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Make Vernazza your base-camp for a wide range exploration of the hinterland.

If museums are what you're interested in , we may suggest a couple of them in La Spezia.
The Museo Lia (1),
open in 1996 in an ancient Convento dei Monaci di San francesco da Paola, completly renowed just
to host the legacy of the shipbuilder\owner Amedeo Lia.
Painting are the most important feature here, you can find a self –portrait of Jacopo Pontormo ,
a portrait of a Gentleman by Tiziano and the Madonna Lia from the school of Leonardo da Vinci .
This restoration was also a sort of an engine for the urbanistical and cultural rebirth of the city centre.

If you’re more a modern art kind of person , then the CAMeC is just the place to visit.
In the early years of the 2oth century this was the most attended school in town.
Almost completly destroyed during WW II, was rebuildt in the Fifties when became the town Court House.
Dismissed in 1998 , when a new one was built, remain neglected.for several years.
Then , following the effort to revitalize the cultural life of the city , the building was selected
to became a museum. It has the right location , right downtown.

And if you’re are intersted in boats , Navy and the likes, the Museo Tecnico Navale ( The Navy Museum ) may
worth a visit .There is on old say here in Italy that goes : "...è un Paese di poeti santi e navigatori “ , i.e...." it's a country of poets, saints and sailors "......well ,that may explain this Museum, the oldest in town , opened in 1925 , in order to keep alive the marinary tradition of the Italian Navy. On display more then 150 boats model, 5500 technical books, documents, and maps. 2200 antiques, 2500 medals. Many of the object on display here even date back to 1861.

Among the many villages in the near hinterland we think that the following are worth a visit.

Castelnuovo Magra (3) is located in the far eastern part of the Liguria region , over La Spezia and Sarzana. Sittin' on a hill surrounded by vineyards. It was home of the Bishop of Luni. Here ancient ligurian and tuscan people often come close to confrontations. In 1306 a.D. the most famous poet of Italy , Dante Alighieri, play the part of peace-maker between Bishop of Luni and Francesco Malaspina . In the village a must see is the Church, Reinassance architechtural style . Inside, on display , you'll find a painting of the Calavario by Brugel the young. Right on the other end of the Main Street the Tower of the Castle and part of the defensive walls ( 1273 a.D) that still remain standing. From the garden of the Town Hall a wonderful panorama of the Apuane mountains , the Versilia and the open sea.

In ancient times it was a well known harbour, Portus Lunae ,roman settlement founded in 177 a.c. .Now the sea is about 1 mile away from Luni (4). Named in the Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri who remember it’s ancient greatness , it came back to be an important town during the Renaissance . Forgot again until the end of the 19th century when archeological works began .
Now a Museum can be visited and , also , the remain of the Anfitheater still in use today for summer festivals, the Foro, the Diana’s Temple and the House of Frescos.

National Natural Park of , created in 1995 . It includes the low course of the Magra and the Vara rivers and the rocky promontorio of Caprione.

The little village of Montemarcello has a planimetry quite unique among the neighboroughing villages, it recalls of the ancient “castrum romano” the tipical villages of the roman empire.

The high end of the park are covered by Aleppo pines and olive trees open on a unforgettable scenary. A well upkeep web of walking paths gives you the chance to climb up from Lerici or Tellaro and go down till Bocca di Magra.

Closed on three sides by rivers , Varese Ligure(5) was founded by the powerful Fieschi Famiy from Genoa at the beginnin of the XVI century. It was here that the old roads connecting the ligurian coast and the padania plains crosses each others . This small town was supposed to become a trade center . It’s small but sturdy houses were standig in circle ,like the conestoga wagons, for defensive purpose.

It may worth to keep in mind that all this destinations can be reached by train or coach in just 1 h \ 1h:30 from Vernazza. Ideal for a one-day trip!!

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