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palmaria2The islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto which are located right off of Porto Venere are truly magical; together the three islands comprise the Regional Natural Park and each of the islands individually holds majestic histories which are rich with culture. Each year thousands of tourists visit these three islands and report feeling free, cleansed and definitely more educated about the land’s culture and history.

Tino is usually only visited during the month of September around the 13th as it is actually on a military base and during other times of the year visitors are not permitted on the land itself, though there is freedom to sail and swim in the surrounding waters.

On this island visitors and locals can look at the many castles which lay in ruins and enjoy the ceremonies which happen on Sept. 13th giving homage to St Venerio who ruled this area in the 11th century.

The island of Tinetto is also frequently visited and also has many churches that lay in ruins for visitors to see and marvel at. This island is very religious and many come here not only to remember the battles fought by the monks who lost to the Saracens, but also to look at the vast vegetation as well as view the elite and endangered creatures there such as the rare lizards pordacis muralis tinettoi.

Of the three islands the most popular and well known is that of Palmaria which is home to various beaches that bring about visitors each year who dive, sail, swim and snorkel in the crystal clear waters. Palmaria is also famous for its landscapes, which are unsurpassed by other regions locally. In the month of May, thousands gather for the Walk of Palmaria Label which begins in the eastern part of Terrizzo and takes hikers through the Fort Umberto, also known as the Fortress of the Sea due to it being used as a prison up until the mid-50’s; The trail then heads to the Punta Mariella and ends at St. Peter’s Church.

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Throughout the tour vistors can see towns that lie in ruin, marvel at the plush vineries and will no doubt be amazed as they pass by Cave of Pigeons, where in recent years skeletal remains were discovered. Also to see along the way is fields of wild orchids as well as the home and final resting place of King Carlo Alberto.

Some of these trails can be quite steep and narrow, and especially challenging to walk in the popular visiting months with virtually thousands coming to see the sights, so it is recommended that visitors wear comfortable shoes and clothing and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. Isola (Island) Palamaria, Foto by Diego Ravera

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