La Spezia

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La Spezia
coat of arms
La Spezia (Italy)
La Spezia
Country Italy
region Liguria
province La Spezia  (SP)
Coordinates 44 ° 6 '  N , 9 ° 49'  E Coordinates: 44 ° 6 '25 "  N , 9 ° 49' 20"  E
height m slm
surface 51 km²
Residents 93,288 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density 1,829 inhabitants / km²
Factions Biassa, Campiglia, La Foce, Pitelli, San Venerio, Sarbia
Post Code 19100, 19121 to 19126, 19131 to 19139
prefix 0187
ISTAT number 011015
Popular name Speczini
Patron saint Joseph of Nazareth ( March 19 )
La Spezia - Vista da Sarbia.jpg

La Spezia (in Ligurian : Spèza ) is a northern Italian city ​​in the Liguria region and capital of the province of La Spezia of the same name . With 93,288 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019), La Spezia is the second largest municipality in the region after the regional capital Genoa .

The city is located at the eastern end of the Riviera di Levante and the Liguria region , a few kilometers from the regional border with Tuscany . It lies on a deep natural golf course , which owes its name to it. This gulf , which is also known as Golfo dei Poeti (in English: Golf of the Poets ), is surrounded by a range of hills, the highest point of which is Monte Parodi (673 meters), west of the city center. The municipality forms part of the Autorità di Bacino Interregional del Fiume Magra administrative area , and a small section of the La Spezia territory (the Tramonti settlement ) is part of the Cinque Terre National Park .

Satellite image of La Spezia
View of the city from the east
The Morin waterfront in the city center


La Spezia lies on a narrow strip of land bounded by mountains in the north and west and the sea in the south. One consequence of this is that a larger number of city districts have emerged on the surrounding hills and the urban structure is therefore relatively irregular. In order to allow the city center to expand in an easterly direction, even the Colle dei Cappuccini hill was demolished in the 1930s . In its place is now the Piazza Europa . The naval arsenal prevents development towards the west .

In the course of urban development, numerous reclamation works were necessary. The area of ​​today's port consisted largely of marshland (popularly: Stagnoni ). The Gulf of La Spezia, with an extension of about 150 hectares , is separated from the Ligurian Sea by a 2210 meter long breakwater . Two openings of approximately 400 and 200 meters provide access. The bay itself is 4.6 kilometers long and 3.2 kilometers wide. The special nature of the gulf, which offers protection from storms and enemy attacks, was the reason why one of the largest naval arsenals was built in La Spezia and one of the most important trading ports in the Mediterranean developed there over time .


The 39 districts of La Spezia are grouped into five municipalities . The neighborhoods of the city are: Antoniana , Buggi , Buonviaggio , Canaletto , Chiappa , Cittadella , Colli , Fabiano , Favaro , Felettino , Foce , Fossitermi , Fossamastra , Isola , La Lizza , La Pianta , La Pieve , Limone , Marinasco , Mazzetta , Melara , Migliarina , Montepertico , Pagliari , Pegazzano , Pianazze , Poggio , Porta Rocca , Prione , Rebocco , Ruffino , San Bartolomeo , Sant'Anna , Scorza , Spallanzani , Termo , Umbertino , Valdellora and Vicci .

The municipality of La Spezia includes, in addition to La Spezia itself, the towns of Biassa, Campiglia , La Foce, Pitelli, San Venerio and Sarbia . The La Spezia metropolitan area has a population of over 180,000 and includes the neighboring municipalities of Vezzano Ligure , Lerici , Santo Stefano di Magra , Arcola , Follo , Riccò del Golfo di Spezia and Porto Venere .


La Spezia is located in a moderately warm climate zone; The Mediterranean climate with Atlantic influences is characteristic. Winters are relatively mild, which by the ablindernden properties of the Ligurian Sea and from Africa coming Scirocco is conditional. Nevertheless, cold spells caused by Balkan cold air currents are not uncommon, so that La Spezia sometimes records minus degrees in winter. The temperature average for the coldest month, January, is 7.6 ° C. Summer is relatively warm on average, with 24 ° C in July.

