La Spezia is the major city of the province and is one of the main Italian military and commercial ports. Its typical Mediterranean climate, its long promenade and the modern cathedral make the town interesting.
La Spezia founded by the Romans, knew an extraordinary development starting in the second half of the XIX century, when the great Naval Arsenal was commissioned by the Savoys.
Tourism is important for both the coast and the inlands economy.
S.Giorgio Castle is a fortress composed by two different buildings. Lia Museum has an interesting ancient art collection offered by the Lia’s . The Naval Museum has ships, boats models, medals, relics, documents and more than 5500 technical and historical volumes as documents of the technical boat building and weapons evolution. www.museotecniconavale.it.
Of remarkable importance is the Public Archeological Formentini Museum where you can find numerous Paleolithic and Neolithic archaeological pieces.
The main dish of La Spezia is Mesc-ciùà: a popular traditional soup made with beans spelt, chickpeas, wheat and flavoured after cooking with extra olive oil. Born from the imagination and necessities of Spezia wives sailors: they used to mix whatever fell during the boats downloading.
Farinata di ceci: you need only few and simple ingredients chickpea, flour water, oil but fundamental is the use of a big copper and wood oven. It is made by stirring chick pea, flour into a mixture of water and olive oil to form a loose batter and baking it in the open oven. A tin-plated copper baking-pan is used. Farinata may be seasoned with fresh rosemary pepper and sea salt.
Mussels: in La Spezia sea, the extreme eastern part of Liguria, you can easily find them. Sea is generally calm, rich of plankton and the water is not much salty. Mussels are cooked in different ways: they are very tasty fried, raw, in the sauce or in the soup as in the recipe below.