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The Maritime Festival

The Maritime Festival has made La Spezia into the permanent capital of the Mediterranean’s maritime culture. Nautical history and culture have always characterised the city, especially in recent years, as local organisations started to recognise the sea as a strategic part of future developments.

The first festival ran from 11th to 16th June 2009, and since then has proven its potential as the most important Italian naval celebration in the country, with more than 150 events that attracted nearly 220,000 attendees in 6 days.

The festival is known for its large gathering of boats and sailing ships; various maritime-themed sports, cultural and gastronomic events, exhibitions and conferences are also organised during the week. Events cover a range of topics that span many maritime traditions and mark their importance, and celebrate sea-related crafts, processes and wisdom.

The event’s emotional impact is also demonstrated by the attendance of all major Italian and foreign newspapers, with over 100 accredited journalists and photographers from local, national and international publications.


The noteworthy ‘Maritime Art in the Gulf’ exhibition is an event of great historic value, whose first edition was held in 2008. Since 2009, the exhibition has worked to re-evaluate La Spezia’s maritime past as one of the regular fixtures of the festival; although relatively new, it has already become a reference point for the maritime antiques sector.