ITALY’S HIDDEN TREASURE ATTRACTS SENIORS

Sep 12th, 2012 | By James E Becker | Category: Senior Travel

PORTO VENERE DRAWS SENIORS

Tucked away in the northwestern area of Italy, Porto Venere is a town that dates back to at least the middle of the first century. The ancient town is a hidden treasure for senior tourists and even residents of Italy to discover. Just look at that beautiful azure water in the harbor. So seniors, have you heard of Porto Venere?  No?  Well, you will if you travel much in Italy along the upper part of the boot on the Adriatic Sea.

Porto Venere is a traditional fishing village with a picturesque jumble of pastel houses, boats bobbing in the harbor and a network of meandering hiking trails. It is a town located on the Ligurian coast of Italy in the province of La Spezia. It comprises the three villages of Fezzano, Le Grazie and Porto Venere, and the three islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. In 1997 Porto Venere and the villages of Cinque Terre were designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and that puts it on a special map for me as I love World Heritage sites.

The name Porto Venere

The ancient Portus Veneris is believed to date back to at least the middle of the 1st century BC. It has been said that the name refers to a temple to the goddess Venus which was sited on the promontory where the church of Peter the Apostle now stands. The name has also been linked to that of the hermit Saint Venerius. In Roman times the city was essentially a fishing community.

Seniors Awed by Picturesque Harbor

The harbor of  Porto Venere is lined with brightly colored houses and narrow medieval streets lead up the hill to a castle. The main street of Porto Venere, lined with shops, is entered through Porto Venere’s ancient city gate. There is a picturesque church on the promontory, once the site of a temple to Venus (Venere in Italian) from which Porto Venere gets its name. Nearby is Byron’s Cave in a rocky area leading to the sea where the poet Byron used to swim.  Just touch the 52 visitor’s photos on this link and you’ll see why more and more seniors are heading for Porto Venere.

TripAdvisor always has good advice for senior citizen travelers and this link is no exception. The NY Times Travel page has a super slide show. Additional travel guides iron out the specifics for your visit to Porto Venere. Cinque Terre (five lands) is only a short distance to the north of Porto Venere and you will want to take it in as well.  

Lastly, the Porto Venere homepage contains good information that will help to fill your itinerary.  jeb



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