Join Lenora Boyle in Italy, the land of passion and possibilities.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Port of Venus--Portovenere


Everyone must go to Portovenere! A picture perfect town.

QUOTE: Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. –Albert Einstein
Poster with this quote is in my flat in Verona on Via Paradiso (Paradise Street)

Although I've been in Verona for two weeks now studying Italian and visiting the Venoto area, I want to do a few more posts about the Liguria area on the western part of Italy where I taught the "Italy Retreat." (Stay tuned for next year's Italy retreat location.)

I agree with Albert Einstein about falling in love. It's not gravitation but a deep connection with someone or something. I think it's easy to fall in love with Italy. Not only are there beautiful towns everywhere, the food is delicious and varied in different regions. I take photos of the food I eat and of the produce displays, as they are part of the sense of style and art of Italy. I will share more food photos upcoming blogs. The photo of the counter is a display of olives, vegetables, olive oil, lemoncello and more local products. I bought artichoke hearts (carciofi) that melted in my mouth.

Portovenere is the peninsula that juts out as you enter the Golf of Poets. If you continue by boat you arrive at the port town of La Spezia and the smaller but beautiful Lerici. If you hopped a train from Monterosso you would reach La Spezia in about 30 minutes.
I highly recommend taking the one hour ferry ride from Monterosso (the western most Cinque Terre village) to Portovenere. I doubt that you would find a more beautiful other-worldly journey anywhere. I'm so glad we didn't take the train and then the bus to Portovenere. Thanks to my friends, Linda and Tom, and Fred for suggesting ferry rides in Liguria more than train rides (although we took plenty of train trips too.)

Photos: Scene of Portovenere from the ferry. Ciao from Lenora with the castle in background at Portovenere. Every opening in the castle wall revealed breathtaking scenes of fascinating rock formations, ocean, sky and white albatross sailing high in the sky. Photo of Nancy and I at one of the portals left remaining from the ancient castle on the top of the mountain. The medieval village was an impregnable fortress belonging to Genoa. In the rocky background you can see the crags leaning towards the rocky Cinque Terre

Portovenere is comprised of 2 basic streets but they are magical and we all found ourselves just breathing more easily here. It seemed very spiritual peaceful here. The stores are unique, not hokey or too touristy. There is a more lake-like appearance to the Porto Venere. on the top of the rocky crags are the remains of a temple dedicated to Venus and also well preserved remains of a small early Christian Church and a restored Gothic temple built in 1256. I bought a handmade turtle from a very old lady sitting on a stoop outside the church because I collect turtles and I love that she made it from shells.

So many of the doors are even works of art. Here's a photo of one of them in Portovenere.

I started this blog in order to talk about beautiful Italy, and my workshop, but even more so to inspire all of you to do what you love to do. Find your heart's desire and follow it, even with baby steps. "Take the first step in faith", as Martin Luther King said, even though it may not be supported by others right away. It's really a matter of self-respect to do what you love!


  1. Even tho I was just on the La Dolce Vita, Italy Retreat, I deeply enjoy reading the detailed descriptions of our trip and seeing the photos from our fabulous adventure! Thank you Lenora!

  2. Thanks for all your help Nancy. We will all remember this workshop and trip for a very long time!