The FAI Spring days in the La Spezia area open to the public two not usually visited places of artistic and cultural interest .
The FAI – Italian Environmental Fund, has been organizsing for the last 25 years the national days of spring, a feast that involves all cities of Italy, opening to the public places that normally cannot be visited, and putting the spotlight on special historic and cultural realities often unknown even to those who live a short distance from there. There are more than 1,000 places in all regions of Italy open with free contribution. The contributions are used by the National Association for the immense cultural heritage preservation of monuments and works of art.
In La Spezia, there will be two places open to the public with guided tours organized by schools and special events during the days of 25 and 26 March 2017: the Varignano naval base and Casa Lovara farm in Cinque Terre Punta Mesco.
The Varignano: holiday resort, hospital, custody house, fortress where the history of the city and of Italy has passed
The Varignano is one of the most beautiful bays on the coastline stretching from La Spezia to Portovenere, bounded by cliffs that are home to the Divers and Raiders Command, and a battery of the Navy. The Romans knew the place as a holiday resort, as witnessed by the presence of the findings of some of adriana old villas. In 1724 the Republic of Genoa installed there a center for the quarantine of crews and goods, which is why it was long called Il Lazzaretto – the hospital. Later on, with the gradual transformation of the La Spezia gulf in a naturally defense equipped port, the bay became a strategic point for its military control , a fortress and a prison, considered among the toughest of Italy. At Varignano was also Giuseppe Garibaldi was imprisoned, back from the attempt to liberate Rome in 1862, and wounded almost to death.
Address: Via Libertà, 1 Fraz. Le Grazie
Visits: from 10am to 6pm (last visit at 5pm)
Visits are looked after and guided by students of the local schools.
On the occasion of the days of Spring, The Varignano Base will host some special equipment, including a museum section with original artifacts that belonged to Garibaldi and hos crew, from the Ethnographic Museum of La Spezia and a scuba equipment and assault boats in the Courtyard of the “patenting” ceremony.
In the days of the FAI, from La Spezia you can reach the Varignano by boat, departing every hour from 9.30am to 4.30pm (5 € full rate, reduced 3 €, children under 6 free)
Return from Le Grazie to La Spezia at:
11.00 – 12:00 am and 1:00 – 2:00 – 3:00 – 4:00 – 5:00 – 6:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Adult fare 5€ return, children from 6 to 11 years 3€, kids under 6 years old travel for free. Boarding on Morin walk, Maritime Consortium wharf of La Spezia, at least 15 minutes before departure, purchase your ticket directly at the ticket office.
Casa Lovara, a precious renovation work on the Ligurian landscape
Lovara House is an old farm estate overlooking the promontory of Punta Mesco, in one of the most spectacular but less known points of the Natural Park. It can be reached only on foot in about 1 hour and 40 minutes walk from Levanto or from Monterosso, along the extraordinary path that connects the two villages, facing a beautiful stretch of sea. The old farmhouse has been taken into care by the FAI in a sustainable agriculture project and recovery of traditional Ligurian landscape still in the making, to promote care of the land, environment and development of local resources and revitalizing the stone walls terraces that will be planted with vines, olive and fruit trees.
The farm will be open on the FAI Spring days 10am to 6pm continuing with the same schedule throughout the spring and up to 31 August from Wednesday to Sunday – from September until October 31 will follow the timetable 10 – 15:30, and from November only Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 15.30.
To get there from Levanto, you must follow the signs to the main streets and walk around the east waterfront , following the signs for the trail 591 (ex1) Levanto-S. Antonio Mesco that starts from the Medieval Castle, then for “Farm Houses Lovara”. From Monterosso, start from the shadow of the Giant along the steep climb and the marked path to Levanto.
In support of the FAI activities a contribution of 3 € for the visit is suggested. Those who want to become a FAI member with a contribution of €10, they will enjoy a free entrance ticket for another place in the FAI care, the Abbey of San Fruttuoso (near Portofino).
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