La Spezia is a medieval town that grew quickly and somehow suddenly in the 1800s, after the establishment of the Naval Base, the largest in Italy, and the trading port.
The old San Giorgio castle, the fortress dating back to the 14th Century and still dominating the town, bears witness to the ancient times. You can see testimonies of the history and traditions of La Spezia at the Ethnographic Museum.
The San Giorgio castle hosts today the Civic Museum, which is not the only important museum of La Spezia. The town hosts the most important museum of the history of the Italian navy: the Naval Museum. In recent years, the town has seen the opening of the Lia Museum of Art, the Camec Modern Art Museum and the unique Museum of the Seal, thanks to the donations of local collectors. The ancient cathedral dedicated to Saint Mary hosts, among other works of art, the terracotta made by Andrea Della Robbia representing the Coronation of the Virgin. The modern cathedral dedicated to Christ the King was designed by the Florentine architect Adalberto Libera in the 1970s. The Art Nouveau and the Futurist movements left memories in the structure of the town, creating interesting itineraries.
In spring and summer, ferries and boat tours depart daily going between the towns of the Gulf of La Spezia, the Cinque Terre, the Riviera and Portofino, weather and sea conditions permitting (info:www.navigazionegolfodeipoeti.it).
Highway A12, tollgate of La Spezia
Train station: La Spezia (info: www.trenitalia.com)