What to visit near the Cinque Terre
Have you been in the Cinque Terre for a week or more and would like to know some other tourist destination nearby? This corner of Liguria on the border with Tuscany is at the center of truly unique places, historical regions such as Lunigiana and Val di Vara, a highly sought-after destination such as Portofino or famous cities of art relatively nearby such as Florence and Pisa.
- 1. The Gulf of Poets and the La Spezia Riviera
- 2. Tigullio and Golfo Paradiso
- 3. Lunigiana, Val di Vara, Carrara marble quarries
- 4. The wild beaches
- 5. Arts towns
Tempo di lettura: 3 minuti.
1. GULF OF POETS AND RIVIERA SPEZZINA
- La Spezia: easy to reach by train, ideal if it rains in the Cinque Terre thanks to its numerous museums and the castle of San Giorgio.
- Portovenere and the Palmaria island: Unesco heritage, with the castle, the small church of San Pietro on the sea, the cathedral, the colorful houses, the Palmaria island. Tip on how to get there by boat.
- Lerici: the other pearl of the Gulf of Poets with the castle, the beautiful promenade, the nearby village of San Terenzo. Always recommended to be reached by boat.
- Levanto: like La Spezia, a stone's throw from the Cinque Terre, bordering on Monterosso. In addition to the beaches, another castle, the church of Sant'Andrea, the typical architecture. To be reached by train or on foot, along the Monterosso-Sant'Antonio del Mesco-Levanto route (paths 590 and 591).
2. GOLFO DEL TIGULLIO AND GOLFO PARADISO
- Sestri Levante: you can get there by boat, a trip to discover a pearl of eastern Liguria, with the two bays surrounding it: the Baia del Silenzio and the Baia delle Favole.
- Portofino : the top of the vip, with the mythical Piazzetta (little square), the church of San Martino, the oratory of Our Lady, the church of San Giorgio, the Brown castle and the nearby Abbey of San Fruttuoso. To get to Portofino you need to travel by car or train to Santa Margherita.
- Camogli: here too you can get there by boat. The basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, the Dragonara castle, the seafront await us...
- Genoa: by boat as well. A must-see is the aquarium of Genoa, the Museum of the Sea and the Submarine, then the center with the cathedral of San Lorenzo, Palazzo Ducale, Palazzo Reale.
3. LUNIGIANA, VAL DI VARA AND CARRARA MARBLE QUARRIES
- Sarzana: city of antiques, at the beginning of Lunigiana, with a lively historic center, a treasure trove of works of art, with two fortresses, the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and numerous churches. An hour by car or half an hour by train, changing at La Spezia Centrale.
- Fosdinovo: near Sarzana, to which it can be combined, the attraction here is the imposing Malaspina castle, perhaps the best preserved in the whole of Lunigiana.
- Varese Ligure: discovering the Val di Vara with the beautiful round village of Varese Ligure. You need the car, in an hour or so you are there.
- Pontremoli and the narrows of Giaredo: completely off the beaten track. In search of an adventure towards the innermost Lunigiana, still in Tuscany, but almost in Emilia. A castle, two squares, a unique dessert (the Amor) and an adventure in a fairytale river canyon. Just one hour/one hour and 20 minutes by road or train.
- The Carrara marble quarries: not to be miss in your bucket list. Among the white mountains already famous in Roman times. Better to use the car, about an hour and 20 minutes away.
4. WILD BEACHES
Warning: always make sure that access and bathing are not prohibited by municipal ordinances.
- Punta Corvo: a hidden bay between Bocca di Magra and Lerici, sand and black pebbles, reachable by sea or by a trek of 700 steps...
- Punta Bianca: next to Punta Corvo, less tiring to reach, always with a staircase. Large limestone rocks and crystal clear water.
- Caletta of Lerici: few know it, a Thai beach in Italy, a dream cove for romantics. 300 very hidden steps.
- The Tramonti stairways: the top of the wild. Tramonti is the area located between Riomaggiore and Portovenere, with vertiginous stairways, even 1000 steps that descend to the Persico beach, to that of Monesteroli and Schiara. Large pebble beaches with lifts only for the fittest.
5. ARTS TOWNS
- Milan: why not? A day in the city to discover the Lombard metropolis. The Duomo, the Vittorio Emanuele II gallery, the Sforzesco castle. Three hours by car (220-230 km), more or less the same by train.
- Pisa: a visit to the leaning tower and Piazza dei Miracoli is a must. In less than 100 km, an hour and a half by car. But the train is much more comfortable from La Spezia Centrale.
- Livorno: thanks to arrival of the cruises at the port of Livorno, it is possible to discover its lively atmosphere.
- Lucca: perhaps not as well known as the tower of Pisa, but Lucca encloses in its walls a series of churches, palaces and the stupendous Piazza Anfiteatro, which surprise those who visit it for the first time. Hour and a half by car, a little more by train, almost two hours.
- Florence: it's just a a little further on, two and a half hours by car or train to admire the Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi, Piazzale Michelangelo ...
- Rome: what a madness! But by train it's 4 hours there and 4 hours back...