Due to the location in the Ligurian Arc with the Apennines directly on the back of the city, the rain of the saturated sea air is favored, so that La Spezia records relatively high amounts of precipitation each year. Maximum rainfall is reached in autumn and spring. The average annual precipitation is 1343 millimeters . Although snowfall is atypical for the Mediterranean climate, it has been particularly frequent in recent years.


From prehistoric times to the late Middle Ages

Excavations show that human settlements existed in the area of ​​the Gulf of La Spezia as early as the Iron and Bronze Ages . At the time Rome was founded, it was on the edge of the Etruscan sphere of influence. The origins of Roman colonization are closely related to the history of Luna , a Roman settlement near the present-day municipality of Ortonovo in the southeast of the province of La Spezia . Because of the sometimes steep Apennine slopes along the Ligurian coast, the connection to the road connections of the Roman Empire was quite limited. Nevertheless, numerous archaeological sites testify that the area around today's Gulf of La Spezia was also firmly integrated into the infrastructure of the empire.

The Christianity probably took from the 3rd century walk in the region. Along with the migration of peoples and the military conflicts between the western and eastern Roman empires , Heruli and Goths invaded Liguria. In 643 the region fell under the rule of the Longobards . In the centuries that followed, the coast was regularly haunted by Arab and Norman pirates - a factor that only slowly changed with the advent of the Italian city-republics.

The settlement of La Spezia, originally no more than a fishing village, emerged in the 12th century. Under the rule of Nicolò Fieschi from 1256 to 1273, the village, favored by its location at the end of a bay, developed into an outpost in the fight against the supremacy of Genoa . The foundations of Castello San Giorgio, which have been preserved to this day, also date from this period . After the conquest in 1273, La Spezia became part of the Republic of Genoa : as an outpost to defend against competition from the Tuscan city republics, particularly Pisa .

From the Renaissance era to the end of the 19th century

In the centuries between the late Middle Ages and the outbreak of the French Revolution , La Spezia slowly but steadily developed into the second most important city on the Ligurian coast. The destroyed city wall was rebuilt at that time; likewise the Cathedral of Santa Maria, which was plundered and burned down by the Genovese in the middle of the 15th century. Like the entire region, La Spezia was badly affected by a malaria epidemic in 1656.

The momentum towards establishing itself as a metropolitan regional center only began in the course of the Napoleonic Wars . As part of the Ligurian Republic , La Spezia belonged to the French Empire since 1805 . After the importance of the city had already increased through the fortification of the port facilities in the 18th century, the French government elevated the city to the seat of administration (1808) and developed the port area into an important military port . In the first half of the 19th century, a number of representative buildings were also built, such as the Civic Teatre in the old town quarter near the harbor.

After the defeat of France in 1815, Liguria became part of the Kingdom of Piedmont . In 1849, the Piedmontese government under the Camillo Benso Count von Cavour , one of the main operators of the Italian unification , decided to expand the military port. Work on it began in 1857 and lasted until 1869. As a result, immigration to the city increased substantially. In 1861 the population was around 15,000. By 1881 it had already doubled. After the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy , the fortifications of the arsenal were expanded. Since then, the Arsenale Militare Marittimo in La Spezia has been one of the most important, and at times even the most important, military ports in Italy. Another infrastructure project was completed in the 1870s - the technically demanding section of the Pisa – Genoa railway line between Sestri Levante and La Spezia , which was largely realized through tunneling .

20th and 21st centuries

As a military and industrial city as well as the administrative metropolis of the province of the same name, La Spezia had a population of over 70,000 at the beginning of the century. In 1911 the futurist Ettore Cozzani founded the magazine "Eroica". In 1913 the architect Vincenco Bacigalupi began building the Trianon Theater. Further buildings and monuments followed after the fascist takeover in 1922 - including the neoclassical Palazzo delle Poste from 1933 in Via Vittorio Veneto, which runs parallel to the harbor quay.

