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WorldMediterraneanItalyLigurian CoastPortovenere

Portovenere, Italy

44°03.03′N, 09°50.24′E Chart icon.png
Portovenere harbour

The small harbour of Portovenere lies at the western entrance to the gulf of La Spezia on the Ligurian coast of Italy, on the E side of the promontory of Punta San Pietro opposite the island of Palmaria. Originally a fishing settlement during the Roman era, it was later fortified by the Genoese as a naval base in the 12th century. Lord Byron, the notorious English poet, once swam across the Gulf of La Spezia from here to the town of Lerici, a distance of over four miles. Today, its picturesque harbour provides moorings for around 30 yachts along its quays. It is invariably busy during the summer months and a yacht may need to anchor off in the bay or at Isola Palmaria.


British Admiralty
1998 - Nice to Livorno


The prevailing winds along the western part of the Ligurian coast during the summer are a SW or SE seabreeze, which rarely gets up much above force 4-5. Along the eastern part of the coast, the winds tend to come more from W or NW and are again usually little more than moderate. While infrequent, gales are not unknown during the spring and early summer and are typically caused by depressions further west in the Golfe du Lion which bring strong N winds as they move further E. In winter, the tramontana, a strong N wind off the Alps, is more frequent, although the libecchio is a strong SW wind that can affect the whole of the Ligurian coast and blow for several days, causing heavy seas.

Sources for weather forecasts:

  • There is a continuous (computerised voice) weather forecast on VHF 68 - first in Italian and then followed with an English translation
  • The same forecast is given in Italian and English on VHF coastal stations following a notification on channel 16
  • Navtex weather forecasts are broadcast from stations at La Garde (Toulon), Roma and Cagliari (Sardinia)


Popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


  • Isola Palmaria
  • Isola Tino


Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The harbour lies under a mile NE of the promontory of Punta San Pietro, on the end of which sits the conspicuous church of the same name. In calm weather, a yacht can pass through the channel between the promontory and the island of Palmaria immediately to the SE. Keep to the centre of the channel, where there are least depths of 4.0 metres at the NE end. Overhead cables pass over the channel, with a least height of 24 metres. The breakwaters of the harbour are visible where the channel opens out into the Gulf of La Spezia.


Call harbour on VHF channel 09. For advance reservations, telephone on +39 0187 793042 or e-mail portodiportovenere@alice.it. There are 32 moorings in the harbour, of which just six are designated for yachts in transit (the pontoons to the N of the harbour are for local residents only). Maximum length 50 metres. Depths in the harbour range from 2.0 to 4.0 metres. Depths shallow to just 1.0 metre off the beach. Shelter in the harbour is good. Toilets and showers.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs



  • The nearest safe anchorage is at Isola Palmaria, where a yacht can anchor in one of the bays on the N or E coast of the island, depending on wind direction.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.


Limited repairs. Fixed crane (5 T).

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel in the town only. Water and electricity available in the harbour.

Things to do Ashore


Portovenere waterfront
Church of San Pietro, Portovenere

The small harbour, surrounded by tall, pastel-coloured houses, is extremely picturesque. The walk out to the historic church of San Pietro at the end of the promontory is a must. The church was built by the Genoese in the 13th century on the site of a former Roman temple to Venus (hence Portovenere). In the town, the Romanesque cathedral of San Lorenzo contains several notable works of art. Overlooking the town is the powerful fortress of Castello Doria, reminding the observer of the strategic importance of the town in earlier times.

Grocery & Supply Stores

  • Reasonable provisions in the town


  • Several trattorias and bars along the waterfront and in the town.




Motorbike & Car Rentals

Garbage Disposal

Bins near the harbour.


Transportation (local and/or international)


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


References & Publications

See Italy.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

Verified by

Date of member's last visit to Portovenere and this page's details validated:

  • Data compiled from web research (please update if possible)--Athene of Lymington 12:14, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

This page has an outline in place but needs completing. Please contribute if you can to help it grow further. Click on Comments to suggest further content or alternatively, if you feel confident to edit this page, click on the edit tab at the top and enter your changes directly.

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Names: [User:Atheneoflymington

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