"Portovenere - The Jewel of Liguria" Top 5 Page for this destination Portovenere by MikeAtSea

Portovenere Travel Guide: 160 reviews and 401 photos

Portovenere is a town and municipality located on the Ligurian coast of Italy in the province of La Spezia. It comprises the three villages of Fezzano, Le Grazie and Portovenere, and the three islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. In 1997 Portovenere and the villages of Cinque Terre were designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Portovenere is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Portovenere's harbor is lined with brightly colored houses and narrow medieval streets lead up the hill to a castle. The main street of Portovenere, lined with shops, is entered through Portovenere's ancient city gate. There is a picturesque church on the promontory, once the site of a temple to Venus (Venere in Italian) from which Portovenere gets its name. Nearby is Byron's Cave in a rocky area leading to the sea where the poet Byron used to swim.
Portovenere sits on a rocky peninsula on the Gulf of Poets, an area in the Gulf of La Spezia once popular with writers such as Byron, Shelley and DH Lawrence. Portovenere is southeast of the Cinque Terre at the end of the Italian Riviera, in the region of Liguria. Portovenere is across the bay from Lerici, another village worth visiting. Three small islands are just off the coast from Portovenere.

Portovenere has been occupied since prehistoric and Roman times. San Pietro Church sits on a site that is believed to have been a temple to Venus, Venere in Italian, from which Portovenere gets its name.
Portovenere was a stronghold of the Geneose during medieval times and was fortified as a defense against Pisa. A battle with the Aragonese in 1494 marked the end of Portovenere's importance. Portovenere was popular with English poets in the early nineteenth century - and I can understand why and where they obtained their inspiration from!
Looking at all the destinations that I have visited in Italy - Portovenere is a firm favourite, with its charm, location and history.

  • Last visit to Portovenere: Jun 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (15)

Comments (4)

  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo
    May 15, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    This should be a nice place to visit.


  • b1bob's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    A travel tip for you: if you see a restaurant in the U.S. with "osteria" or "trattoria" in the title, expect to pay a lot more for the food than at their Italian namesakes.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2009 at 3:03 PM

    Nice colorful coastal Italian port. Cinque terre looks incredible - no wonder a UNESCO WHS. Thanks for sharing. Grazie. SL :)

  • Pinat's Profile Photo
    Jun 27, 2009 at 9:01 AM

    Very nice pictures and informative tips. I found good reaons to go back to Italy: Why not discover Liguria next time?!?


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