Portovenere, Italy

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Cruising to Portovenere

While some holiday destinations are full of different attractions, Portovenere is one big attraction in and of itself, with everything about this amazingly picturesque town on the Italian Riviera being truly captivating. The landscape - and particularly the spectacle created by the contrast between the rocky hills, blue sea and brightly-coloured houses of the town - is a real sight to behold, and continues to inspire visitors today as it has done for centuries.

Indeed, Portovenere and the surrounding area is so visually stunning that is has become known as the Gulf of Poets, with the likes of Byron, Shelley, DH Lawrence and many others having been captivated by the place.

In terms of what to see, the first thing that will strike as you enter the town is the medieval city gate, which provides access to the ancient centre of Portovenere. As you continue exploring, you'll be faced with a dream-like mix of old and new, with shopping thoroughfares woven into the complex network of old streets.

Landmarks to look out for include the amazing Doria Castle, which sits on a tiny piece of land jutting out into the sea, and the 12th-century Church of San Lorenzo.

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