The Island of Palmaria in the Golfo dei Poeti, SP, Italy

A few hundred metres off the coast of the town of Portovenere lies Palmaria, the largest of the three islands in the Golfo dei Poeti at 1.9 sq km. The archipelago is part of the same UNESCO world heritage site as Portovenere and the Cinque Terre. We took the little ferry boat over for lunch and a hike.

The sun shines on Palmaria, between Portovenere (right) and the smaller islands Tino (left) and Tinetto (partially visible on the left side of Tino)
This is the little ferry boat that goes back and forth between Portovenere and Palmaria beach
Dogs are required to wear muzzles on this ferry. Bosco had plenty of miserable friends to commiserate with. Luckily the crossing only takes a few minutes.
There are not many buildings on the island, but several are close to the beach
Everyone recommends Locanda Lorena as a wonderful place to eat on Palmaria. We had a delicious lunch on their outdoor patio
Then we set off to hike the island. This is the view back towards Portovenere from around the restaurant
Bosco loves hiking!
The island is pretty hilly and affords some spectacular views!
The terrain varies from weathered rocks and sea grass to forest pathways
The view back towards Lerici across the Golfo dei Poeti from high up on the island. La Spezia is partially visible behind the bluff on the left
Nice shady woods near the middle of the island
We stumbled upon some mysterious ruins that the forest seems to be trying to reclaim
A big beautiful tree stretches out over a once well defended courtyard
Turns out we had stumbled upon Forte Cavour, a defensive stronghold of the 1800s that housed a garrison of 300 people
It was around this time that we noticed a distinctive barnyard smell
Bosco spotted them first – goats! A whole herd of them! Turns out they didn’t want to play with him though, despite his best efforts to engage with the hoofed puppies
Julie having a pine time on the west side of the island
We chose a steep trail back down towards Portovenere on the north side of the island
The geology of the island makes one imagine how it was formed
This trail offers a unique perspective on the Gothic Church of St. Peter in Portovenere, with Byron’s Grotto visible behind it and the steep coastline of the Cinque Terre
The internal structure of Portovenere’s Doria Castle is visible at the top of town, with streets that zig-zag down to the colourful waterfront buildings on the right
We like Portovenere better than the Cinque Terre – it’s different! More relaxed, less crowded, and plenty to see and do
We made it back down to the water’s edge and found an old war bunker
Lovely view of Portovenere’s waterfront across the turquoise waters of Palmaria’s beach as we returned to the ferry

One Comment Add yours

  1. Francine says:

    Wow, great post! I wish I had gotten there!


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