La Spezia is a small but fascinating city located in the inner part of the Gulf of Poets. Although it is often only considered as the gateway to the most famous Cinque Terre and other Gulf locations, it deserves a thorough visit instead.
By Italian standards the city is quite "new". In fact, its expansion began in the 19th century, when Napoleon Bonaparte began to think that it would be a perfect naval base for the imperial fleet. La Spezia still retains its character today and is still an important base for the Italian Navy. Its deep-water port allows the landing of container ships and has also become an important port for large cruise ships.
Many late 19th and early 20th century buildings can be seen in the historic centre, next to the many museums and monuments that adorn the city. It is a lively city, with a large pedestrian area full of shops, small restaurants and bars for all tastes and a venue for various kinds of events, especially during spring and summer.