As in other regions of Italy , which traditionally tended towards the political left , the establishment of the fascist dictatorship in La Spezia did not take place without conflicts. The author Roger Engelmann reports in his book Provincial Fascism in Italy. Political violence and domination in the marble region of Carrara both from unruly behavior and from attempts to use political tactics. The region was badly affected in the Second World War . In 1943, allied air force units attacked the city and destroyed large parts of the civil and military infrastructure. Not least as a reaction to massacres of the civilian population that were committed by the German armed forces and associations of the SS , there was a sharp increase in activities by various partisan groups in the Ligurian mountain region in 1944/1945 as well . On April 23, 1945, the organizations combined in the Resistancea finally succeeded in taking over military control in La Spezia.

In the immediate post-war years, La Spezia became known, among other things, as the “Citta di Exodus”, as a port for the emigration of Jewish refugees and displaced persons to Palestine . Between the summer of 1945 and the spring of 1948, around 23,000 Jews left Italy for Palestine. In April 1946, the ships Fede and Fenice cast off from the Gulf of La Spezia - an incident that was then also known as the " La Spezia Affair " and which resulted in the Ligurian port city being known as Shar Zion on Israeli maps to this day , listed as the gate of Zion. As a commemoration of these incidents, the city awards the Exodus Prize every year with the aim of promoting intercultural relationships. This prize was named after the Exodus affair . The ship is connected to La Spezia in that it was converted into a refugee ship in Porto Venere near La Spezia.

In the decades after the end of the Second World War, the city reached its peak population. According to ISTAT , the population in 1971 was just under 125,000. From the 1970s onwards, the crisis in the old industrial sectors resulted in a slow but steady decline in the number of inhabitants in La Spezia. In 2009, with around 95,000 inhabitants, it was at a similarly high level as immediately after the First World War . Since the beginning of the post-war republic, the mayor's office has been provided by the left parties (socialists, communists or PDS ). Only in the 1960s and 1970s did the Christian Democrats hold this office for a longer period. Just like the entire Liguria region, La Spezia and the surrounding province are more or less affected by the effects of globalization . This is particularly noticeable through increased labor migration and the problems it triggers.

Origin of the city name

La Spezia on the Tabula Peutingeriana from the fourth century

The city name La Spezia has been subject to historical changes over time. Due to regional linguistic habits, it is still not clear today. As a specimen , he first appeared in a document in 1256. Other sources refer to a document from July 25, 1071, in which Specia was mentioned. The Poggio district in the old town is given as the historic center .

In addition to the unexplained origin of the toponym in the history of the city, the article La , which means The Specia in English, has caused quite a bit of controversy and confusion among the Italian population. The article appeared in the first documents related to the city in Italian. However, after the Liguria region was incorporated into the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1815, the administrative authority decided to delete the article, as this type of spelling contradicts the rule of toponyms without articles. However, this change met with the displeasure of the residents, who filed several complaints with the central government - but without success. With the formation of the province of La Spezia in 1923, however, there were increasing problems with the naming, as the article was still in use despite clear regulations. With this in mind, the municipal council decided in 1926 to apply for the reintroduction of the article.

On April 2, 1930, the name of the city was finally fixed with La Spezia by means of a royal decree . However, since the decree had been formulated vaguely in some points, there were again inconsistencies in the result - the article in the document was not written in lower case like all articles, but rather in upper case as part of the name. To this day, the mistake of using the article La undeclined has often appeared in Italian literature and linguistic usage . For example, instead of the correct “dalla Spezia”, “di La Spezia” is often used or “in La Spezia” is used instead of “nella Spezia”. The statute of the city states: “In the denomination of the municipality, the name Spezia is preceded by the specific article according to the historically founded tradition. In every legal relationship, this is subject to the general rules of use and can always be declined. "

Another problem is the capitalization of the article. According to the rules of Italian grammar, it can only be capitalized at the beginning of a sentence. In addition, the city in alphabetic parent directories is often not S , but mistakenly under L arranged. Interestingly, the article is not used in the local dialect . In Italian it is often called “Sono di Spezia” or “Vado a Spezia”, which in German means “I am from Spezia” or “I am going to Spezia”.


