La Spezia, Italy cruise holidays
Tucked into the Ligurian coastline between Genoa and Pisa, is the pretty town of La Spezia - one of Italy's most important military and commercial harbours.
But it's not this that attracts so many. La Spezia is the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site called Cinque Terre - a collection of five coastal villages perched on the coastline. Monterosso al Marc is famous for its beaches. Vernazza is a charming fishing port decorated with colourful buildings. Cornigilia is perched high above sea level with painted houses clinging to the cliff face. Peaceful Manarolais is modern in comparison and boasts a rocky cove. While Riomaggiore is a pretty town with attractive tall houses marching up the hillside. Back in La Spezia itself you'll find a number of churches and museums. There's the 13th century Our Lady of Assumption church, housing a surprising collection of art, and the civic museum in the Castle of San Giorgio is just one of seven museums in the town.