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How to Spend 3 Days in La Spezia

How to Spend 3 Days in La Spezia

The Ligurian coast is home to the modern seaport of La Spezia as well as the time-capsule fishing villages of the Cinque Terre. With three days, you can explore both and still have time to adventure farther down the coastline to the spectacular marble quarries of Carrara. Here’s how to make the most of three days in La Spezia.

Day 1: La Spezia

La Spezia’s modern port area belies the charm of its nearby old town, a delightful stretch of lanes thick with small shops and old-school restaurants—and hardly a tourist in sight. Soak in the authentic atmosphere and pretty art nouveau architecture along the main thoroughfares and seaside promenade, stopping to take in sights such as San Giorgio Castle and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. In the afternoon, discover the city’s excellent cuisine with a food tour through the historic center, stopping at delis and trattorias to sample local specialties such as focaccia and pasta with pesto or walnut sauce. Finally, participate in a home-cooking class or demonstration to learn the history and techniques behind La Spezia’s most beloved dishes, followed by a family-style meal. 

Day 2: The Cinque Terre

For many travelers, La Spezia is the gateway to the Cinque Terre. On your second day, follow the crowds and visit this clutch of five delightfully colorful fishing villages on a driving tour, boat or sailboat trip, or an e-bike tour. Most guided tours include a stop in one or two of the five villages—Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore—and time to have lunch at one of the tiny trattorias tucked among the steep, narrow lanes. Wine enthusiasts can combine a tour of the Cinque Terre with a tasting to discover the excellent wines grown on the terraced hillsides of the Ligurian coast.

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Day 3: Carrara

Farther down the coast into Tuscany, the marble quarries of Carrara are one of the most unique sights in the steep foothills of the Apuan Alps and an easy day trip from La Spezia. Devote your third day to exploring these historic quarries with a 4WD, learning about the white rock used to to create everything from the ancient Roman Pantheon to Michelangelo’s David. See how massive blocks have been excavated from deep inside the mountains for two millennia, and tour open-air, terraced, and underground quarries in the mountains above the Colonnata Valley. End your tour by tasting the local delicacy,lardo di Colonnata, a traditional fatback cured with salt and herbs and aged in Carrara-marble basins. 

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8 Tours and Activities

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Private Tour: Cinque Terre from La Spezia

Private Tour: Cinque Terre from La Spezia

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20
Explore Cinque Terre on a private tour with a guide. Travel by boat and train from La Spezia Port and visit three charming towns. Don’t worry about train schedules, or navigating, just relax and settle in to the Ligurian lifestyle while your guide takes care of the logistics. Have time to explore on your own and choose a spot for lunch (own expense) and learn about the region’s history and culture on the guided portions of the tour.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$390.64
Price varies by group size
From
$390.64
Price varies by group size

La Spezia Cinque Terre Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience

La Spezia Cinque Terre Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience

star-5
37
Embark on a savory gastronomic journey through the historic port city of La Spezia, led by a friendly foodie guide. Sample tasty regional specialties at 5 different food stops, pre-selected to bring you the best of local cuisine. Taste briny fried anchovies, or a delicate chickpea pancake. Menus are seasonal, guaranteeing the freshest ingredients, and small groups are capped to ensure a personalized tasting adventure.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$87.34
From
$87.34

Cinque Terre Cooking Lesson in La Spezia

Cinque Terre Cooking Lesson in La Spezia

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17
Learn the secrets of the Italian kitchen with this 3-hour cooking class in La Spezia. Led by an expert chef, begin at the local market to select fresh seafood and vegetables for your dishes. Then, bring your ingredients to the kitchen of a nearby ‘osteria.’ Receive hands-on training in your small group as you craft three courses of delicious Ligurian cuisine, sitting down to feast on your creations afterward. Numbers are limited to four people to keep the experience intimate.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$160.85
From
$160.85

Cinque Terre: Full-Day Private Tour with Wine Tasting

Cinque Terre: Full-Day Private Tour with Wine Tasting

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1
Rather than navigating on your own, sit back and enjoy the scenery when you book a private day trip to Cinque Terre, a group of fishing villages just 40 kilometers north of La Spezia. The private tour ensures you are able to customize the itinerary according to your interests. With your guide’s insider recommendations, explore the area at your own pace and enjoy vineyard tours with complimentary wine tastings.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$287.23
Price varies by group size
From
$287.23
Price varies by group size

E-bike tours from La Spezia

E-bike tours from La Spezia

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3
Enjoy a leisurely e-bike ride in the La Spezia region with an option of four fun tours. Take the classic tour from La Spezia to Cinque Terre, bike around the Gulf of Poets from La Spezia to either Portovenere or Montemarcello, or tour Val di Magra. Each tour option features beautiful views of the seaside scenery and takes about four hours to complete.
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  • 4 hours
From
$118.34
From
$118.34

Dining experience at a local's home in La Spezia with show cooking

Dining experience at a local's home in La Spezia with show cooking

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2
Immerse yourself in a private dining experience at a local's home, enjoy an exclusive show cooking and taste authentic La Spezia recipes treasured in family cookbooks passed down by real Italian Mammas. Feel the warmth of Italian hospitality as you connect with local people. Enjoy a 4-course menu including starter, pasta, main course with side dish, dessert with drinks included (water, selection of red and white wines from Liguria cellars and coffee). This experience is held by Cesarine: Italy’s oldest network of 1000+ home cooks all over the country in more than 500 cities. They are passionate and welcoming hosts that open the doors of their own homes to curious travellers for immersive culinary experiences.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$97.66
From
$97.66

Private tour of The Gulf of Poets

Private tour of The Gulf of Poets

Leave the large crowds of Cinque Terre behind on a private 8-hour tour of the Poet’s Gulf. A ferry from Portovenere takes you to the picturesque Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto. Serving as inspiration for Byron, DH Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, and other literary greats, the islands are today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Together with your guide, decide how much time to spend at each location.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$241.28
Price varies by group size
From
$241.28
Price varies by group size

Cinque Terre Portovenere Amazing Private Boat Tour

Cinque Terre Portovenere Amazing Private Boat Tour

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7
Arrive at the Cinque Terre in style with this boat cruise from La Spezia to Monterosso, the largest of the UNESCO-listed region’s villages. Offering a convenient and fun way to get to the Cinque Terre, the cruise also includes a stop in the port town of Portovenere, a chic spot often overlooked by the tourist crowds. Transport back to La Spezia is not included, making this a great option if you have plans to stay longer in the Cinque Terre region.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$1,263.83
per group
From
$1,263.83
per group