An Afternoon in Porto Venere, Italy

StefanoBudget travel, Europe, Italy Comments

Are you planning a visit to Italy? Then Porto Venere and the Cinque Terre should definitely be on your list. Here I write on how to spend an afternoon in Porto Venere – it’s such small that if you decide to spend more time is just because of its endless beauty.

Porto Venere (along with the Cinque Terre) is one of the 51 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Italy. (We are actually the country with most of them, and it’s a pity many are not given the value they would deserve). Porto Venere has also been awarded the Blue Flag. This recognition is given by the Foundation of Environmental Education when stringent standards regarding the quality of seawater, safety, and the environmental management are met.

The position of this little village on the Ligurian coast is pretty cool, as Tuscany is just a few kilometers down. It is 15 minutes by car from La Spezia, or 30 minutes by bus which are frequent (at least two rides per hour). There is no train station in Porto Venere. Parking is free in low season (from October to mid-March), just outside the seafront. Otherwise, expect to find no parking unless you are an early bird. 🙂

An afternoon in Porto Venere is definitely enough to discover the charm of this beauty. I personally find that visiting these touristic places in winter gives me a peace of mind. I cannot imagine myself walking in the crowd of people, sweating, queuing half an hour for an ice cream. No problem, ice cream shops are closed in winter as well as most of locals, including bars and restaurants. Still, you can find some shops open.

Once you park the car, walk along the seafront until you are standing in front of the pastel-colored houses. From here, proceed to the St. Peter Church. On the right, you can see the Byron Grotto, named after the English poet. That guy swam from Porto Venere to the little village of San Terenzo to visit his muse, fellow English poet Percy Shelley. The rock formations are impressive. Pay a short visit to the church.

View from St. Peter Church

View from St. Peter Church

The next stop is the Saint Lawrence Church, which you can also visit for free. Finally, go up to the Doria’s Castle, which was previously a military fortress. It’s open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 to 17. 5€ adult ticket, 3€ with concession. Enjoy the sun (if any) up here!

Once you have visited the castle, I suggest to wander and get lost in the tiny alleyways and staircases! I’m sure you will find your romantic spot, as well as a good place where to rest and enjoy the panorama.

Where to sleep on a budget: Ostello di Porto Venere

Where to eat on a budget: Anciuà

Have you ever been in Porto Venere? What did you like the most? 

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An Afternoon in Porto Venere