La Spezia

One of the parts of Italy that I was most looking forward to was Cinque Terra: the ‘five lands’. The area of La Spezia is beautiful! La Spezia itself is a big Naval and industrial trading port so there was a lot of machinery and mining but hidden along the coastline are the five bays stacked with pastel coloured houses with emerald-green shutters.

Cinque Vernazza rock cave

Cinque Vernazza windows

Cinque Vernazza street

Cinque Vernazza me

Cinque Vernazza rock

Cinque Vernazza roof tops


The five bays are connected by a train line and a coastal path however many of the paths were blocked by fallen rocks so we couldn’t choose that route! Being peak season and the heat of summer, it was PACKED! It made the water seem incredibly inviting as people sun bathed on the rocks, cooled off in the crystal clear water and take a leap of faith off cliff faces. Whenever we could we climbed to the highest point weaving through the narrow paths and staircases between the colourful houses. I highly recommend doing this as the view was stunning and a lovely way to take in your surroundings away from the business of the water’s edge.

Cinque Manarola


Cinque Manarola water

Cinque Manarola swimming

Cinque Manarola sculpture

Cinque jump

Cinque Manarola street

Cinque Manarola balcony

Cinque Manarola train

In one afternoon we hopped between Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore (leaping onto the train actually, as a split second decision had us squeezing our way between the shutting doors as my dad jammed his shoulders between the doors – taking one for the team there!).

My favourite destination of the three was Riomaggiore where we stayed for dinner and watched the sun set. Riomaggiore was a little bigger than some of the other locations which gave me a chance to explore a little more. I found my way again to a high point as the sun was lowering and the light bounced vibrantly off the roof tops of the houses, many of which acted as balconies and terraces – a hidden getaway. As I made my way back to the waters edge for our dinner I walked through a square where all the kids staying there had gathered on scooters and bikes, with balls and skipping ropes. It was lovely to watch as the heat of the day was carried off by an evening breeze.

Cinque Riomaggiore boats 2 angle

Cinque Riomaggiore boats

Cinque Riomaggiore


Cinque Riomaggiore town

Cinque Riomaggiore exploring

Cinque Riomaggiore kids playing

Cinque Riomaggiore kids

As the light changes, so did the colour of the houses. At dusk everything glows in rich colours where as during middle of day the heat of the day washed a lot of the colour out. I’ve said this before but there are not many things in life that make me happier than being by the sea at sunset. Just sitting by yourself and taking in the beauty of this wonderful creation is an extremely peaceful and refreshing experience and I wish I did it more.

Cinque Riomaggiore packing up

Cinque Riomaggiore dusk canoes

Cinque Riomaggiore sunsets

Cinque Riomaggiore sunset boats

Cinque Riomaggiore sunset

The next day, on our way to Milan (our last stop) we stopped by Portovenere, another coastal town in La Spezia. Another beautiful coast.

Cinque Portovenere


Cinque Portovenere fishing

Cinque Portovener window

I definitely recommend going to La Spezia if you are in Italy, but if I was to go again I would avoid the rush of peak season to really enjoy it. And it is amazing what you can do in one day too!


6 thoughts on “La Spezia

  1. Georgina Auton says:

    Wow!! La Spezia will definitely be on my list for when I go next year. I didn’t see it in your post, but what was the price like? Expensive or cheap or average? Also how much time would you recommend spending there? 🙂 Thanks in advance – loved the photos!


    • Jacqui | Oh but if not says:

      It really is a beautiful place Georgina! As for cost it depends where you stay. We stayed just outside the 5 main towns, in a new B&B in La Spezia. That was probably cheaper than staying in Cinque Terra itself and it was easy to just jump on the train. We did 3 of the 5 bays in 1 afternoon and it was plenty of time as it was quite hot, but if you want to swim and enjoy the environment in a little more relaxed manner i would say 2/3 days is plenty 🙂 Thanks for the visit x


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