Gulf of La Spezia: Porto Venere
Visit this unique seaside village, UNESCO site since 1997
A precious pearl at the north-western extremity of the Gulf of La Spezia: Porto Venere.
The harbour has clean water, there is a draught of four metres and it is accessible in any weather conditions. A real shelter for any type of boat, also ones fifty metres long, and it provides services of every type: workshop, water, electricity, baths and showers. You immediately get from the quay to the village. Here we meet the deputy-mayor, who tells us the story of the suburb in the Middle Ages, when it was purchased by the Republic of Genoa.
We continue the visit to the Monday market, where we meet the dialect poet Giovanni Bandini, who proudly defends the Genoese origins of the village. Walking among the carrugi (very narrow streets) of the village, a UNESCO site since 1997, we observe cloths spread out to dry and, seeing the charm of the views, wonder if is not a gimmick of the local entertainment committee!
Speaking of cloths spread out, during our walk the deputy-mayor tells us that in the past, when the channel between Porto Venere and the island of Palmaria was not yet very busy, boys were in the habit of swimming to the island and only returned home when they saw the white sheets hanging from their homes. It was the signal to tell them that it was time to eat!
Cover pic courtesy of Flickr User Pank Seelen