The Gulf of La Spezia takes its name from the city of La Spezia, a major Mediterranean port in Liguria, a region in the north-west of Italy.
It is a large inlet, with La Spezia at its centre, and the ancient towns and beautiful resorts of Portovenere at its western end and Lerici at its eastern end.
Portovenere, of which you can see the Church of Saint Peter Promontory at top of the page, is considered the entrance to the Cinque Terre, for its vicinity to this protected area of natural beauty and clean waters.
The Gulf of La Spezia (Golfo della Spezia in Italian) is also called the Gulf of Poets, or Golfo dei Poeti, because many poets, writers and artists lived here and loved this place, including Petrarch, D H Lawrence, George Sand and the 19th-century English “romantic” poets Byron and Shelley, finding inspiration in the amazing splendour of the scenery.
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