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How to Spend 1 Day in La Spezia

How to Spend 1 Day in La Spezia

Like many of Italy’s busy port cities, La Spezia is often overlooked by travelers passing through on their way to higher-profile destinations. Before continuing on to the nearby Cinque Terre, however, take time to explore La Spezia’s old town and sample the excellent local cuisine. Here are your options for one day in La Spezia.

Morning: La Spezia’s Historic Heart

A modern cruise and shipping hub, La Spezia’s port area is home to the largest naval base in Italy. Walk a bit farther into the old town, however, and you will be rewarded with a lively grid of lanes lined with locally owned shops and restaurants and imbued with a refreshingly authentic atmosphere. Stroll down the main Via del Prione and Via Garibaldi, being sure to admire the art nouveau architecture; wander through the market in Piazza Cavour; and take in the sea breezes along the palm-lined promenade of Costantino Morin. Stop in at San Giorgio Castle and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta before settling on one of the city’s many old-school trattorias for a leisurely lunch. 

Afternoon: Ligurian Cuisine

Liguria is the birthplace of pesto and focaccia, two universally beloved specialties. Sample these and other delicacies from the coastline by joining a food tour through the city. Stroll through the old town to explore traditional delis and trattorias, sampling Ligurian favorites such as stuffed anchovies and mussels, octopus salad,farinata (a crepe made with chickpea flour),mesciua (garbanzo-bean soup), andtrofie al pesto (twisted pasta with pesto sauce). If you’re a hands-on gourmand, take a cooking class to learn how to prepare many of these dishes on your own. Hone your skills with a professional chef either in a home setting or a restaurant kitchen, and then enjoy what you’ve created over dinner. 

Night: The Cinque Terre and a Home-Cooked Meal

Italy’s most famous cluster of picturesque fishing villages are just minutes away along the coast, a quick jaunt by land or sea from La Spezia. Take a sunset sail past the Cinque Terre, or opt for a driving or e-bike tour to admire the five famous fishing villages along the Gulf of Poets in the cooler hours late in the day. End your day with a cooking demonstration and family-style meal in the home of a local cook, featuring four courses of classic Ligurian dishes paired with local red and white wines.   

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8 Tours and Activities | All La Spezia Tours

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Cinque Terre sunset boat tour with aperitivo in Vernazza

Cinque Terre sunset boat tour with aperitivo in Vernazza

Explore the UNESCO-listed Cinque Terre National Park by boat—and enjoy a rare perspective on the sights, when you time your visit for sunset. Meet in Monterosso, climb aboard your vessel, and enjoy a welcome drink: with just a small group for company, you’re guaranteed a personal sightseeing experience. Venture all the way along the Cinque Terre coast, pause to swim or snorkel in the turquoise waters, and enjoy traditional aperitif nibbles on board.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$179.20
From
$179.20
Taking safety measures

La Spezia Cinque Terre Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience

La Spezia Cinque Terre Food Tour - Do Eat Better Experience

star-5
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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$93.95
From
$93.95
Taking safety measures

Cinque Terre Cooking Lesson in La Spezia

Cinque Terre Cooking Lesson in La Spezia

star-5
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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$173.02
From
$173.02
Taking safety measures

Authentic Pesto cooking class at the Cinque Terre

Authentic Pesto cooking class at the Cinque Terre

star-3
Discover the secrets of authentic Italian cuisine with this home pesto-making and tasting experience along the Cinque Terre coast. Visit a beautiful La Spezia home; get hands-on with a mortar and pestle as you cook up your own pesto, using fresh basil and pine nuts; then tuck into your delicious homemade creations.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$81.90
From
$81.90

E-bike tours from La Spezia

E-bike tours from La Spezia

star-3.5
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
$127.29
From
$127.29

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

star-5
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
$105.05
From
$105.05

Private Cinqueterre Tour from La Spezia in Luxury Vehicle

Private Cinqueterre Tour from La Spezia in Luxury Vehicle

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cinque Terre is a must-see sight for anyone visiting La Spezia. Explore the colorful coastal landscapes with ease during a private tour that allows you to customize your itinerary according to your interests. Rather than navigating and driving yourself, you’ll travel between top Cinque Terre attractions in a luxury, air-conditioned vehicle.
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  • 5 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$734.83
per group
From
$734.83
per group

Food & Wine evening tour La Spezia

Food & Wine evening tour La Spezia

star-5
Immerse yourself in the culinary culture of the Liguraian coast on this walking food tour. Sample local delicacies like stuffed anchovies, octopus salad, hand rolled pasta and pesto sauce, and learn the stories behind the dishes. Taste local wines and learn regional traditions and history as you stroll the streets and pass by architectural landmarks. End the evening with an extended stop at a restaurant to continue the conversation.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
From
$98.87
From
$98.87