Second largest city of the Liguria Region, La Spezia is situated at the centre of the famous Gulf of the Poets. City with naval traditions, La Spezia has admirably improved its rich artistic, cultural and touristic heritage. The expansion of the city is due to the installation in the XIX century of a Naval arsenal, which today in a part of it, hosts the Technical Naval Museum. This building changed totally the aspect of the city, which till that time was only a modest settlement with origins of the Middle Ages, with small districts added during the XVI and XVII centuries.
To identify the historic Medieval traces of the city, the walk up to the Castle of Saint George is a must. Enlarged between XIII and XVII century, the fortress offers a wonderful panorama of the city and the bay. The "Ubaldo Formentini" archeological collection is hosted inside, an exhibition of statues and steles of the local and Lunignana regional areas. The Musuem "Amedeo Lia" is located in the nearby in the Convent of the Frati Minimi of San Francesco of Paola (XVII century) which proposes a rich art collection of paintings, statues and exhibits.
The most famous passageway through the city is the Via del Prione, which divides in two the internal part the city, vertically to the coastline. A high street with elegant shops, bars and cafés with their outside patios (dehors) and where the Building of Arts and the Museum of Stamps and Seals are located. This complex hosts important temporary exhibitions in a architectonic context of major influence. It also hosts a Special Library of Art history and Archeology.
Worth a visit is also the Abbey Church of Santa Maria Assunta, of the XVIII century, which hosts a large heritage of works of art, exposed here after the suppression of some religious institutions over the years.