Palmaria island information index:
- What to see
- Where to sleep
- Where to eat and restaurants
- Traditional holidays
- How to get there
- Weather forecast
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The Palmaria Island is located in front of the promontory of Portovenere, separated by a narrow arm of the sea called "Le Bocche" (The Mounths), the westernmost point of the Gulf of Poets. It is the largest island in all of Liguria with 1.89 square km of area.
It forms a small archipelago with the nearby islets of Tino and Tinetto. Since 1997 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Triangular in shape, it can be divided into two parts: the area visible from Portovenere is sweeter geographically, with pebble beaches; the area towards the open sea, on the other hand, is characterized by high cliffs overlooking the water
Due to its strategic position, it was militarized already in the Napoleonic era and there are many defensive and sighting buildings such as the Forte Cavour, the the Forte Umberto I, the Albini battery, bunkers, artillery positions now in decay and covered from the vegetation.
The Palmaria island naturally links its history to nearby Portovenere. Already colonized by the Romans, it was conquered by the Lombards, therefore in medieval times it was a possession of the Lords of Vezzano and for a long time of Genoa.
San Venerio was born on the island around the year 560, probably a monk of the Benedictine monastery of San Giovanni, which has now disappeared. He died in 610 on the nearby island of Tino. He is the patron saint of the Gulf of La Spezia.
What to see
Much of the island of Palmaria is a military area and its importance is testified by the remains of fortifications that still exist, scattered here and there and reachable on foot following trekking routes.
Here, in fact, we find the renovated Forte Umberto I, dating back to 1887, near the Terrizzo, to the west, in front of the rock where the Torre Scola stands.
In the southern part of the island, towards Pozzale, at Punta dell’Isola, there are still old abandoned quarries of Portoro marble, black in color with golden streaks.
In the central part rise the Forte Cavour or Forte Palmaria, from 1861, in a state of neglect, and the Batteria del Semanforo, an ancient watchtower later used by the Military Navy as a traffic light to control ship traffic.
Where to sleep
Being partly a military area and almost uninhabited, there are few possibilities to stay on the Palmaria island, with some guesthouses between the Terrizzo and the Pozzale.
Where to eat and restaurants
Similarly, the places to eat on the Palmaria island are limited but very suggestive: Locanda Lorena, Pozzale restaurant, Il Gabbiano restaurant.
The grumpy Ligurian nature is also revealed on the Palmaria island, with the southern part characterized by cliffs overlooking the sea.
The bathing areas are located in front of Portovenere, with the Punta Secco beach, made up of pebbles, next to a small sea resort, with a crystalline sea. In the eastern part, towards the Terrizzo, there is Cala Fornace, a cove that can only be reached by sea and a little further the Gabbiani beach, closed to bathers due to the landslide movement above. Finally, further south, the Pozzale beach, reachable only by sea, very suggestive, with smooth pebbles and stones.
All Palmaria Island beaches and Portovenere beaches.
The Palmaria island is crossed by a circular path that allows you to visit it completely. This is the path 510, also known as Periplo della Palmaria, with two variants: the 510C Pozzale-Grotta dei Colombi and the 510V that goes down to Punta Mariella.
There is also another path, the 511, called Strada dei Condannati (route of the condemned), which crosses the center of the island from north to south passing from Forte Cavour towards Terrizzo.
The travel time of the tour of the Palmaria island is about 2 hours, but depending on the training, it can reach 3 hours and is indicated by the CAI as excursionist, with even steep ups and downs. It is usually carried out from the Terrizzo locality, going up towards the east (in the opposite direction to Portovenere) and allows you to see the Forte Umberto I, the Scola Tower and the beaches of Cala Fornace. The route continues downhill towards the Pozzale beach and the "Grotta dei Colombi" (cave of the pigeons). Continuing towards Portovenere, cross the 511 path and reach the Environmental Education Center (C.E.A.). From here the path becomes steeper, before descending towards the Gabbiano beach and then returning to Terrizzo.
Palmaria Island trekking paths.
The offer of restaurants is very limited to Palmaria, but it is necessary to speak in this section of "Parmaea" wine, produced exclusively using grapes from one of the very few vineyards on the island, just over half a hectare of land in front of Portovenere, at 35-40 meters high above sea level, for a production of about 1,200 bottles of white wine.
The grapes are of three types: Vermentino (60%), Albarola (20%) and Trebbiano (20%).
The closest festival to the Palmaria island is that of San Venerio on 13 September, patron saint of the Gulf of La Spezia, a hermit monk who settled on the island of Tino in the seventh century.
How to get there
The Palmaria island can only be reached by sea, from Portovenere, La Spezia or Lerici, thanks to the regular boat service of the Gulf of Poets Navigation Consortium, usually active from late spring until the end of October.
The other possibility is to get to the island with the service provided by the Cooperative Barcaioli Portovenere, active all year round, from Portovenere's Molo Doria.
All information on how to get to Palmaria Island .
Find out how to get to Portovenere in detail.