La Spezia owes its economic and social development primarily to the Naval Arsenal , which was built in the second half of the 19th century at the instigation of Camillo Benso von Cavour . The naval base , which is still one of the most important in the Italian navy , promoted the transformation of the small fishing town of La Spezia into a larger provincial capital with numerous industries. The local armaments company Oto Melara is of particular importance to the military base . Other important industrial enterprises are Termomeccanica in the field of metal processing , the thermal power plant "Eugenio assembly" of the energy company Enel and the shipyards of Fincantieri and the Cantiere navale del Muggiano .

Italy's only re- evaporation plant is located near La Spezia, on the territory of Porto Veneres . This enables liquefied gases such as methane to be imported by sea . The expansion and modernization project of the plant in 2007 sparked protests among the population.

Port of La Spezia

With the increasing withdrawal of the Navy, which has closed various departments since the 1990s and relocated some units to the military base in Taranto (southern Italy), the La Spezia economy began to face serious problems, which was also reflected in a demographic decline. Through business-promoting initiatives, vacant spaces of the Navy were converted for civilian use, which was particularly beneficial for the recently rapidly expanding sport shipping industry . The “Le Terrazze” shopping mall project, which will have a lettable area of ​​38,500 square meters and will open at the end of 2011, was also expected to have a positive effect on the city's further development. The La Spezia Container Terminal , which is operated by the Contship-Italia Group, is to be further expanded and become an important transshipment hub for southern Europe, through the use of new transport routes such as the Gotthard railway tunnel .

The thermal power plant

View of the "Eugenio Montale" power plant

The “ Eugenio Montalethermal power station belonging to the Italian energy company Enel is located in the urban area . As a gas turbine power plant, it produces electricity and heat from two methane gas and one coal / oil plants . With an output of around one gigawatt , it generates five percent of national energy consumption.


Tourism has become of particular importance for the city in recent years . The hinterland, especially the Val di Vara , and the Riviera with the much-visited Cinque Terre , for which La Spezia is the starting point for regional rail transport along the Ligurian Levant , also benefits from this . The port of La Spezia is the starting point for the ferry service to Sardinia and Corsica as well as the starting point for cruise ships and excursion traffic to the surrounding places, especially the Cinque Terre.

In order to open up the coast and the surrounding area for sustainable tourism , various agrotourism businesses emerged on the coast and in the valleys of the province , which led to a revitalization of the rural region. Through the renovation of the many dilapidated country houses , the traditional image of the area around La Spezia was preserved or restored. The increased interest in organic and high-quality agricultural products has also increased food and wine tourism. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the old town quarters of the Prione district between the main train station and the harbor have also undergone an upgrade, initiated by traffic calming and pedestrian zones.


Be in the city, the newspaper editorial offices of Il Secolo XIX , the La Nazione and the Gazetta della Spezia . La Spezia is also the seat of the television station Tele Liguria Sud and the local editorial office of the Genoese television channel Primocanale . The web portals , , and provide more or less extensive online offers , which provide daily or monthly information on current affairs and events in the field of politics, culture and sport.

Demographic development

The demographic development up to the end of the 18th century can only be estimated. For the period between 1500 and 1800 it is realistic to assume a slowly increasing population between several hundred and several thousand inhabitants. The Istituto Nazionale di Statistica has recorded the demographic development in numbers since the middle of the 19th century. The development documents the rapid growth in the 19th century, but shows a slow population decline in the second half of the 20th century. The population of around 95,000 from 2009 indicates a consolidation.


La Spezia has a wide range of historical buildings as well as some museums. The city is also a member of the Association of Cities of Art and Culture ( Associazione Città d'Arte e Cultura - CIDAC).

