Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto Islands
When newborn birds try to take their first flight, they hardly get away from the ground. It’s the same with the archipelago of islands in the La Spezia Bay: the triad of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto seem to be on the edge of independence, keeping in touch with ground control though.
The biggest island, Palmaria, is less than 150 meters far from Portovenere. It is covered by a very typical thick Mediterranean vegetation that almost slopes into the sea. The west side facing the open sea is characterized by rough edges where high cliffs overhanging the water and unveiling numerous caves make these shores almost inaccessible on one hand, and a paradise for divers on the other. This is the side of the Grotta Azzurra and the Grotte dei Colombi, where 5000 years old human bones and Pleistocene fossils have been discovered.
The east side fronts the Gulf, the Lerici Bay and its tiny coves of Fiascherino and Tellaro. The coast is more gentle and it is easier to reach the shoreline without climbing up and down the ropes. The Pozzale beach is undoubtedly the most renewed and crowded beach on the island, thanks to the ferryboat commuting back and forth from La Spezia and Porto Venere. The northern side facing Portovenere embraces a rather calm and tepid inlet where both dolphins and fin whales have been spotted. The cobbled beaches make the bathing easy and this coast is the liveliest at night, thank to the presence of one the most popular restaurant in the province.
The inland tracks climb up the ridge in the shadow of brooms, holm oasis and many other Mediterranean bushes. It is easy to get the Forte Cavour – a fort that was build in the Nineteenth Century as a military base and used today for environmental education classes – and the Fortezza del Mare that it has been recently housing workshops and conferences.
At 550 meters from Palmaria, Tino is a inaccessible military zone that is open to the public each September 13th, on the occasion of Saint Venerio’s patron day. The last one of the archipelago is Tinetto, a steep rope emerging from the water, the perfect rock for the daredevils who want to climb up and down for a dive into the open sea.
Source: Trame di Lunigiana