Portovenere – one of the most romantic villages on the Ligurian coast

The picturesque town of Portovenere is located on the eastern tip of the region of Liguria in northern Italy. Along with the Cinque Terre and the nearby islands belong to the UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Portovenere is a picturesque spot and spa resort at the end of the peninsula, stretching to the west of Golfo di La Spezia. Typical for this town is scenic area, consisting of coloured houses.

Portovenere, Liguria
Portovenere, Liguria by Kuster & Wildhaber Photography

Portovenere is one of the most romantic villages on the Ligurian coast. It is formed by a number of narrow streets with houses in pastel colors. At its upper side is the church of San Lorenzo from the 12th century. On a rocky outcropping, you can see the church of San Pietro of 13th century. There is also a castle from the 16th century situated on top of the cliffs, where you can enjoy a breathtaking views from.

Portovenere as seen from Palmaria island, Liguria, Italy
Portovenere as seen from Palmaria island by Brianza2008

In addition to historical monuments Portovenere attracts tourists mainly due to its beautiful sea and the many opportunities to spend your vacation. E.g. among divers there are well known wonderful sea caves like Grotta Azzurra or Grotta Byron.

If you are fans of the sport and you are in Portovenere on the first Sunday in August, then you will surely be glad to see the race called Palio del Golfo. It is a a rowing race between the residents of 13 towns, which are located in the Gulf of Poets in the province of La Spezia.

Portovenere panorama, Liguria, Italy
Portovenere panorama, Liguria, Italy by Bristakya

When you stay here a little bit more, you can experience a bit quieter celebration – the Festa della Madonna Bianca. This takes place on the 17th August and apart from the traditional religious procession the whole city is decorated with flowers and garlands and lighted candles.

Portovenere is characterized by narrow streets, fishing barges and cafeterias and for lovers of climbing it is also ideal starting point to the protected rock climbing area Muzzerone. Portovenere coast is lined with rocky but also nice sandy beaches and is such the ideal place for a holiday by the sea.

Tips for trips


Muzzerone is located near the major port city of La Spezia just above the town of Portovenere. It offers climbing on the limestone walls. In addition to classic climbing outputs there are also more linear paths at the wall measuring 200 meters. Climbing is possible all year around.

The area has over a hundred ways in all difficulty levels (4 to 8b of French scale) and are well secured. The place is ideal for family holidays. In addition to climbing offers a great opportunity to relax and swim in the nearby ancient Mediterranean town of Portovenere or you can take a trip to about 75 km away world-known city of Pisa. Along the way, you can also visit Carrara, a city famous for its marble, and along the coast are scenic Apuan Alps.

Manarola, Cinque Terre, Liguria, taly
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Liguria, taly by chensiyuan

Romantic beauty of the Cinque Terre

Ligurian coast between Cinque Terre and Portovenere is a cultural landscape of high values. It is a unique layout and disposition of the towns and shaping of the surrounding landscape.

Cinque Terre National Park got its name after 5 unique villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, built on steep cliffs, and until recently virtually isolated from the rest of the world. To this day, they can only be reached on foot, by train or by sea.

The best access is by train or cruise lines from La Spezia, where you can find timetables of trains, ships and other tourist information about the area.

Another option for travelling through Cinque Terre is hiking. A tourist favorite trip is the section from Monterosso to Vernazza. A part from Manarola to Riomaggiore, known as the Via dell’Amore is really beautiful, but is perfectly-maintained and also chargeable, so it is used only by very unsportsmanlike tourists as a half-hour walk. The total distance between the five towns is 15-20 km.

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy
Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy by chensiyuan

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