With the exception of Castello San Giorgio , which lies above the old town, almost all of the sights are concentrated in the immediate city center. The center and its core, the Prione district between the train station and the port facilities, is roughly bordered by the naval arsenal, Viale Garibaldi, which runs from the train station in the direction of Arsenal and Porto Venere, and the thoroughfare via Vittorio Veneto, which runs parallel to the port. The central street of the Prione district is Via Prione, which has been converted into a pedestrian zone, which, initially as Via Fiume, leads from the station forecourt to the harbor.

Buildings and churches

  • Castello San Giorgio . Located on the urban hill above the old town, the former defense fortress of the Republic of Genoa is the oldest surviving historical building. The foundation walls date from the 12th century, the extended additions largely from the 17th century, when military architects had the upper part of the defensive system and the city wall extended. The restoration work on the facility was completed in 1998. Since then, the fort has been open to the public (again).
  • Santa Maria Assunta Church. The former cathedral on Piazza Beverini, built in the 13th century and rebuilt in 1454, was largely destroyed in the Second World War. The restoration, especially the rebuilding of the destroyed facade, took place in 1954. The present inventory of the church includes altars , sculptures and paintings from different epochs - including the Coronation of Mary, a terracotta sculpture by the Tuscan Renaissance artist Andrea della Robbia .
  • Church of Santo Giovanni e Agusto. Built in the 17th century, the small chapel is located above Piazza Sant 'Agostino, a small square in the old town, the structure of which largely dates from the 18th century.
  • Cattedrale Cristo Rei. The large, striking building in the functional style of the post-war era was built between 1956 and 1976. It currently functions as the official bishopric and the city's central church . Located opposite the Piazza Europa, the cathedral and square form the optical end point of the partially arcade-lined business and thoroughfare Via Vittorio Veneto.
  • Chiesa Santa Maria della Neve. The 19th century pilgrimage church on Viale Garibaldi features elements of the Romanesque and Renaissance styles .
  • Palazzo delle Poste. The main post office, built in 1933 by Angiolo Mazzoni in neoclassical style , is located roughly in the middle of Via Vittorio Veneto.
  • Weekly market area in Piazza Cavour . Every weekday morning, the covered market area, kept in a no-frills industrial style, is thescene of the largest food market in the region. The offers include a wide range of fresh fruit , vegetables , cheese , sausage , meat and fish .


In the 1990s there were several new museums. In addition to the museum facilities in the Liguria region , new additions to La Spezia are the Museum of Modern Art (CAMeC) and the Museo Amadeo Lia, which was initiated by the industrialist Amadeo Lia . He left his collection of paintings to the city of La Spezia on condition that suitable premises be made available. The following museums are currently open to the public:

  • Museo civico archeologico: municipal museum with a focus on archaeological finds . Originally housed in the back building of the former aristocratic palace of the Crozza family in the Museo Civico, the museum has been part of the restored Castello San Giorgio since 2000 . Exhibits : fossils that were found in the 19th century when marble was extracted, archaeological finds from the Grotta dei Colombi on the island of Palmeria, and Roman sculptures and mosaics. The highlight of the collection are the so-called Lunugiana steles - Roman ash urns from Luna, which date from early antiquity .
  • Museo Amedeo Lia: The collection of paintings donated by the electrical entrepreneur Amedeo Lia in 1995 has a reputation among art lovers as one of the most important on the Italian Riviera coast. In order to provide adequate space, the city rebuilt the former monastery complex of Saint Francesco from the 17th century in Via Prione and carried out extensive modernization. The collection contains some well-known exhibits from the Renaissance and Baroque periods , including “Saint John the Evangelist” by Pietro Lorenzetti , “Portrait of a Nobleman” by Titian , “The Descent from the Cross” by Tintoretto , Giovanni Bellini's “Birth of Christ” and paintings by Canaletto , Paolo Veronese and Bernardo Bellotto .
  • Museo tecnico navale : Located right next to the military arsenal in Viale Amendola, the Naval Technology Museum contains a collection of historical figureheads and ship models . There are also nautical charts and nautical equipment. In addition, it generally documents the history of the Italian Navy.
  • Museo del Sigillo: The Seal Museum in the Palazzo delle Arti in Via Prione offers a collection of historical seals and stamps . The more than 1500 exhibits document seals and stamps from the Bronze Age to the Art Nouveau era . Since some of the exhibits are very small, the museum only has a few rooms.
  • CAMeC ( Centro d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Museum of Contemporary Art ') in Piazza Cesare Battisti. Opened in 2004, the exhibits focus on the art eras from 1950 onwards. Exhibits include paintings and graphics by Victor Vasarely , Wassily Kandinsky and Giorgio de Chirico .


La Spezia has numerous cultural offerings as well as improvised art initiatives. In the summer months in particular, a large number of theater and other open-air performances take place, often with small, unknown groups and organized by local initiators or in self-organization. There are also various sports, festivals and music events. In 2007 there were numerous events in the city as part of the Science Festival ( Festival della Scienza ).

While the city's gastronomic offer can be described as diverse and covers the usual spectrum from “popular and simple” to “trendy”, pure discos - similar to most of the rest of Italy - have not yet been able to establish themselves. As in comparable cities, the restaurants , bars and coffee bars typical of Italy dominate the urban center of La Spezia .

The La Spezia International Jazz Festival includes a series of concerts every year and is one of the oldest jazz festivals in Italy. Until the 42nd International Jazz Festival 2010, it mostly took place in the open-air area of ​​the Centro Allende , located directly at the harbor, and since then it has been spread over several events over a longer period and in different locations. In terms of style, the festival covers a broad spectrum from traditional to free jazz .


XXV Aprile City Park

The Ecosistema Urbano 2007 report submitted by the environmental organization Legambiente classifies La Spezia as the most environmentally friendly city in Italy, alongside the municipalities of Bolzano and Mantova . The previous year's report placed the city in seventh place.

Among the 104 provincial capitals examined, La Spezia came in 27th place for its air quality, 19th place for the low concentration of nitrogen dioxide , 15th place for the expansion of pedestrian zones , 11th place for restricted traffic areas , 27th place for the urban green spaces, 25th place for per capita fuel consumption , 21st place for environmentally friendly energy policy and 13th place for the number of ISO 14001 certified companies.

In the past few years, La Spezia got into conversation when the whereabouts of several toxic waste barrels could not be clarified. The barrels came from the Jolly Rosso transport ship and contained, in addition to dioxin and other toxic waste, depleted uranium and asbestos . The waste was destined for the landfills near Marola (La Spezia) and Seveso , where its whereabouts could not, however, be clarified. Further investigations were discontinued without result.

To protect against noise, dust and exhaust fumes, residents of the port area receive discounts on the purchase of double-glazed windows and air conditioning . Despite these measures, La Spezia has the highest mortality rate from pleural tumors in Italy , also due to other factors . A main reason for this is the high exposure to asbestos, which leads to a sharp increase in the incidence of pleural mesothelioma .

Sewer system

Increased investments in the renewal of the sewer system enabled the percentage of households connected to the sewer system to be increased from 38 to 76% in the years around the turn of the millennium. Nevertheless, the number of households not connected remains high. The city's sewage treatment plant is located at Stagnoni .

Waste separation

The waste collection is operated by ACAM Ambiente , a subsidiary of ACAM SpA , and guarantees a waste separation system for solid waste in the entire municipality .

On December 4, 2006, the 17th prize for “recycling communities” was awarded by the Legambiente nature conservation organization in the Palazzo della Regione in Genoa . La Spezia came first among the other provincial capitals of the region with 32.14% separate household waste (an increase of 6% compared to the previous year). The city came in 21st place among all municipalities in Liguria. This means that La Spezia is below the rate of 35% prescribed by law in the Ronchi decree .

In November 2006, the city received 350,000 euros from the Liguria region to improve the disposal of organic waste. In 2007, a decrease of a few percentage points in waste separation was registered. Nevertheless, La Spezia rose seven places in the regional ranking.

