Castello di San Giorgio

La Spezia

An assortment of local archaeological artefacts from prehistoric to medieval times are displayed at the city's hilltop fortifications. You'll see finely crafted statues, exquisite mosaics, ceramics, jewellery and even some remarkably intact glassware. There are fabulous views over the city and waterfront from the terraces. The castle itself is an imposing work dating from the 14th century, though it has undergone various redesigns over the years.

If you don't want to make the uphill slog, you can take two free lifts. Access the first on Via Indipendenza, just up from Via del Prione. The second – more of a funicular – goes from Via XX Settembre and drops you opposite the castle entrance.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby La Spezia attractions

1. Museo Amedeo Lia

0.15 MILES

This fine-arts museum in a restored 17th-century friary is La Spezia's star cultural attraction. The collection spans from the 13th to 18th centuries and…

2. Via del Prione

0.24 MILES

If you have limited time in La Spezia, make sure you prioritise a stroll along this picturesque pedestrian lane that winds through the historic centre…

3. Museo Tecnico Navale della Spezia

0.34 MILES

Maritime lovers shouldn't miss the world's oldest naval museum, which is reached via a narrow bridge a few blocks southwest of Parco Salvador Allende. The…

4. Ponte Thaon di Revel

0.44 MILES

Opened to much fanfare in 2013, this photogenic cable-stayed pedestrian bridge connects the city with the port. Vaguely resembling a large double-masted…

5. Porto Mirabello

0.54 MILES

It's worth taking a stroll down to the waterfront and across the scenic Ponte Thaon di Revel for a look at La Spezia's modern, expansive port. You'll see…

6. Castello Doria

3.87 MILES

No one knows when the original castle was built, though the current structure – a formidable example of Genoese military architecture – dates from the…

7. Grotta di Byron

3.89 MILES

At the end of the quay, a Cinque Terre panorama unfolds from the rocky terraces of a cave formerly known as Grotta Arpaia. Lord Byron once swam across the…

8. Oratorio di Santa Maria Assunta

4.03 MILES

Built by a Christian brotherhood in the 16th century, this simple stone church is home to the unusual 14th-century wooden statue Madonna delle catene …