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La Spezia

Overview

In the midst of the Cinque Terre, Portovenere, Lerici and Tellaro, all wonderful places and worthy tourist destinations, La Spezia is often seen as a departure or transit point for the smaller, picturesque localities around it, yet it offers pleasant surprises: museums, the lively Via del Prione, the renovated Piazza Giuseppe Verdi and the Morin promenade, with its spectacular views of the gulf and the Apuan Alps. Neatly 19th-century in parts, industrial and modern, it was a destination of choice for the Grand Tour in the 18th and 19th centuries and the residence of the poets George Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. At the time, the town was merely a charming village of 3,000 souls. There was no Arsenal, factory or port infrastructure, and no dyke to break the magic of a bay 9 kilometres wide and 13 deep. Napoleon, who described the Gulf of La Spezia as 'the most beautiful in the universe', saw it as an ideal place to build a military port. Count Cavour took up this dream and moved the arsenal of the Navy of the Kingdom of Sardinia from Genoa to La Spezia (1853), transforming the city's urban layout from a small walled town to a large maritime stronghold.

La Spezia

La Spezia SP, Italia

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