We spent a few wonderful days in La Spezia and the coastal towns of Cinque Terre (now a UNESCO site) visiting a great family friend that is working in the city for the summer.  It is a great vacation spot, you get the feel of an Italian city but you’ve got the sea right there with boat rides and beaches waiting.  The series of five coastal towns that make up the Cinque Terre are accessible by train that only costs a few euro from La Spezia or by boat which is a little more at around 15 euro one way (but for over an hour long boat ride and a stunning view from the water facing in I’d say it’s worth every cent) there are shops and cafes, walking paths only connecting a few of the towns now that heavy rains and floods have made many of the paths unsafe, beaches, fishing and wonderful colourful views of these small town homes painted all colours of the rainbow.  La Spezia is accessible by train right into the city from most main cities in Italy, it’s well worth at least a weekend stay before you head home!