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La Spezia

La Spezia is a province situated in the Eastern part of the region and it is in the centre of a gulf that takes its name and it is also called "Gulf of the Poets". The name could date back to 1256, even if in another document in 1071 the word SPEZIA maybe appeared for the first time.

In "Ancient Rome" Roman times the most important centre was Luni which is now located nearly Sarzana (near La Spezia).

The St. George castle is the most emblematic monument of La Spezia’s historical past. It has usually under construction works documented from at least the second half of the XIV century: the tower is incorporated into the upper part of the structure, where only a small part of its foundations can be seen today. In 1443 the castle underwent major restoration works with the addition of a wing to the lower part of the castle, built for using firearms. The works for erecting a Bastia (the bastion) is made for a major supporting of a defensive work: today there is no longer standing, but ruins have come to the surface in recent times from the university campus, beyond the castle.

La Spezia had a good development starting from the second half of the XIX Century, from when the great Naval Arsenal, which is commissioned by the Savoy’s, transformed the best part of its fate and aspect. La Spezia was the point of departure for the survivors from the Nazi concentration camps at the end of the Second World War.

After lengthy and tormented vicissitudes, the ships Fede, Fenice and Exodus managed to take away everyone from the Spezia gulf. There is an interesting thing: in the Israeli geographical maps La Spezia is called «Schàar Zion», Door to Sion. If you want to leave La Spezia for visiting somewhere different, you can find several destination: the World Heritage UNESCO "Le Cinque Terre", which are 5 small towns overlooking the sea; the beautiful town of Porto Venere; the “Gulf’s Pearl" Lerici and Sarzana.

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