At the end of the archipelago of La Spezia, Tinetto is a small island separated from the bigger Tino island At the end of the archipelago of La Spezia, Tinetto is a small island separated from the more significant Tino island by no more than one hundred meters of water. Its surface area is so reduced that it is often referred to as a rock. Yet this rock has such uniqueness – in natural and historical terms – it can be considered one of the most important places of the La Spezia Gulf.
THE TINO ISLAND LIZARD HAS ONLY 200 SPECIMENS IN THE WORLD.
One of the smallest – and exclusive – inhabitants of Tinetto island is called Podarcis muralis tinettoi (common wall lizard of Tinetto): a subspecies of the most common wall lizard that diversifies from the
One of the tiniest – and exclusive – inhabitants of Tinetto island is called Podarcis muralis Tinetti (common wall lizard of Tinetto). A subspecies of the most common wall lizard that diversified from the other one probably 9-8 thousand years ago.
The world’s population of this kind of lizard is estimated by scholars at 200 units, mainly on the Tinetto island, Tino, and Palmaria islands. Even if the colonies on the side facing Palmaria island and Portovenere apparently behave differently from those on the side facing Tino island.
THE MONASTERY, FROM A SMALL CHURCH THE FIRST SETTLEMENT ON THE ISLAND.
If Tino is famous for being the hermitage island of San Venerio, it was actually on Tinetto that the monastic settlement started in the sixth century. Later, it fully developed on the sister island.
On the southern side of the rock island, covered by some vegetation, you can still see the remains of a small chapel in one room. On the flat part, however, are the remains of a church with two aisles connected to the oratory and the monks’ cells. When the Saracens destroyed the facility, the monastery moved to Tino island.
THE STELLA MARIS: A NOTICE TO SAILORS TO AVOID THE DANGEROUS SCOGIO DO DIAO.
In front of Tino Island, a discreet and elegant presence rises from the water. It is Stella Maris, a statue of the Virgin Mary with folded hands towards the open sea.
Is it just a sign of the spiritual importance of the islands, given the presence of the monasteries? Actually, the primary function of the statue is to signal to mariners a dangerous dry, the so-told Scogio do Diao (the Devil’s rock in the local language). It is on this rock that rests the base of the statue.
Reach the Tinetto island by Kayak, the best way to see the Portovenere archipelago.
The Stella Maris Cover Photo is by Marcello Di Francesco