Situated just south of the famous Cinque Terre, Portovenere could be the sixth gem decorating the Liguarian coastline south of Levanto. We stayed for a week at the otherside of the romantic Bay of Poets, in Tellaro on a charming campsite. Tellaro, recently chosen as on of the the most beautiful villages in Italy, and according to some even in Europe (Google it!). From Tellaro, we enjoyed the most stunning sunsets, but each time my attention was caught by the uttermost end of the Bay: the silhouette of a church on a rock. And after dawn, when the night fell, we clearly could see the lights from Portovenere glittering through the Bay just right from the church. I had to go there and so I did. 

Portovenere, 1925. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

Portovenere, 29th of April 2023. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

Kurt Hielscher published only one photo from Portovenere in the 1925 edition of his Italy photoalbum, but included another one in his 1939 edition, almost from the same spot. When you take a close look at both photos, then you will notice only small changes that lead to the conclusion that the interval in between both photos is rather a few hours instead of 14 years, so my conclusion is that the photo in his 1939 book is made in 1925. Though most laundry or sheets have been removed from the windows, there remain a few exactly the same. The same goes for the boats. Quite remarkable because Kur Hielscher noted in his preface of his 1939 edition: "Da ich aber der Meinung bin, ein solches Buch muss aus frischem Erleben entstehen, der Bilderstoff darft nicht jahrelang lagern, so wollte ich Italien nochmals volkommen bereisen und ausser Neuem auch all die Stätten wieder aufsuchen, an denen ich bereits photographier hatte." -  "But since I am of the opinion that a book like this must be created from fresh experience and that the images cannot be stored for years, I wanted to travel through Italy again and also visit all the places where I had already photographed." But this is a not so fresh oldie, so this is must be little lie. 

Portvenere, 1939. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Portovenere, 29th of April 2023. Photo: Casper Molenaar. 

Inside the Chiesa di San Pietro in Portovenere.

Mater Naturae.

Portovenere just after sunset as seen from Tellaro.


After we stayed in Bogliasco, we exchanged our appartment for a tent on a campsite in Tellaro. When we booked, we didn't know that Tellaro is (one of) the most beautiful villages in Italy. Now we know. Though Kurt Hielscher did not publish photos from here, these photo should not stay unshared.

Enjoying the sunset in Tellaro.

Sunset over the Bay of Poets as seen from Tellaro with Portovenere on the left and Leirici and La Spezia around the corner on the right. 

View from and on the campsite in Tellaro.

Swimming and hiking in the surroundings of Tellaro.

Below: view on Portovenere as seen from Tellaro. Photo: Casper Molenaar.

In the footsteps of  Kurt Hielscher