Why You Need To Visit Porto Venere, Italy – Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
There was one year, when I travelled to Italy four different times! That’s a lot, so I guess you can tell it’s my favourite European country and I just can’t get enough of the place. On this particular trip, I’d be touring through Eastern Liguria, hitting up quiet little towns like Varese Ligure and the coastal town of Porto Venere.
Porto Venere, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1997, is a truly special town. As you walk through the narrow and colourful streets, sample the local seafood specialties, and view the town from the sea, it’s easy to see why Porto Venere inspired people like Lord Byron.
Why You Need To Visit Porto Venere, Italy
So just why should one visit Porto Venere? Aside from the fact that it’s picture perfect in terms of just how exquisitely beautiful it is, there are plenty of reasons to come to Porto Venere.
1) Wander the streets of Porto Venere
Taking a stroll along the streets of Porto Venere is a pleasure.
It’s a heady experience to take time to notice things, like the narrow cobblestoned streets, the pastel hued buildings with laundry hanging out to dry, the intricate details of religious tile mosaics, and so much more.
2) Take a cooking lesson at Portivene
Another reason to visit Porto Venere is to take cooking lessons at Portivene, a small trattoria specializing in mussel dishes. You can learn how to cook various mussel based dishes. Not usually a fish person, I happily overdosed in three types of mussel dishes and a local white wine while there.
If you’re not up for cooking lessons, I’d suggest dining at Portivene all the same. It’s a cute restaurant boasting fresh and delicious foods at super cheap prices in a non-pretentious setting. They even offer take away, perfect for a romantic picnic overlooking the water.
Too small to have a web site, you can find them at Via Capellini 94 in Porto Venere or call 0187 792722.
3) See Porto Venere From The Sea
Just before I took a short boat ride out to the sea, I ran into this adorable dog taking a snooze in the middle of a pedestrian thoroughfare under the late October sun. Behind him are locals bartering for a portion of the day’s catch!
There’s seriously no better way to see Porto Venere than by sea. The views are spectacular and will make you fall even more in love with the town.
As you journey out towards the vast blue expanse of the Mediterranean, you’ll glimpse the Church of St Peter off into the distance. Consecrated in 1198, it’s the town’s most iconic and enduring landmark. You’ll also pass by the Scola Tower, a former military building and lookout.
4) Sample Regional Wine at Ca’Lunae
Wine lovers should head to nearby Castelnuovo Magra for a wine tasting. Visit Ca’Lunae, a local winery offering guided tasting experiences in the setting of a charming renovated farmhouse. Also on the site, is the Museum of Wine Material Culture and the Essentiae Laboratory, where they produce sweet liquors and jams.
You can find the winery at Via Bozzi 63 in Ortonovon.
Are you ready to visit Porto Venere right now? I know I ache to return there myself. Do you have ant further tips for the area? Drop us a note in the comments.
Good To Know
1) Stay in Porto Venere and book yourself into a nice hotel or private flat with booking.com.
2) Make your time in Porto Venere special and go on a guided tour.
3) If you love anything and everything Italy, check out some of our favourite posts.
- All The Reasons Why You Need To Visit Brindisi, Italy – Visit Brindisi, a little known Italian town in Puglia, for grand cathedrals, an ancient roman column, a scenic seaside promenade, and more.
- Eating Lunch At Tschötscherhof Farm In The Italian Alps – Stop for lunch, eat locally grown produce, & visit a historical museum at the remote Tschötscherhof Farm in the Italian Alps.
- Riding Donkeys In Italy’s Monti Sibillini National Park – When visiting Monti Sibillini National Park, be sure to ride a donkey through the beautiful Castelluccio Plateau.
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*Disclosure – My time in Porto Venere was complimentary, courtesy of Liguria Tourism. Any opinions expressed are entirely my own. This post also contains some affiliate links. If you book a tour or hotel, I’ll earn a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!
I would LOVE to take cooking lessons in Italy – yum!!
What a lovely photo essay. I went to Porto Venere last year and found it one of the most charming villages on the Ligurian Riviera.
@Andrea – It was fun! Mussels, mussels and even more mussels. Very yummy.
@Simon – Thanks, wish you had been able to join us for the adventures. And I agree, Porto Venere is charming. I really hope to see it again someday. 🙂
Is there any place in Italy that isn’t fantastic? Seriously, I don’t think I have ever heard a single bad thing.
@Ayngelina – So true! I could “wax poetic” about bella Italia all day. 🙂
Love the first shot 🙂
@Marie – Thank you, thank you!
Nice pictures, I like seeing my country through foreign eyes.
And I’m happy to have met you in Genova. 🙂
@Silvia – Thank you so much! I always feel the same when people write about Canada, especially Toronto. Nice to have met you in Genova as well. 🙂
This is the Italy I want to discover. It looks so different from the big and popular cities.
@Ruth – The seaside towns outside of Cinque Terre are more “off the beaten path” and are just as stunning. Porto Venere is now one of my favorite parts of bella Italia!
Liguria is a really beautiful part of Italy and I would love to get back there to explore more of it. I ended up spending the small amount of time that I had there exploring Cinque Terre, but there is so much more to see. Porto Venere looks amazing!
@Dean – Cinque Terre is quite nice! I loved it to … Liguria has so many other less travelled parts and ohhhh wow, I was surprised and amazed with each new town we visited.
Love the article, great tips!
Thanks so much guys!