Portovenere is a medieval fishing village situated in north Italy, just south of the Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera. This charming village is well worth the visit and can be reached from the Cinque Terre by boat or from La Spezia by boat or by bus from the train station.
Portovenere, on the Gulf of Poets, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its picturesque harbor is lined with brightly colored houses while narrow medieval streets lined with shops lead up the hill from the ancient city gate to the castle. Stroll around the old town and don't miss the small shop Bajeicò, a pesto shop selling delicious freshly made basil-based sauce and related products like fresh pasta.
The tip of the promontory holds a picturesque church. Byron's Cave is a rocky area leading to the sea where the poet Byron used to swim.
In Portovenere there are Ferries cruise along the coast each day, offering passengers a chance to have a view of one of the most evocative landscapes of the Mediterranean. It is possible to visit the three nearby islands by boat: Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto.
Where to stay in Portovenere
There is a wide range of excellent hotels in this area. We can recommend the Hotels in Portovenere and Hotels in the Cinque Terre villages. Nearest city is La Spezia: Hotels in La Spezia.
Things to see in Portovenere
The 3 Island tour, a 40 minutes tour visiting the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto with wonderful panoramas. Boat tours Portovenere - Cinque Terre.
The Church of San Pietro sits on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea. It was built in 1277 in the typical Genovese Gothic style.
The Grotta di Byron, Byron's Cave, from which Lord Byron famously swam to visit his friends in Lerici on the other side of the Gulf.
The Doria Castle with its powerful structure representing a wonderful model of Genoan military architecture. The castle was first built in 1161, but it was significantly reconstructed in 1458.
Hiking from Portovenere to Riomaggiore
This beautiful hiking trail crosses the Portovenere Natural Park and the Cinque Terre National Park (5 hours). The first part goes steadily uphill to Campiglia at an altitude of 400 m. The path continues to Colle di Telegrafo at 513 meters above sea level. The trail leads past a picnic area, where there you can get an espresso as well as drinks and ice cream. Before descending the steep grades to Riomaggiore you will pass the Sanctuary Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero.
How to reach Portovenere
By train: There is no train connection to Portovenere. The nearest train station is in nearby La Spezia. Take the train to La Spezia Centrale, walk for about 8 minutes to Via Garibaldi and from there continue by bus number 11/P to Portovenere. The bus ride takes about 35 minutes.
By bus: Take the bus 11/P from Via Garibaldi in La Spezia to Portovenere. The journey takes about 35 minutes and costs 3 euros. There is a bus every 30 minutes.
By boat: From the end of March until November 1, boats are running between La Spezia - Portovenere - Cinque Terre - Levanto. Boat timetable La Spezia - Portovenere - Cinque Terre.
By car: Portovenere can be reached by car. Take highway "A12 Genova Livorno" or "A15 Parma La Spezia". Exit at La Spezia and follow the state road number 370 towards "Portovenere - Cinque Terre".
Map of Portovenere
Other maps can be found here: Cinque Terre Maps.
Parking in Portovenere
Finding parking places in Portovenere can be difficult especially during the high season. Rates range from 1,50 euros/hour to 3 euros/hour depending on the parking areas P1, P2, P3 and "IL GOLFO".
Read More About Cinque Terre