Hugely different to the surrounding villages and coastal towns, La Spezia is a large and busy city sitting at the Gulf of La Spezia offering beautiful views that contrast starkly against the business centre of the city. The city lies perfectly between the Ligurian capital of Genoa and Pisa to the southeast.
The centre of Italy’s largest naval base in the 19th Century, the city may have a larger focus on business today but the presence of the navy can still be felt. The city is a centre of modernity that is beautifully balanced through the occasional historical building, while there are plenty of sights on the outskirts.
A hatchback will provide comfort for travellers whilst being small enough to easily navigate around the small streets and allow for easy parking.
There are numerous museums around the city that offer a great insight into the city’s past along with the history of the country as a whole. The Museo del Sigilio is a museum dedicated to seals, some of which date back to the 4th millennium BC.
A gem of the museums of the city, Museo Amedeo Lia is a fine arts museum based within a 17th century friary, and as such is beautiful both within the building and as a building itself. The museum’s collection includes 13th to 18th century art, along with Romanesque designs and pieces.
Due to the rich and vivid history of the city, archaeologists have discovered a wide range of artefacts throughout the years, many of which are on display at Castello di San Giorgio. The findings date from prehistoric right up to the medieval period.
The city is full to brimming with restaurants and bars to enjoy during the day and the night. Some of the best places to eat are the least assuming, offering traditional and delicious food at very reasonable prices.
Much of the city centre is highly pedestrianized and as such can be difficult to navigate entirely by car. However, there are plenty of parking areas available around the outskirts.
The harbour is large and is very popular for cruise ships. During the peak season, the city can get very busy with pedestrians and tourists, meaning drivers should be alert at all times.
The city can experience rush hour during week days, meaning travel around the times of 7-9am and 4.30-6.30pm should be avoided whenever possible, especially out of the city limits.
Pisa International Airport is the nearest airport to La Spezia, located 84km from the city centre. While this is a relatively short distance, the busy nature of both La Spezia and especially Pisa can mean travel may be delayed.
The airport is served internationally on a daily basis and serves the entire area of Tuscany. As such the airport is generally busy at all time.