Comune della Spezia

Piazza Europa, 1, 19100 La Spezia - Italy


“The streets are wide and the houses are yellow and high…” With these few words, Ernest Hemingway portrayed a city made of palaces and spacious streets, giving sign of the extraordinary development of this city starting from the second half of the 19th century, when the great Maritime Military Arsenal, desired by the royal family of the Savoy, changed its destiny and appearance so radically. The city has an ancient history: it was the capital of the Lordship of Niccolò Fieschi, strictly connected to the events of Genova until the fall of the Ligurian Republic. The influence of Genova is still perceptible, you can perceive it along the “carruggio” that cuts the ancient centre in half; called via del Prione for the stone, in local language “prione”, where the public notices were read. Ligurian cities are formed by “carruggi”, narrows streets where usually the houses are placed one next to the other, tower houses merged for defensive needs and meagre spaces where, with greater agility, it became possible to carry out trade and associated life in general, not squares but fields. Here is, then, the field of the Augustinians, today Piazza Sant’Agostino. However, the most representative monument of the history of this city is certainly the Castle of San Giorgio, located on a small hill called the Poggio. Today La Spezia hosts one of the major ports of the Mediterranean as well as the naval base of the Navy and the entire supply chain of the defence industry, but there are also the most prestigious shipyards. It is considered the capital of boating, thanks to the two marinas and the maritime station, where the most prestigious cruise ships in the world stop. Tourism is the new economic frontier that, in 2019, thanks to its natural and architectural beauty, in addition to the cultural offer, has seen attendance of over 5 times the inhabitants of the city.