The fishing village of Portovenere, sometimes overshadowed by the fame of Cinque Terre, is, according to the legend, the true result of the love and beauty of the goddess Venus, who gave birth to the wonderful promontory.
This is on the World Heritage list along with its three neighbouring islands (the largest being Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto ). It has maintained its original Medieval structure with its colourful homes by the sea that seem to defend the Doria Castle which stands up on the hill dominating the landscape with its little towers.
On the top of promontory, the church of San Pietro is the undisputed symbol of the village. Erected on a pagan temple’s ruins, it is dedicated to the goddess of Venus with its walls flowing down to the sea, fearless against all weather. The Byron Grotto and the old Castle mills create the perfect background for this little church which steals the heart of any visitor who glimpses the sea from its windows.
The stairs that lead up to the promontory are the continuation of the main road which wraps around the village. The small alleyways that wind through the coloured houses and down to the small town square complete the picture.
All the activities of the village are in these characteristic roads and alleyways: small shops, ice-cream parlours, “focaccerie”, stands with local shells and souvenirs, and seafood restaurants along the seafront, near the ferry-boat dock.
In fact, Portovenere is the departure point for small and big boats that venture towards the islands for a day on the sea or towards Cinque Terre for an evening of exploration, or towards La Spezia.
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