GULF of POETS WIDE: PORTOVENERE to LERICI & TELLARO
we will easily reach Portovenere which, not surprisingly, was called as the Venus harbour. Northern border of the Gulf of Poets, with Roman roots, it offers a wonderful view. There is a castle, on the top of the hill, and the solid St. Peter’s church, as a stone bow on the wind, looking over the rugged coast.
From Portovenere we’ll drive to Lerici, where you will greet the famous Gulf of Poets. The name of the gulf is due to the fact it was chosen by different authors as their poetic house. See, for example, what Henry James wrote about it*. From the second generation of the English Romantic poets, until nowadays, never ending lines have depicted this striking sea place! A short distance from Lerici is Tellaro.
After a pleasant and panoramic walk, you’ll be ready to continue the tour to arrive to Tellaro, one of the most picturesque villages in Italy! When you first get to Tellaro (considered by Italian experts to be one of Italy’s loveliest towns) you’ll find it is a maze of tiny little lanes and passageways that simply tempt one to explore. Go and get lost! With Tellaro being so small you’ll not be lost for long and you’ll soon find yourself back in the piazza or down by the little harbour. If you’re here on a Sunday, then the morning service in the picturesque sixteenth century Church of San Giorgio is a great experience.
Golfo dei Poeti: la Liguria che stregò Lord Byron......... Gulf of Poets: Liguria, who has bewitched Lord Byron
ride along the Gulf of Poets as far as the UNESCO majestic village of Vernazza: is probably the most characteristic of the Cinque Terre and is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Vernazza was founded about 1000 A.D. and was ruled by the Republic of Genoa starting in 1276. The medieval castle, Belforte, was built in the mid-1500’s, primarily to protect the village from pirates. An ideal way to arrive to this breathtaking village is by sea. The tiny port is surrounded by subtle colorful pastels and the charming piazza is lined with good restaurants and bars. The village is surrounded by very steeply-terraced olive groves which are said to produce among the finest olive oil in the country. We can even stop at a characteristic wine cellar. Now the driver will lead you to Riomaggiore: is the most southern village of the Cinque Terre. It is quite sure that the origins of Riomaggiore date back to the 8th Century, when the inhabitants of the Vara valley, searching a milder climate to raise grapevines and olive-trees without the fear of pirate raids, moved towards the coast. In Riomaggiore starts the Via dell’ Amore (Lover’s Lane), a wonderful path known for the romantic atmosphere and amazing landscapes. It leads to Manarola and it takes twenty minutes walking: during summer the Via dell’ Amore’s romantic atmosphere gets a bit disturbed by the excessive number of tourists. Nevertheless, we recommend you to have a rest along the street, on one of the numerous benches excavated into the rocks. Manarola, built on a high rock 70 meters above sea level, is one of the most charming and romantic of the Cinque Terre villages. The tiny harbor features a boat ramp, picturesque multicolored houses facing the sea, a tiny piazza with seafood restaurants. The village is all ups and downs, with steep narrow alleys Carrugi, leading to the sea. The driver is waiting in Manarola and will take you to the awesome village of Portovenere or to Monterosso, it will be your choice, considering also the clock time. Portovenere is a medieval fishing village situated just south of the Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera. Portovenere, on the Gulf of Poets, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its picturesque harbor is lined with brightly colored houses while narrow medieval streets lined with shops lead up the hill from the ancient city gate to the castle. It is possible to visit the three nearby islands by boat: Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto.