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The Gulf of La Spezia



The Gulf of La Spezia (also called Gulf of the Poets) is a very wide and deep bay in the Ligurian Sea, at the eastern end of Liguria.

The Gulf hosts one of the most important navy arsenals, which made La Spezia site of  relevant industries.

The Gulf of La Spezia is North-West / South-East oriented, and is protected backward by a mountain range that protects the Gulf from the strong south-west winds.

The gulf mouth is protected by the 2210 m long outer breakwater, between Cape S. Maria West and Cape S. Teresa East, leaving two passages of 400 and 200 metres.

The Gulf is about 4,5 km long and 3,5 km wide.

The Gulf of La Spezia is also known as Gulf of the Poets. It was Sam Benelli that named the gulf like that in 1919, while he was working at his “La cena delle beffe”.

But in fact, the name is because of the many writers and poets staying in the gulf’s villages, loving the beauty of this “water amphitheatre”.

Among the many artists who loved this places, David Herbert Lawrence, George Sand, Lord Byron and Percy Bisshe Shelley are to be remembered. Shelley had his last residence in Lerici: in 1822, on July 8th, he was drowned while he was trying to reach San Terenzo with his schooner.

Swiss painter Arnold Böcklin also loved to stay in the Gulf.

Among the Italian artists who loved this Gulf: Paolo Mantegazza, the poets Gabriele D’Annunzio and Tommaso Marinetti, the writer Mario Soldati, who lived in Tellaro until his death, on June 19th 1999.