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La Spezia

La Spezia is the capital of La Spezia province, in Liguria, northwest Italy, on the Golfo dei Poeti. Situated at the eastern end of the Italian Riviera, La Spezia is located on the flat plains resting between the sea and the surrounding hills. Its origins may be traced back the ancient times up to the tenth century AD, when La Spezia was a small maritime and fishing village ruled by Genoa. The village remained for centuries an important trading and naval emporium.

The 800's were one of the most important periods of La Spezia's history, thanks to the establishment of the Military Shipyard and the Mercantile Port that changed the fishing village into a modern city.

The Spezia naval yard built a number of pre dreadnaughts. including the Dandola in 1878, Andrea Doria in 1887, re Umberta in 1893, Regina Margharita in 1904 , Regina Elena in 1907 and the battleship Roma in 1908. and number of Cruisers were also built including in 1898 Carlo Alberto During the First World war a number of submarines were built aswell as the major battleships Andrea Doria and the Conte di Cavour, naval construction ceased after the war but the |naval base continued. After world war two, La Spezia was reconstructed, and again produced naval warships for the Italian navy and had six dry docks and employed over 2,500 people.

Today, La Spezia is the chief Italian naval station and arsenal and the seat of a navigation school. It is also a commercial port, with shipyards and industries producing machinery, metal products, and refined petroleum.

NATO's new Standing Naval Force Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED) units regrouped partly in La Spezia, these units are HMS Newcastle (Royal Navy), ITS Grecale (Italian Navy), USS Elrod (US Navy) and FGS Schleswig-Holstein (German Navy), which is the flagship STANAVFORMED.

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