At the westernmost end of the Gulf of La Spezia is Portovenere, a picturesque seaside village from the Roman era, located on a rugged cliff overlooking the emerald sea. Opposite are the Islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto that display an almost unreal charm.
The origins of Portovenere can be traced back to the Roman domination. At the beginning of Christianity it was the center of an active monastic life: before the 6th century the Church of San Pietro was built on the Arpaia Promontory (remodeled in several periods) built on the remains of a Roman temple dedicated to Venus. In 1116 the Church of San Lorenzo was built. The parish church underwent various changes until the end of the 16th century. The Doria House is a medieval building dating back to the pre-Genoese era, with Romanesque-Tuscan influences. In 1161 the building of the fortified castle began, this was completed in the 14th century. Fort Muzzerone is a large fortress that has buildings set on an orthogonal axis pattern. This ancient village, completed in the sixteenth century, has a continuous building facing the sea consisting of a dense series of terraced houses which, thanks to the polychromy of their facades, make the place extraordinarily beautiful.
Opposite Portovenere is the Palmaria Island (reachable by ferries departing from Portovenere) where the prehistoric Grotta dei Colombi is located and the remains of the first inhabitants of the Gulf were found.
On this Island, beautiful beaches welcome enthusiastic tourists that are simply thrilled by the beauty of this place. On the Island of Tinetto, once connected to the Tino Island, it’s astonishing to find the ruins of a monastery of anchorites dating back to the fifth and sixth centuries.