Recycling symbol.svg Annual mean 2005 Annual mean 2006 Annual mean 2007
La Spezia municipality 27% 32.14% 29.90%
La Spezia Province 25.09% 30.80% no data
Positioning in the region
(235 municipalities in total)
no data 21st place 14th place

In comparison, the national waste separation quota in Italy was 47% in 2009 and that of Germany 68%.


As the second largest city in the region and provincial capital, La Spezia is a regional transport hub. This primarily affects the rail network and shipping . The road network is less well developed - a problem that is caused by geography and affects most of the Ligurian coast. A bypass tangent has been completed. A flight connection is guaranteed by three large international airports in the wider area.

Public transportation

The station building
The city's central train station
The released section of the tangential
The Galleria Spallanzani in the center of the city
The Pier Italia

The public transport is the transport company Azienda Trasporto Consortile performed (ATC). On lines 1 (Bragarina-Pegazzano) and 3 (partial due to non-existent in the catenary bimodal operating run) trolleybuses . There are plans to expand the electrically operated bus network to five lines. In addition to the city ​​bus routes , the ATC also operates regional bus routes in the province of La Spezia, as well as the school bus system and a transport service for disabled people .

From 2006 to 2009 La Spezia took part in the European environmental project BEST , which aimed to promote the use of bioethanol as a fuel. Three corresponding buses were procured for La Spezia and a bioethanol filling station was built.

La Spezia Centrale train station is on two railway lines:

La Spezia's central train station is the largest between Genoa, Pisa and Parma . There are also three other train stations in the urban area: La Spezia Migliarina , Ca 'di Boschetti and La Spezia Marittima . The latter is located within the commercial port and is used exclusively as a port station. There is also a freight yard in the Valdellora district .

Road traffic

La Spezia is crossed by Provincial Road 1 (SP 1 / SS 1), Via Aurelia . Other smaller connecting roads lead from the city to the surrounding region:

  • SS 330 di Buonviaggio - connecting road to the SS 62 at Caprigliola
  • SS 331 di Lerici - connecting road to the SP 1 and the SS 430 at Romito Magra
  • SS 370 Litoranea delle Cinque Terre - connecting road to Manarola (Cinque Terre)
  • SS 530 di Porto Venere - connection road to Porto Venere

La Spezia is connected to the following motorways :

Both highways can be reached via the tangential that connects one of the main roads ( Via Carducci ) with the “La Spezia” tollbooth . From here you can reach the A12 / A15 motorway triangle .

The city has a northern bypass . This state road (SS 1), called Via Aurelia Variant A , has been under construction for some time and connects the Ospedale Felettino district with the Foce district . The street, which is supposed to relieve the city center, is largely completed, but not yet fully connected to the city. In January 2006, a first section of the tangent was opened to general traffic. This enables a fast connection with the Val di Vara and is connected to Piazzale Ferro and the San Benedetto district via a 2.4 kilometer tunnel . As a result, Via Aurelia (SS 1 / SP 1) in the Foce zone will be re-routed. Completion of the tangential road was planned for 2010. Work is currently underway on the Via Fontevivo access road , which will connect the second exit of the Tangente with the city center.

On April 8, 2020, the Caprigliola Bridge of the SS 330, which connects La Spezia and Massa Carrara, completely collapsed. The bridge connecting the state road from Cisa to the provincial road from Albiano was put under observation in November 2019 because a structural crack had formed in the asphalt.

air traffic

La Spezia does not have its own airport. However, there are three large international airports within a radius of 100 kilometers:

The nearest aviation hub is Milan Malpensa Airport . There is a military airport at Luni .


In addition to the commercial ports and the naval base , La Spezia has a passenger terminal at Molo Giuseppe Garibaldi, where the larger cruise ships are handled. At the Container Terminal LSCT in 2015 were 1.3 million  TEU handled. A major expansion is planned here.

