Everyone must go to Portovenere! This is one of our stops during my Italy Retreat for Women. Women have traveled here for inspiration for generations, as its name beckons, “Port of Venus.” Of course many creative gentlemen, such as English Romantic writers, Lord Byron and Percy Shelley also found their creativity enlivened here.
A picture perfect town. It’s easy to fall in love with the port of Venus. After all, Venus was the mythical goddess of love. Not only is there beauty everywhere, the food is good, the port is stunning, and the streets are a delight to explore. We always enjoy the rocky fortress, San Pietro Church, and lovely shops. There are remains of a temple dedicated to Venus. Excellent Kodak moments everywhere you look– the doors, shop displays and more–are part of the sense of style and sensuality of Italy.
You can get to the nearby port town of La Spezia by train from Cinque Terre and other cities in Italy, but then you will need to take a 20 minute bus ride to Protovenere. Instead, we take a one hour ferry ride from the Cinque Terre town of Monterosso that brings us right to the harbor dock. I love that ferry ride. Highly recommend it.
Portovenere is comprised of 2 basic streets for the tourists to enjoy, but they are magical and we all found ourselves just breathing more easily here. Very peaceful. The stores are unique, not hokey or too touristy. Ceramics, pesto, pastas, and olive oil are wonderful purchases to take home. Save room in your suitcase! Be sure to climb the steps halfway up the street, to find the artist who makes colorful bowls in the shape and colors of the striped fishing boats of Liguria.
I haven’t timed this correctly yet, but you could take a boat from Portovenere across the Bay of Poets to visit the lovely town of Lerici, but in order to hop back on the last ferry to Monterosso, all of this has to be done before 3pm. Just ask the ticket office on the dock for details.
I started this blog in order to talk about beautiful Italy, and my workshop there, but even more so to inspire all of you to do what you love to do. Find your heart’s desire and follow it, even with baby steps. “Take the first step in faith”, as Martin Luther King said, even though it may not be supported by others right away. It’s really a matter of self-respect to do what you love! Venus would approve.