1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Portovenere
PORTOVENERE (anc. Portus Veneris), a town and summer resort of Liguria, Italy, in the province of Genoa, at the southern extremity of the peninsula which protects the Gulf of Spezia on the west, 7 m. S. of Spezia by road. Pop. (1901), 1553 (town); 5754 (commune). The fortress and walls with which it was provided by the Genoese in the 9th or 10th century have been destroyed for military reasons. The restored church of St Peter, of black and white marble (1118, destroyed by the Aragonese in 1494), is reputed to occupy the site of a temple of Venus. The parish church dates from 1098. Yellow-veined black marble, known as Portoro, and building-stone are quarried here and in the fortified island of Palmaria to the east of Portovenere. In the Grotta dei Colombi objects of the Palaeolithic age have been found.