There are also several harbors and numerous berths that are used by pleasure boats and yachts as well as the ferry boats to the coastal villages of the province. In the spring and summer months, liners to Lerici , Porto Venere , the island of Palmaria , the Cinque Terre , Portofino and Genoa leave from Pier Italia . Some of the neighboring communities have signed an agreement with the La Spezia administration and the passenger transport companies to further develop these waterways. There is also a regular ferry service to the islands of Sardinia and Corsica .

In 2010 a new marina for luxury yachts up to 130 meters in length, the Porto Mirabello , was opened in the port of La Spezia , which has been accessible via a pedestrian bridge ( Thaon di Revel City Bridge ) since 2013 . For this purpose, an artificial peninsula of 4 hectares was created.


La Spezia is the seat of the following schools:

  • State vocational school for the hotel and catering trade "Giuseppe Casini"
  • Liceo Classico "L. Costa “ , a humanistic high school
  • Liceo Scientifico "A. Pacinotti ” , a science-oriented high school
  • Liceo "G. Mazzini “ , high school
  • State vocational college for industry and craft "D. Chiodo "/ State Vocational School for Nautical Science" N. Sauro "
  • State vocational college for trade, tourism and advertising "L. Einaudi "
  • Istituto di Istruzione Secondaria Superiore “Fossati - Da Passano” , high school
  • Technical Institute for Industry "G. Capellini ” , vocational high school
  • Technical Institute for Land Surveying "V. Cardarelli ” , vocational high school
  • University: On the initiative of Mayor Lucio Rosaia , a smaller university was opened. This is located on the “ Guglielmo Marconicampus in the hilly section of the city and has been in operation since the 2001/2002 academic year . Five diploma courses are offered:

The move of the university to the premises of the barracks "Duca degli Abruzzi" is currently being discussed.


Honorary citizen

Town twinning


La Spezia seen from the south

See also

Web links

Commons : La Spezia  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: La Spezia  - Travel Guide

References and comments

  1. Statistiche demografiche ISTAT. Monthly population statistics of the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica , as of December 31 of 2019.
  2. Circoscrizioni. Archived from the original on January 7, 2009 ; accessed on March 12, 2018 .
  3. a b Climate table  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. at 2Template: Toter Link /  
  4. ^ Sibylle Geier: Liguria. Cinque Terre, Italian Riviera. Reise Know-How-Verlag, Bielefeld.
  5. The city and its history. Archived from the original on December 24, 2011 ; accessed on March 12, 2018 .
  6. ^ Roger Engelmann: Provincial Fascism in Italy. Political violence and rulership in the marble region of Carrara 1921–1924 . Oldenbourg, Munich 1992, pp. 102/103. Google Book
  7. Report by Spiegel Online , June 23, 2005. The reason for the article was a war crimes trial before the military court in La Spezia.
  8. La Spezia #Il XX secolo in the Italian language Wikipedia.
  9. The city and its history ( Memento of the original from December 24, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (German) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  10. Statute of the municipality of La Spezia ( Memento of the original of September 26, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 131 kB) Article 3, Section 5. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  11. to the project  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on, April 22, 2010.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  12. CIDAC website
  13. Roster CIDAC
  14. Ecosistema Urbano 2007. Archived from the original on January 30, 2012 ; accessed on March 12, 2018 . at
  15. Mesotelioma pleurico: la triste eredità dell'amianto - report at
  16. Data from the Legambiente La Spezia.
  17. Detailed information on the “recycling communities” at
  18. a b c data at
  20. Blickpunkt Tram 6/2018, p. 154.
  21. ^ BEST - Participants. Archived from the original on April 25, 2007 ; accessed on March 12, 2018 .
  23. “Between Liguria and Tuscany. Bridge collapsed in Italy ” on from April 8, 2020
  24. Routing via southern Europe saves time and money . In: Ship & Offshore , issue 8/2016, p. 50/51, DVV Media Group, Hamburg 2016, ISSN  2191-0057 (English)
  25. ^ Porto Mirabello website