The climb starting in Marola opens up to beautiful views of the city of La Spezia, also called the Gulf of Poets. When visibility is good, it is possible to see the Apennine mountain range as well as the Apuane Alps and their white marble quarries. The hike climbs up through gardens before going through the Castellana marble quarries where, even today, a rare black marble called portoro is mined. The seemingly idyllic landscape encountered during the descent into Portovenere is full of surprises: the calm and majestic gulf widens up towards the open sea and the islands that inspired such great poets, artists, and learned men and women as Byron, George Sand, Pétrarque, Montale, and Marconi where their creative impulses were nurtured during extended stays. Once a Roman port, Portovenere became a part of the republic of Genoa in the middle ages.
Being the closest military post to Tuscany, this was a place from which sea battles were waged with its eternal (and current) rival and neighbour, the republic of Pisa. Today, the area is visited by many tourists, who come to enjoy its ancient architecture: houses on the cliffs, castles and ramparts towards the hill, meandering alleys, and the Genoese gothic churches of San Lorenzo and San Pietro.
Duration: 3 hours Ascent: 510m :: Descent: 510m :: Walking distance: 8.5km