La Spezia: The Complete Guide

La Spezia, positioned in the far-eastern reaches of Liguria, stands as the region’s largest and most densely populated city. However, its allure lies not only in its intrinsic attractions but also in its proximity to the splendid villages adorning the enchanting Gulf of Poets.

Often, La Spezia merely brushes against the bustling tide of tourists drawn by the illustrious charms of destinations like the Cinque Terre, Lerici, and Porto Venere. Yet, venturing into the heart of La Spezia can yield delightful surprises, thanks to its captivating museums, vibrant city center, and breathtaking vistas that unveil the expansive Gulf, framed against the majestic backdrop of the Apuan Alps.

Embarking on a multi-day sojourn in La Spezia while using it as a base for exploring the surroundings can prove to be a brilliant notion. This approach allows one to fully appreciate the beauty of this Ligurian stretch, while also keeping expenses in check. The city offers an array of affordable lodging options, including budget-friendly hotels and apartments, which facilitates an economical exploration of the region’s attractions.

Visiting La Spezia for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in La Spezia on the first visit. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

This website uses affiliate links which earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

11 Best places to See in La Spezia

This complete guide to La Spezia not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in La Spezia and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Thaon di Revel Bridge

Ponte Thaon Di Revele, La Spezia
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Helge Thomas
The Thaon di Revel bridge, a splendid piece of modern architecture, graces the port of La Spezia with its presence. Spanning 150 meters in length, this pedestrian bridge was erected in July 2013, serving as a remarkable link between the Morin promenade and the Mirabella marina. Crafted from a combination of steel, concrete, and wood, […]
Location: Thaon Di Revel, Italy | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Thaon di Revel Bridge

CAMeC - Centro Arte Moderna e Contemporanea

La Spezia Camec
Public Domain / Icarus83
Nestled within the historical heart of La Spezia stands the CAMEC – Center of Modern and Contemporary Art, an artistic haven ensconced within a 1920s building that once served as the seat of Justice. This dynamic institution boasts a remarkable and diverse array of artworks, solidifying its role as a hub for modern and contemporary […]
Location: CAMeC - Centro Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Piazza Cesare Battisti, La Spezia, SP, Italy | Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11.00 - 18.00 | Price: € 5.00 | Website | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting CAMeC - Centro Arte Moderna e Contemporanea

Naval Technical Museum La Spezia

In the 1860s, the Italian navy established a significant base in La Spezia, which later evolved into one of its foremost dockyards and arsenals. The inception of the museum traces back to the 18th century, when a collection of naval artifacts associated with the royal house of Savoy found its home at Villafranca and subsequently […]
Location: Technical Naval Museum of Spezia, Viale Giovanni Amendola, La Spezia, Italy | Hours: Daily 08:30am to 07:30pm. Closed Tuesdays | Price: €1.55 | Website | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Naval Technical Museum La Spezia

San Giorgio Castle

Castello San Giorgio La Spezia
Public Domain / Tangopaso
The Castle of San Giorgio, perched above La Spezia, boasts a lineage that harks back to a watchtower’s inception. The first semblance of the castle emerged in 1262, crafted by the region’s ruler Nicolò Fieschi. This stronghold served the purpose of fortifying his dominance over the territory. Presently, only the foundational segment of the original […]
Location: Castello San Giorgio, Via XXVII Marzo, La Spezia, SP, Italy | Hours: Winter: from Wednesday to Sunday 10.00-12.30 / 14-17; Tuesday 10-17. Spring/Autumn: Monday to Sunday 10:00-12:30 / 14:00 - 17:00 Summer: Monday to Sunday 10:30-17:00. | Price: Adult:€ 5.50 | Website | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting San Giorgio Castle

Civic Museum of the Seal

La Spezia Museo Del Sigillo Palazzina Delle Arti
Public Domain / Cribegh
Situated within the captivating historic center of La Spezia, the Civic Museum of the Seal finds its abode within the venerable confines of the Paolotti convent, a structure steeped in 17th-century history. This museum’s inception took place in the year 2000, a testament to the generous donation from Lilian and Euro Capellini. Their unwavering dedication […]
Location: Via del Prione, 236, La Spezia, SP, Liguria, Italy | Hours: Daily: 10:00 - 18:00 Closed Monday | Price: €3.50 | Website | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Civic Museum of the Seal

Amedeo Lia Civic Museum, La Spezia

Museo Lia, Entrata
CC BY-SA 3.0 / sailko
At the vibrant core of La Spezia stands the Civic Art Museum, a treasure trove housing a constellation of artworks that span across centuries. This remarkable repository boasts approximately 1000 masterpieces, dating from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, comprising an array of sculptures, ceramics, bronze pieces, and delicate glassware. However, the true essence […]
Location: Museo Civico Amedeo Lia, Via del Prione, La Spezia, SP, Italy | Hours: Daily 10:00 - 18:00 Closed Mondays | Price: € 8.00 | Website | Distance: 0.70km
Visiting Amedeo Lia Civic Museum, La Spezia

Roman villa of Varignano

Villa Romana Del Varignano
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Donatella Chiapponi
The Roman Villa of Varignano enjoys a truly idyllic setting, nestled at the base of a picturesque valley adorned with water sources. It graciously overlooks the sea, enveloped by an estate adorned with olive groves, and quite possibly enriched with woodlands and pasturelands. Archaeological endeavours have unveiled an expansive villa with a private harbor, its […]
Location: Varignano Roman Villa, Via Varignano Vecchio, Le Grazie, Portovenere, SP, Italy | Distance: 4.50km
Visiting Roman villa of Varignano

Porta del Borgo, Porto Venere

Porto Venere, Porta Del Borgo
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Palickap
The “Porta del Borgo” of Porto Venere stands as a historical gateway, adorned with a significant Latin inscription “Colonia Januensis 1113.” This inscription serves as a reminder of the year 1113 when Portovenere was fortified by the Republic of Genoa, thus assuming a vital role as a defensive stronghold against the Maritime Republic of Pisa. […]
Location: Porta del Borgo, Porto Venere, SP, Italy | Distance: 5.70km
Visiting Porta del Borgo, Porto Venere

Castello Doria

Portovenere, Castello Doria
CC BY-SA 2.5 / Lorenzo Maffucci
Castello Doria stands as a commanding fortress, perched atop a rocky hill that gracefully oversees the coastal village of Portovenere. It stands as a resplendent exemplar of military architecture hailing from the Republic of Genoa. Historical threads weave into the castle’s narrative, with its origins rooted in an ancient fortress that occupied the terrain. The […]
Location: Via dei Mulini, 19025 Porto Venere, SP, Italy | Hours: Daily 10:00 to 17:30 | Price: €5.00 | Website | Distance: 5.80km
Visiting Castello Doria

Church of San Pietro (Porto Venere)

Church Of San Pietro Porto Venere
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Davide Papalini
The Church of San Pietro stands as an ancient testament to devotion, perched on a rugged promontory in Portovenere that gazes out upon the captivating Gulf of Poets. History of Church of San Pietro (Porto Venere) The foundations of the original church trace back to an ancient pagan temple dedicated to the goddess Venus Erycina. […]
Location: Chiesa di San Pietro in Portovenere, Piazza Lazzaro Spallanzani, Porto Venere, SP, Italy | Website | Distance: 6.10km
Visiting Church of San Pietro (Porto Venere)

Porto Venere Regional Natural Park

Porto Venere Regional Natural Park
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Elio Pallard
The promontory cradling the charming village of Portovènere, stretching towards the Albana valley, and the protective embrace of the marine area that enfolds the Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto islands together constitute the realm of the Porto Venere Regional Natural Park. Encompassing 400 hectares of extraordinary environmental, scenic, and historical significance, this sanctuary earned the prestigious […]
Location: Parco Naturale Regionale di Porto Venere, Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, Porto Venere, SP, Italy | Website | Distance: 6.80km
Visiting Porto Venere Regional Natural Park

Best Time to Visit La Spezia

La Spezia is often used as a base to visit Cinque Terre, and it offers unique experiences throughout the year, making it a destination that can be visited year-round. Here’s a breakdown of the best times to visit:

Spring (March to May): In spring, Cinque Terre boasts mild and pleasant temperatures, with nature coming to life as flowers bloom. Hiking trails become accessible, and the sea is calm for swimming. This season allows you to explore the picturesque villages before the summer crowds arrive.

Summer (June to August): The summer months bring long, sunny days, making it perfect for swimming and beach relaxation. However, it’s also the peak tourist season, with significant crowds, especially in July and August. To escape the heat and crowds, consider visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Autumn (September to November): Autumn is a fantastic time to experience Cinque Terre, offering mild temperatures, reduced rainfall, and the local vineyards in full harvest. This is an opportunity to try new wines and partake in local festivals. Hiking trails remain open, although daylight hours gradually decrease.

Winter (December to February): Winter is the quietest period in Cinque Terre. The villages are tranquil, accommodation prices are at their lowest, but temperatures can be quite chilly. This season is ideal for those seeking a peaceful experience, with some hiking trails closed for maintenance.

Average Temperatures in La Spezia

  • January 12°C 17
  • February 13°C 19
  • March 15°C 15
  • April 18°C 12
  • May 21°C 12
  • June 26°C 8
  • July 30°C 4
  • August 29°C 7
  • September 25°C 13
  • October 21°C 24
  • November 16°C 28
  • December 13°C 22

How to get to La Spezia

You can easily travel to La Spezia by various means of transportation:

Flying to La Spezia: Although La Spezia doesn’t have its airport, two nearby airports serve the region. Pisa Airport (Galileo Galilei) is located 85 kilometers away, while Genoa Airport (Cristoforo Colombo) is 110 kilometers away. Both airports offer flights to major Italian and European cities and are accessible by car or train.

Visiting La Spezia by Train: La Spezia boasts an important railway station, La Spezia Centrale, which serves as a hub for various railway lines, including the La Spezia – Parma and Genoa – Rome routes. The city also features two additional train stations, La Spezia Migliarina and Ca’ di Boschetti, facilitating travel within the city. Fourteen other stations within the province of La Spezia connect the city to destinations like Cinque Terre.

Visiting La Spezia by Car: La Spezia is easily accessible by road via state roads 62 ‘Cisa,’ linking the region with Emilia and northern Italy, and state road 1 ‘Aurelia,’ connecting Rome to Ventimiglia. Nearby motorways A15 (Parma – La Spezia) and A12 (Genoa – Livorno) provide additional road access.

These transportation options offer convenient ways to reach La Spezia and explore its surrounding attractions along the stunning Ligurian coastline.

Tours and Activities from La Spezia