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The Park of the Walls: balcony on the Gulf of Poets

The Gulf of La Spezia, bordered by the promontories of Lerici and Portovenere, tightened as in an embrace between the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, has always attracted military interests for its particular orography and geographical position: the first settlements date back to the Roman times, even if the first fortifications were built by the Maritime Republic of Genoa, with numerous castles placed to protect the Gulf.

In the nineteenth century it was Napoleon Bonaparte who exalted the military vocation of the bay, commissioning the construction of the royal maritime military arsenal under the reign of Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy. Since then, numerous defensive works have been erected to defend the city: forts, towers, batteries to avoid attacks by sea and the imposing walls to prevent attacks by land.

The path that allows you to admire this splendid work erected at the end of the nineteenth century, starts from the Cathedral of Cristo Re, an imposing circular building that dominates from the high Piazza Europa, where the buildings of the Municipality and the Prefecture are located.

With a steep climb you go up the hill of Ferrara which formerly housed on its summit the convent of the Capuchin friars and the villa of the Marquis Oldoini, to which Virginia, the countess of Castiglione dedicated great care and attention. The park runs along the imposing walls until it first reaches Porta Isolabella and then Porta Castellazzo, the highest point of the entire route, and then descends under the church of Pius X, until it reaches the Parco della Rimembranza, on the hill of Gaggiola, seat of the Convent of the Franciscan friars.

On the walls you can admire numerous Caponiere, defensive structures that protrude from the fortification to protect the curtain and the moat with a threaded shot, which can also consist of a suspension bridge over the moat.

Along the way, various areas equipped for children playing and sporting activities have been installed from where you can admire splendid views of the Gulf of Poets and its surrounding hills, in a relaxing and natural atmosphere just a few steps from the city.

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