Palmaria Island is the largest of the three islands in the Gulf of La Spezia; it has a triangular form and it’s separated from Portovenere by a little channel, called “The Mouths”.
Portovenere is one of the most famous italian seaside resort. The Romans already knew this village, so colled for the presence of a temple consecrated to Venus, the goddess of beauty.
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In spite of its reduced size, it has very considerable landscape’s varieties:
the sides facing the Gulf are covered with a mediterranean vegetation, while the ones facing the sea are characterized by a vertically high cliff on the water, where a lot of caves are opened. Particularly “The Blue Cave”, that you can visit on a boat, and “The Pigeon’s Cave” that can be reached only thanks to a rope, dropped from the cliff.
This last cave has a great historical importance, because researchers have found a lot of Pleistocene animals’ fossil bones inside of it, such as “chamois” and “snow’s owl”, and above all, some ancient human burials which testify the lasting presence of man 5,000 years ago at least.
A guided visit of the island starts from the Terrizzo wharf, to go along the Navy’s bathing establishments; along the route you can see the 19th century Castle of Umberto I, and just opposite it the “Scola Tower”, a 17th century fortification built on a rock.
You can carry on the route on a path, finally reaching the “Limekiln’s Creek”, so called because there were formerly some kilns for the production of lime.
Nowadays Palmaria Island is a Regional Natural Park and it can offer all visitors opportunities for wonderful walks.
If you continue the visit, you can find ancient wash-houses: a path marked with a red sign starts from here and you can see the top of the old fortress, the “Umberto I” Jail.
In 1869, the geologist G. Cappellini discovered on Palmaria some Paleolitic traces and all the founds are actually preserved into the Civic Museum of La Spezia.
Another paths arrives to the “Traffic Lights”, a military stationing into the Cavour Fortress; then, you can go down to Carlo Alberto Cape and return to the Terrizzo.
For trekking’s lovers there’s the possibility to have a whole tour of the island in less than three hours: the path starts from the Terrizzo wharf and winds among very scented plants of myrtle and broom, it reaches Pozzale Creek up to Carlo Alberto Cape. Just in front of it people can admire the characteristic shape of Saint Peter’s Church in Portovenere.
Its western part is characterized by a very high cliff, so that it’s totally unapproachable; the only docking point is a little wharf in the north-eastern side of the island.
It’s only just a little larger than a rock but it’s very important because there are the rests of very ancient religious buildings on it, and also because it guests the typical “wall-lizard”, which lives exclusively in this place.
The "Cinque Terre" include the coastal belt of the territory that runs from Punta Mesco, the western promontory of Monterosso, to Portovenere
Cinque Terre »
The village was an important harbour for greek and phoenician trades, but it had its greatest links with the Etruscans, thanks to the closeness to Luni.
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A very typical apartment located just beyond the entry to the ancient village of Portovenere. A real rare jewel: two-rooms flat of about 65 mq with wooden-beamed ceiling. (ape classe g-411.55 kwh/m2 year). Call to arrange an appointment.
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