La Spezia, in the Liguria region of northern Italy, is becoming an increasingly popular cruise port. La Spezia is an important naval station and houses a navigational school and thus has strong nautical roots. It is also a commercial port, which makes it slightly less attractive, but nonetheless the city has some charming and interesting sights to be explored.

The Abbey church of Santa Maria Assunta dates as far back as the 13th century and contains some stunning artworks. The city also has a large number of museums, including the highly renowned fine arts museum, Museo Amedeo Lia. The collection spans the 13th to 18th centuries and includes works by Titian, among many others.

A Huge Number Of Shops

There are also a huge number of shops within La Spezia. You can find everything from cheap Italian high street stores, to more upmarket and boutique designer shops. All budgets are catered for in La Spezia.

From La Spezia it is easy to reach Pisa, Florence and Santa Margherita easily by train. Each of these destinations can be reached in around an hour, via a direct journey by train. The train station is within easy walking distance of where you will disembark in the city.

Pisa is home to the famous leaning tower. If you haven’t been before, a visit to see the precariously balanced white tower is a must do. The university buildings which surround the tower itself are beautiful and the city is well worth a visit if you are exploring the area.

Florence is one of my favourite Italian cities. The incredible architecture of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore has to be seen to be believed. It is so difficult to believe the massive dome was constructed in a time where scaffolding, safety hats and harnesses had not yet been invented. It is truly a work of great vision and undeniable skill.

Head For Pisa and Florence

Most cruise passengers who dock in La Spezia head for Pisa and Florence and, as such, the last time we docked here we decided to travel by train in the opposite direction to charming Santa Margherita. Santa Margherita is a quintessentially Italian town with colourful Italianate buildings set against a lush green backdrop.

As most cruise passengers travel in the opposite direction, it is a quieter and more peaceful alternative to the busy streets of Florence or Pisa.

La Spezia offers so many different choices that deciding what to do whilst you are visiting this port can be a tough decision!

Thanks Emma