La Spezia is the capital of the province of the same name in the Italian Liguria region. The city itself has places of interest like old churches and the Castle of San Giorgio, but it's also the operating base for visits to the villages of the Cinque Terre which can be reached both by land and by water.
The city has almost 100,000 inhabitants.
La Spezia is located in the Liguria region in the northeast of Italy on the Ligurian Sea. The mountains of the Ligurian Alps lie north and northeast of La Spezia. The region's main attraction are the villages of the Cinque Terre at 15 car kilometers from La Spezia and easily reachable by rental car via the Vía delle Cinque Terre (SP370).
La Spezia is an important naval port and the nautical college is also based here. Directly linked to this is the arms factory of Oto Melara. The port, however, also has a commercial function with shipbuilding, production of metal and machines and refined petroleum.
The nearest airport is Aeroporto Galileo Galilei in Pisa, over 65 kilometers southeast of La Spezia. It's easily reachable by rental car via freeway A12. Alternative airports are Aeroporto Cristoforo Colombo in Genoa and Giuseppe Verdi Airport in Parma.
La Spezia has good public transport. Buses are exploited by Azienda Trasporto Consortile. There are both city buses (urbano) and connections with surrounding places (extraurbano). There are also train and bus connections with places further out.
The city's surroundings are mountainous, but the infrastructure around the city has improved significantly in recent years. There's now a tunnel (Variante Aurelia Bis) which runs from La Spezia to the suburb San Benedetto. The Val di Vara has also become quicker and more easily reachable by this tunnel. The SP370 (the road to Cinque Terre) also runs through a tunnel. La Spezia's center has a regular street pattern, but winding mountain roads start directly outside the center.
La Spezia has accommodations galore, especially in the midrange category. Cheap accommodations can be found near the train station.
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