Italy // Liguria //

The islands

Of the three islands that lie south of the peninsula, all but the nearest are in a military zone and so can only be viewed from the water. Isola Palmaria is the largest, just across the water, and regular boats shuttle back and forth for a cost of €2.50 one way, €4 return. Its star attraction is the Grotta Azzurra, which you can reach by boat, and a couple of beaches and places to stay (see Ferries from La Spezia). Next is the Isola del Tino, a rocky islet marked with a lighthouse and the remains of a Romanesque abbey. Finally comes the even tinier Isola del Tinetto, also home to a monastic community in centuries gone by.