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Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)
On the far western arm of the gulf of La Spezia is the municipality of Portovenere, made up of three villages, Fezzano, Le Grazie and Porto Venere, and an Archipelago (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto). Geographical data tells us a lot about the municipality. Portovenere is a characteristic medieval village and with its coloured, narrow high houses, the genoese Castle, the St. Pietro Church on the steep cliff, it unites an illustrious history with the charm of "finis terrae". It is a picturesque village established during the Roman period on a rocky peninsula surrounded by the sea. The legend tells that the "Beauty goddess" was fascinated by a so great natural masterpiece. To visit: San Pietro church (1277), Byron's Grotto, the castle and San Lorenzo church. To taste fresh fish at dinner on the "calata" (quay).
Le Grazie - The village of Le Grazie is placed in a peaceful inlet. It has ancient origins and the historical part is set around our Lady of Le Grazie, patron saint of the village. The Church, built in the 14th century and restored in later periods, has a splendid old wooden choir stall, carved by FrÓ Paolo di Recco. The nearby monastery, once owned by the Olivetani monks and now pratically all converted into private homes, has an ancient refectory where beautiful frescoes can be found painted by Nicol˛ Corso at the end of the 14th century. In the area of the old Varignano are the remains of the Roman villa of Varignano, dated 15th century B.C., the settlement is in a small glade, green with olive trees, rich with water, in a protected inlet. At the time, the place was ideal for mooring and sheltering small boats. The archeological area can now be visited entirely, and shortly an educational walk and a museum will be opened to all visitors.
Fezzano - Fezzano also looks onto a sheltered inlet, where you can walk along the shore amongst lush pine trees. In the bay of Fezzano is a private, minute port which offers mooring possibilities to 240 boats off floating jetties equipped with a transit area. The small port was built as part of the conversion of the area previously occupied by the old shipyard, which specialised first in demolition and at a later stage in repairs. Although the area now has a different use, the shipyard tradition and workers expertise has been maintained. Therefore, the port of Fezzano has a fully equipped shipyard, which can handle all types of repairs.
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