La Spezia makes a convenient stop for exploring the renowned Cinque Terre, five enchanting seaside villages to the west. This collection of small fishing enclaves with pastel-painted houses perched on the clifftops is linked by roughly five miles of well-marked walking trails. If hiking on the vine-covered cliffs isn't your bag, no worries. You can hop on the train in La Spezia and get off at one of the villages. Then soak up the scenery while lounging in an outdoor cafe overlooking the sea. Other excursions from La Spezia include Pisa for a look at its famous, now partially straightened Leaning Tower and the charming walled city of Lucca. A day trip to Florence, about 2.5 hours away by coach, is doable during longer port calls.