitors – opens up its frontiers on 13 September to remember and honor the saint. The island hosts a nocturnal procession that is quite impressive!

Nearby: Music Festivals in Tuscany

If you choose the Gulf of Poets as the base for your Italian summer vacation, you can easily reach other destinations in Liguria, such as Cinque Terre and Portofino, or in neighboring regions, such as Tuscany. Here you will find interesting events such as Lucca Summer Festival and Puccini Festival.

Summer Vacations on the Italian Riviera

This is some of the action that the Gulf of Poets proposes to its visitors. Thanks to its fantastic location close to Cinque Terre and Portofino in Liguria, Forte dei Marmi and Versilia in Tuscany, and Parma in Emilia Romagna, the variety of events and attractions that are just a short drive away is astonishing. You will surely not run out of places to go and events to experience when visiting the Italian Riviera this summer!

Need accommodation?

Grand Hotel Portovenere is a boutique hotel located on the most panoramic point of Portovenere, directly overlooking the sea, the harbor and Palmaria Island. In the XVII century, the building was home to a Franciscan monastery. Here you can choose from various room types, including the sea-view junior suites and the luxury suites. Explore all of the hotel’s services and spaces on www.portoveneregrand.com: direct bookings obtain free garage parking in the city center, a true luxury on the Italian Riviera!

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