A Peaceful Escape to Portovenere, Italy

| October 10, 2009
portovenere italy sunrise

A serene sunrise in Portovenere

After the hustle and bustle of Florence, we made our escape to Portovenere, Italy. It took about one and a half hours by train to get to the port city of LaSpezia, where we took a 25-minute cab ride to Portovenere. We really did not know what to expect. Our primary mission was to visit the famous villages of the Cinque Terre, but advice from others recommended that we not try to stay at one of the villages due to the ever present tourist crush. Fortunately, with some good advice, we ended up here. With an ambiance reminiscent of Monterey, California, we were were captivated by the calm panoramic beauty of this waterfront resort town. We stayed at a nice hotel on the water complete with its own private beach and bar. The afternoon we arrived, we walked from the hotel down a nicely landscaped path to the center of old Portovenere.

portovenere italy walk

Once we arrived, about 20 minutes later, we were welcomed by a row of the classically multi-colored and wonky structures that have become a trademark of the area. Above the town sat the Church of St. Lawrence, which was erected in 1098. We stopped by a cafe for a mozzarella e pomodoro panini, a Coke Light for Donna, and a 33cl Peroni for me. The demographic of the town seemed to be mostly Italian tourists, giving the area a wonderful local feel and relaxing atmosphere. There was a “main street” off of the water that had a few charming shops and restaurants as well as a place to get our daily gelato.

portovenere italy

After relaxing for a while, we made our way down to one of the town’s main attractions. The church of San Pietro is a 13th-century gothic church perched atop a rocky peninsula facing the Mediterranean Sea. The area was almost deserted, giving us plenty of time to explore the area and take in the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Italy was one wow moment after another and the San Pietro church was no exception. Since the church is built from the rock upon which it sits, it literally looks like it was carved out of the peninsula.

san pietro church portovenere italy

Church of San Pietro in Portovenere, Italy

We were not really prepared for what we would see next. As we climbed to the highest point near the church, we looked out one of the openings in the rock wall along the way. The series of cliffs below is what was waiting for us. I wish there was a boat in the water so you could fully appreciate the scale of these enormous rock formations. After picking my jaw up from the gound, we advanced into the church and took in more of the breathtaking views. These cliffs lead to the Cinque Terre, which will be the subject of a future post. As always, thanks for visiting!

portovenere view cliffs

Cliffs leading toward the Cinque Terre, Italy

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Category: Italy, Photography, Travel

Comments (2)

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  1. randy says:

    Wow! Your photography is magnificent. Keep them coming. I can picture myself walking that path. I so need to go!

  2. Lee says:

    Thanks a bunch Randy. I am having a blast going through the pictures. Hope you get a break soon! Talented people stay in demand and you are one of them!