La Spezia is located right on the border between Liguria and Tuscany not far from Cinque Terre, Pisa and Florence.
La Spezia is the ideal starting-point for those who want to make day trips by train to Cinque Terre. There are trains running frequently from La Spezia all year round to the Cinque Terre villages and with train it takes just a few minutes. Here the Train timetable La Spezia - Cinque Terre. You can also reach the famous five villages with the excursion boat leaving from the harbor of La Spezia.
How to reach La Spezia
BY TRAIN: The best way to get around Italy is by train. The Italian rail network connects just about every major city. La Spezia Central station is on the main railway line linking Genova - Cinque Terre - La Spezia - Pisa - Rome.
BY CAR: You can reach La Spezia via the highway A12 Genova - Livorno or A15 Parma - La Spezia.
BY PLANE: Nearest airports are the Cristoforo Colombo Airport in Genoa (110 km distance) and the Galileo Galilei Airport in Pisa (80 km distance). There is a train connection from Pisa Airport to La Spezia.
BY BOAT: From the Cinque Terre villages and Portovenere you can reach La Spezia by boat. The boats are running frequently from April until the beginning of November.
Where to stay in La Spezia
Due to its location, La Spezia is a prime location to stay if you want to explore Liguria and Tuscany and you can easily travel to Pisa, Florence, Cinque Terre and Genoa by train.
The hotels in La Spezia are quite affordable and you can find plenty of hotels near the station and in the old town.
If you are looking for accommodation check out the following pages: Hotels in La Spezia and Guesthouses in La Spezia.
Shopping in La Spezia
The pedestrian main street Via Prione has a great range of restaurants, bars and outdoor coffee shops selling typical Italian ice cream. There is also a good variety of shops for those wanting to buy Italian clothing and shoes.
In the center of town on Piazza Cavour, also known as Piazza del Mercato, is the morning market for fruits and vegetables of every type, flowers, cheese, salumi and a wide selection of fresh seafood. La Spezia Covered Outdoor Market, Via Cavour La Spezia, from Monday until Saturday 8am - 1pm.
The weekly street market in La Spezia is on Friday morning until 1pm and it sets up primarily along Viale Garibaldi which is a couple of blocks inland from the covered market. It's mostly clothing and shoes, but there are also some household goods and specialty vendors.
Le Terrazze, via Fontevivo 17, just outside the city center, is a mall with supermarket, restaurants and a decent selection of stores with great prices during the summer sales. Perfect place to visit on a rainy day. Parking is widely available and free. Take a bus, taxi or walk there in 25 minutes from the city center.
Shopinn 5Terre Outlet Village is situated close to the highway A12 exit Brugnato, 20 km from La Spezia. Over 100 boutiques and shops offering discounts on a wide range of top Italian and international brands.
Where to eat in La Spezia
The restaurants in La Spezia serve local specialities such as trofie with pesto, stuffed mussels, spaghetti frutti di mare, anchovies, testaroli and so on. The wines of the Cinque Terre are simple but intense with persistent aromas.
RISTORANTE ROMA, via Pietro Paleocapa 18/20, La Spezia. Tel: +39 0187 189 0177
This elegant restaurant near the station serves local specialities and classic Mediterranean dishes. Try the Fisherman’s Pan which comes with a heaping amount of seafood; lobster, crawfish, clams, oysters, octopus and the fish of the day. Nice atmosphere and great service.
LA TAVERNA DEL METALLO, Via Cernaia 17, La Spezia. +39 349 863 9139
Fantastic little pub serving platter of mixed cold cuts with sgabei as a starter, the local pasta testaroli, boneless pork shank with amazing mash potato and delicious wild boar with polenta. Nice variety of beers and liquors to enjoy on the tunes of metal music. Generous portions, great prices and friendly staff.
Things to see in La Spezia
As a tourist destination, La Spezia has a great combination of historical buildings, beautiful scenery and fantastic surrounding sites.
• Visit the Waterfront near the old part of the city. A nice stroll by the yachts in the harbor of Porto Mirabello starts with the beautiful white bridge Ponte Thaon di Revel. A walk along the Passeggiata Costantino Morin, lined with palm trees, allows you to observe the Gulf in all its splendour.
• The Maritime Museum is one of the most important naval museums in Italy and it is a truly fascinating place to visit for children and adults.
• The castle of San Giorgio is one of the major landmarks in La Spezia. Originally part of the city’s defensive fortification network, the castle was constructed in the 13th century by Nicolo Fieschi. Inside the castle there is an archaeological museum that contains interesting objects from this part of Italy dating as far back as the Bronze Age.
• The Amedeo Lia Art Museum in La Spezia in a restored 17th-century friary is La Spezia's star cultural attraction. The collection spans from the 13th to 18th centuries and includes paintings by masters such as Tintoretto, Montagna, Titian and Pietro Lorenzetti.
• The Church of our Lady of the Snow, Chiesa di Nostra Signora della neve, located in Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, has a beautiful façade that is similar to the cathedral in Florence. You'll be awed by the frescoes and overall majestic appearance of the interior, filled with paintings, marble and the ever-present scent of incense.
• Make a day trip by boat to the fishing village of Portovenere, the island of Palmaria and Cinque Terre. The boats are running frequently from April until the beginning of November. La Spezia - Cinque Terre boat timetable
• The village of Lerici, with its castle and the Archaeological Museum, can be reached by ferry or bus from La Spezia.
Events in La Spezia
• March 17-19, Fiera di San Giuseppe, the fair lasts for 3 days and attracts visitors from all parts of the region. You will find all kinds of goods on the stalls that are set up at the public gardens and along the adjacent streets and the seafront promenade.
• The Palio del Golfo, a rowing competition which takes place every year on the first Sunday of August.
Parking in La Spezia
LA SPEZIA TRAIN STATION PARKING
This car park is situated under the railway station and is open 24/7.
Address: Via Fiume, 143, La Spezia
Fee: €1.50/h (€0.60/h at night)
10 minutes’ walk to the station, free shuttle bus.
Address: Via XV Giugno, 637, La Spezia
Fee: Free of charge. Can be difficult to find a place during the summer.
Located near the harbor and the boats for Cinque Terre. Open 24/7.
Address: Viale Giovanni Amendola, 2, La Spezia.
Fee: €0.60/h, €12/24 hours
Map of La Spezia
For more maps please visit our Map page.