Porto Venere Regional Natural Park
National Park in La Spezia
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 UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1997.
The distinctive traits of this territory encompass the flourishing Mediterranean maquis, adorned with endemic species like the cornflower of Porto Venere, and hosting rare creatures such as the diminutive European gecko. Furthermore, the region is punctuated by karst formations, including caves, wells, and sinkholes, with Palmaria Island being particularly rich in these phenomena. These islands serve as a natural extension of the towering cliffs that stretch between the Portovènere promontory and the Cinque Terre.
Among these islands, Palmaria remains open for exploration, reachable by boat from Portovènere and La Spezia. Tino, however, falls under Navy jurisdiction and is subject to visitation restrictions, only accessible through guided park excursions or on September 13th, during the celebration of San Venerio, a local hermit.
The park boasts various hiking trails that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the park’s environment and history. The renowned Path 1, commencing from piazza Bastreri and winding along the village walls, offers mesmerizing vistas of the S. Pietro church and the majestic cliffs of Muzzerone. Palmaria, despite its limited beaches, attracts summer visitors with the allure of swimming. The pebble beach at Punta Secca provides a glimpse of Portovènere’s charm, accompanied by underwater seascapes adorned with oceanic posidonia. Meanwhile, the Pozzale beach, on the island’s opposite side, beckons explorers to reach its shores by foot or boat from Portovènere and La Spezia. Scuba diving in the region is an enchanting experience, with precipitous cliffs extending underwater and a vibrant marine ecosystem to discover.
With its lush landscapes and captivating history, the Porto Venere Regional Natural Park offers a captivating blend of nature and culture, inviting visitors to uncover its wonders.
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