Lerici is a small, fishermen hamlet located in eastern Liguria. It is less touristic than close, famous Cinque Terre offers beautiful, sandy beaches and great, turquoise sea. In the past was the favourite place of many, famous writers! Let’s know it better!
How to reach Lerici?
– by car – when you use motorways (A12 or A15) you have to use the La Spezia motorway exit. Then you follow the road signs to the city centre. After about 10 minutes you will see the indications to Lerici follow them and turn right. The views won’t be very picturesque but don’t worry 🙂 You will pass through a long tunnel and after it, you will arrive in a totally different landscape … much more Ligurian and picturesque. Following the signs to Lerici, you will get the town in about 10 minutes.
– by bus – you can get Lerici by bus from La Spezia (L and S line). The trip takes about 1h and costs 1,50€/person.
The origins of the town date back to the Etruscan period. The first village was established, around the VII century BC. After that arrived Romans and founded a new harbour town. In the Middle Ages, the town came under Genoese control. After it had been sold to Lucca, it became involved in a series of conflicts between Genoa and Pisa, as it was on their common border. In 1479, the town came under the Republic of Genoa. After the fall of the Republic of Genoa, Lerici became a part of the Republic of Liguria that had been created by Napoleon Bonaparte. And after his fall, the town became a part of the Kingdom of Sardinia and then in 1861 of United Italy.
Things to see & do
Castello di Lerci
The castle of Lerici is a fortification that stands in a dominant position on the rocky promontory of the inlet of Lerici. The castle was built in 1152 and underwent numerous transformations. Due to the strategic position, the castle was an object of numerous contendents between the republics of Genoa and Pisa. In 1555, took on its present appearance.
The castle houses a paleontological museum opened to the public after Ilario Sirigu finding, who in 1987 discovered some tracks of fossil footprints in the Lerici territory. If you are fascinated by dinosaurs and prehistorical stuff – it is surely the place to be. What is more, from the castle you will admire a breathtaking view of the Ligurian coast and if the weather is nice you can see even the archipelago of Tuscany islands!
Address: Piazza San Giorgio
Opening hours: Thursday-Sunday 10.00am-12.00pm and 3.00pm-6.00pm; Monday closed
Entrance: adults 6€; children 4€
Oratorio di San Rocco
It is located next to the main square of Lerici. It was probably built in the XIII century. The dedication to Saint Rocco took place during the plague epidemic which struck the village in the XVI century. Inside you can admire the paintings and sculptures of the local, Ligurian artists.
I believe that Lerici has one of the most spectacular beaches in Liguria! It is white, sandy, large and long. The water is crystal clear and turquoise! You will find here many private beaches with umbrellas and deck chairs. However, if you don’t want to spend money on staying on the beach, there are also public, free of charge beaches. Definitely a good choice for taking a bath and swimming.
Castello di San Terenzo
From the main square of Lerici, you can have a stroll along the sea promenade that leads to fishermen hamlet of San Terenzo. It is a small, typical Ligurian hamlet with colourfull houses and a castle that dominates its bay. The castle was built by the inhabitants of San Terenzo in the XV century. They needed it for defending themselves from Saracen incursions. Nowadays, the castle is open for exhibitions of the local artists.
Very close to Lerici is located another, beautiful hamlet. Tellaro, that I have already described here. It is easily connected with Lerici by the line Tellaro Capolinea (ticket 1,50€/60 min). If you stay in Lerici, you should absolutely visit also Tellaro – really worth it!
Ferries to Cinque Terre & Portovenere
Cinque Terre are touristic superstars of Liguria. The majority of tourists visit them during their permanence in Liguria. If you stay in Lerici you can also do it! What is more, if your departure from Lerici you avoid the crowds of people that departure from La Spezia or Levanto! For sure, Lerici can be a very intelligent alternative for visiting Cinque Terre. More about ferries to Cinque Terre here.
Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, D.H.Lewrence, Virginia Woolf …
- The zone of Lerici and San Terenzo in the past attracted different, famous writers. For instance, the white house with arched in San Terenzo was inhabited by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley. Unfortunately, San Terenzo is also known as the place where Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned …
- Also, Lord George Byron stayed in San Terenzo, as a guest of the Shelleys, in 1822.
- Even D.H. Lawrence was here. After his stay, he wrote: “It is a wonderful morning, with a large, flat, massive blue sea and strange sails far away, with a profound brightness of pearl, and San Terenzo, all sparkling with pink on the beach … it is so beautiful that it makes almost bad “.
- In May 1933 the English writer Virginia Woolf went to San Terenzo and stayed for some time at the Hotel Miramare.
The fact that all those famous writers choose Lerici and San Terenzo as the places where to rest are very significant. They couldn’t be wrong 🙂 And I think you can check with a huge pleasure why they were so in love with those places 😉 Enjoy!
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