The first to use the name "Gulf of Poets" was the Ligurian playwright Sem Benelli;
since then, this name has always been used to point out an area rich in treasures to discover and wonders to explore.
It's the smallest town in the province of La Spezia, and it is located on a small peninsula, in front of three islands: Tino, Tinetto,
, which is also the only one to be inhabited. Portovenere
is a jewel, it's famous for its beaches, landscape and important artistic monuments. The most important ones are the Church of St. Peter,
the beautiful Sanctuary of Madonna Bianca,
and Doria Castle.
The Church, which is on a promontory overlooking the sea, is characterized by a gothic style in white and black stones; the building was quoted by Eugenio Montale, who dedicated many poems to Portovenere.
Another important building is the Church of St. Lorenzo, from the XII century, which has been well kept. It hosts the celebration of Madonna Bianca
, which takes place in August.
Castello Doria is another important attraction, which is a typical Genoese military architecture. It has a pentagonal shape, cliffs, thick walls: a meeting point between past and present. It is also used for public celebrations such as weddings.
There are also many sea caves: the most beautiful one is Grotta Byron
, which is right beneath the promontory of Chiesa di San Pietro. It takes the name from the famous English poet, who used to go there very often in order to find inspiration.
It has an Etruscan origin, and it has the classical aesthetic of the Ligurian sea village. The town is nowadays part of the Regional Natural Park Montemarcello,
which is visited by tourists every season.
In Lerici, the Castle
is an attraction that absolutely has to be visited: it has an octagonal shape, it's located on a promontory and there is a view among all the territory. In its rooms, it's possible to find many important artworks from the past, as well as contemporary ones such as Guttuso, De Chirico and Warhol.
The churches are other attractions that have to be visited. Chiesa di San Francesco
(also known as Santuario di Nostra Signora di Maralunga) is an important one, which has relevant artworks from 1700 inside.
Lerici is popular in summer especially for its beaches, such as Baia Blu, where you'll have a breathtaking view.
Tellaro is in the municipality of Lerici. It's also called Sesta Terra
(the sixth land). Its colorful houses perched on the mountain,
together with its streets offer a spectacular view.
Among the attractions to be visited in Tellaro there is Chiesa di San Giorgio
(Church of St. George), which is located on a rock and has a lot of legends surrounding it. One of the myths says that once the bells were rung by an octopus, who warned the inhabitants about the arrival of Saracen Pirates, and thanks to that the population could escape.
Another attraction is the oratory of Santa Maria in Selà, which nowadays hosts a museum.
There are beautiful beaches in Tellaro as well, such as the beach della Vittoria
, and the Spiaggioni
Food and Wine in the gulf
In order to taste the real essence of the Gulf of Poets, you have to taste the typical products. The most famous one is the Polpo alla Tellarese,
a way of cooking the octopus that takes the name from the old legend of Tellaro.
Another specialty is Sgabei,
which is a kind of bread that is fried and then served with ham and cheese, or with chocolate and cream.
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