Portovenere, located at the ‘western end of the Gulf of La Spezia was a favourite docking since Roman times for its magnificent geographical position. The fortified village still visible today was founded by the Maritime Republic of Genoa in 1113 and became its most faithful colony until the fall of the Republic in 1797
This unique village still retains its medieval structure with walls, towers and especially the tall,colorful houses that line the sea to form an impenetrable defensive barrier.In fact, there were many attacks from pirates and enemies of Genoa throughout the centuries during which this extraordinary men and women fight bravely.
Even today, walking along the narrow street that runs through the whole village, it is easy to feel the echo of the past and almost breathe its air.
The deep religiosity of this village is symbolized by its two splendid churches.One is dedicated to St. Peter, overlooking the sea and built in Ligurian-Gothic style, the other is dedicated to St Lawrence, where the miraculous image of the Madonna Bianca has been conserved since 1399,and where the pirate Graffigna, better known as “Cardinalino”, is buried,a highly unusual occurrence in church history. Do not miss a visit to the Doria Castel , whose exceptional position allows a broad view of the Gulf all the way to the coast of Tuscany.