Porto Venere is a port town in La Spezia province (Liguria region, northwestern Italy). The town covers a land area of approx 7 km2 (3 ml2) and has population around 4,000.
The municipality comprises 3 villages (Le Grazie, Porto Venere, Fezzano) and 3 islands (Tino, Tinetto, Palmaria). In 1997, Porto Venere was designated UNESCO site. Main tourist attractions include:
- Doria Castle with its walls around city's historic center.
- The Gothic Church of Saint Peter, consecrated in 1198, built over pre-existing Palaeo-Christian church of the 5th century, which featured semicircular apse and rectangular plan. The new part, dating back from 13th century, is marked by black and white stripes.
- The Romanesque church of Saint Lawrence, built by the Genoese in 1098. It is considered to occupy the site of ancient temple that was dedicated to Jupiter. The Romanesque church was damaged by fire in 1340 and in 1494 by the Aragonese attack. It was restored in 1582.
- Grotta dell'Arpaia, famous as Byron's Grotto. From it the English poet George Gordon Byron swam across La Spezia gulf to San Terenzo to visit Shelley in Lerici (1822).
- The medieval nucleus of Le Grazie, set around 14th-century Church of Our Lady of Graces. A medieval convent is nearby - it once belonged to Olivetans - as well as the remains of 1st century BCE Varignano Roman villa.
- Among the natural places in Porto Venere is the renowned sea caves Cala dell'Arpaia (Byron), Azzurra or Blue Cave and Tinetto; the cavity of Doves and the wall of Tino, shoal of Dante and Small & Big creeks. Byron's cave, named after the poet George Gordon Byron (1788-1824), drew inspiration for his literary works. It is situated at the spur of rock below the St. Peter church and the old defensive position.
Port Porto Venere cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Porto Venere, Italy Riviera. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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