Hotel Birillo

Via Dei Mille 11-13, La Spezia, 19121, Italy
Hotel Birillo
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More about La Spezia


Monterosso al Mare has the best beach in CinqueMonterosso al Mare has the best beach in Cinque

Features of Via dell'AmoreFeatures of Via dell'Amore

Buildings near the portBuildings near the port


Forum Posts

Driving to Rome

by FinW


I am thinking about renting a car in La Spezia and driving to Rome. Seems like it would be romantic/beautiful to drive along the coast. I have heard that driving in Italy (especially around Rome) is more stressful than anything but I am hoping that this is not true.

Can anyone shed some light on this?


Re: Driving to Rome

by royalempress

Some roads are easy to drive on while others are fast and crazy. On the whole, driving in Italy is easy, EXCEPT Rome!! Driving in Rome is terrible! absolutely bad. I would drop your car off at the Rome airport which is on the ring road and take public transportation into Rome.

Re: Driving to Rome

by cgf

I do not believe driving is so romantic, maybe pleasent in a sunny day (easy) and poor trafic (not really often). If you're not familiar with Rome streets and Romans way to drive, you'd better leave yor car as already suggested.
Do not forget a red light in a cross road sometime it's just an advice not a duty to stop.

Re: Driving to Rome

by leics

It is true.

Not only is there a vast amount of traffic congestion around Rome, a vast amount of aggressive driving conditions (let alone trying to navigate during that congestion/difficult and those aggressive driving conditions), and a certain ...erm..manipulation of road rules.... but you are also likely to encounter real problems in driving in Rome itself. Many Italian towns/cities hve ZTLs (zona traffico limitata) where only certain vehicles are allowed to be in certain places at certain times, and Rome is no different.

You'll only know you've transgressed when the hefty ZTL fine is taken off your credit card. ZTLs are monitored by CCTV cameras and there is no escape....

O...and then there's the cost and difficulty of parking...

Not romantic in the slightest, I'm afraid. Stressful, difficult and more likely to lead to a blazing row! :-)

So drive down the coast by all means but leave your car well outside Rome (airport?). And also expect to pay a premium for one-way hire.

Re: Driving to Rome

by whitenk

It can be very romantic to take a train along the mediterranean coastline -- you can both enjoy the scenery and not worry about the traffic.

Travel Tips for La Spezia

I really did not give much...

by chrissyalex

I really did not give much thought to La Spezia. It was just a place to stay while visiting the Le Cinque Terre. All I really heard or read about it was that it was a 'Naval Port'.It is true.....there are sailors eveywhere. But I was pleasantly surprised. It was a nice city by the sea with orange trees and palm trees. No wonder so many famous poets,writers and artists including Byron and Shelley stayed here.


by micas_pt

One thing that struck us about La Spezia was the size of the Naval Dockyard: it is huge!! When we drove past La Spezia heading for Portovenere we took a small road and drove along the naval dockyard for quite some distance. It spreads along the coast for some km, and it is obviously restricted to visitors. Looks like as it is of major importance in naval defense.

Finally we stopped at a higher point and were able to watch it from the distance. Also, from the opposite side of that road the view towards Portovenere is breathtaking!!

Romatic x 10!

by vincericardo

I had the chance to visit the nearby islands with a local guy I had met at a club and found it simply enchanting. In a seculed beach he was able to ride the "baloney pony' until he could not stand it anymore! What a great place! I'm cuming back soon!

A brief exploration only........

by leics

I only spent a couple of hours in La Spezia, 'topping and tailing' my whizz round some of the Cinque Terre villages. So this page is based on only the briefest of glimpses.

Immediate impressions: a big place, with (for me) not a huge amount of historical interest remaining........La Spezia, being a port, was severely bombed during the Second World War. The railway is some way outside the town centre, so it was a long-ish walk to find out what was there.

There's a huge part-covered market (lots of vegetables and fruit) and lots of shops. The town centre is largely pedestrianised, which is nice, and there are some pleasant formal gardens down towards the sea. Plenty of places to eat, should you be staying there.

There are several museums in La Spezia, but I only managed to visit one (on my return from Cinque Terre). It's housed in the Castello S. Georgio, high on a hill above the port/town (that's where I took the main photo) and accessed by shady flights of steps. The archaeological museum within is very modern and well-presented (the labelling is all in Italian) and contains some fascinating and very strange Iron Age gravestones ('stelae': see photo below), as well as some interesting Roman statuary and artefacts. The Castello itself probably dates from the mid 15th century, and has undergone many changes. It is probable that it began life as a simple watchtower.

The tourist information office (which I only found on my second visit to La Spezia station) provided me with a map which details several pleasant-looking walks in the surrounding hills. I imagine that La Spezia would make a very good base for a week's walking and exploration of both the Cinque Terre and the immediate area. That may be something I'll do in the future.


by chrissyalex

Le Cinque Terre means "the five lands". It is five adorable towns connected by a trail on the the Ligurian coast of Italy.The only way to describe it is pure natural beauty! The sea on one side and the mountains on the other!


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