La Spezia is the closest town to the national park of the Cinque Terre. The population is about 100,000. Although this city has an outlet to the sea, unfortunately there is no beach. Nevertheless, La Spezia is still a practical “starting point” for visiting different parts of Liguria. Indeed, from the train station, located right in the center of town, you can reach the first village of the Cinque Terre in just 8 minutes. It is also very easy to get to other cities such as Pisa, Genoa, Parma, Milan etc from here. In addition, if you’re thinking of a low-cost vacation, this is the place for you: hotel prices here are much lower.
Places of interest in La Spezia
Open this page from your mobile phone and you can start the navigator for any point of interest or monument described here.
The city center
Following the road that leads to the port from the station, walk down the main street and you will arrive in the center of La Spezia. This is where you will find the medieval quarter, an excellent area for a stroll. If the local architecture is not of interest to you, you will find plenty of shops, boutiques and restaurants along the way.
The seafront and the park
The seaside promenade in La Spezia is quite charming, adorned with palm trees, magnolias and flowers. Tied up in the port you will see numerous yachts and the boats which go to Portovenere and Cinque Terre. In 2017 the boat trip to Portovenere is 8 euro. Nearby there is also a park which is the botanical garden, where you can relax and enjoy the view of the sea.
The Cathedral of Christ the King (Cristo Re)
The cathedral is the main monument and, at the same time, the most unique in La Spezia. It is the work of the architect Adalberto Libera and may seem more like a rocket launching station than a Catholic church. This modern design imparts a shape to the building which is anything but standard, and is vaguely reminiscent of a disc. The Cathedral of Christ the King is however a place of worship and next to it is the chapel of the Madonna Pellegrina.
The Castle of San Giorgio
One of the most interesting attractions is this ancient castle, the walls of which were erected in the XIII century. The entire building was restored at the end of the XX century. Today the “Ubaldo Formentini” Museum is housed in the castle of San Giorgio. There is a collection of artifacts from the Etruscan era.
For 3.50 euro you can visit the castle terrace and with entry to the museum will cost 5.50 euro.
Churches in La Spezia
The architecture of the religious buildings of La Spezia is quite varied. One of the most ancient churches in the city is the abbey church of Santa Maria Assunta (XV century), severely damaged during the Second World War. It was restored, however, during the twentieth century in the fifties. The Catholic Church of Nostra Signora della Salute and the Church of Nostra Signora della Neve are also well worth a visit. Both were built at the beginning of the XX century.
Map of the places to visit in La Spezia
Recommended hotels in La Spezia
Although La Spezia is not part of the Cinque Terre, its location allows you to reach any point of the Cinque Terre easily and quickly, meaning you can also save on an overnight stay. We propose three hotels that we believe are the most convenient because of their position, as well as being among the more economical. Or you can look at the full list of hotels.
On this page you can read visitor comments on all the hotels and compare them. In addition, you should consult:
Low-cost hotels in La Spezia.
Romantic hotels in La Spezia.
Luxury hotels in La Spezia.
Use a filter to search for a hotel in La Spezia.
Parking in La Spezia
There are three large car parks in the city and two of them are free. In the one furthest from the center there is always parking available, while the other one, closer in, is usually full in summer. The most convenient parking area, open 24h, is located under the station. But it is not free: it costs 1.20 euro/h (or 0.50 euro/h at night). More information on the page “Visiting by car”.