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LERICI - LIGURIA

Lerici greets us with its charming view, celebrated by poets and writers, and with its villas spread on the hill that dominates the gulf.  

            The sea water, bright of thousands of lights and colours, is a promise of a fantastic stay, ideal to relax and practice some water sport.  

            This resort is on the cost, surrounded on its back by the green hills, in front the open sea and islands of Tino and Palmaria and, in the clearest days, you can even see the island of Gorgona.

            The origins of Lerici are very old. The name has given place to several theories: from Portus Illycis, probably from the Greek "Iliakos"; from Mons Ilicis, holm- oaks mount; from Erice, son of Venus and Neptune .

            It has been a Greek and Phoenician port and it was also the place for Etruscan and Roman settlements. The first historical mention of Lerici is from VIII century when the ancient Church of Saint Marta was destroyed by Saracenic pyrates. When the city in 1152 passed under the dominion of Luni Bishops, it was interested by a continuous traffic of people, pilgrims and merchants going or coming from Rome, North Europe and Santiago of Compostela.

            In 1241 Lerici went under the dominion of Pisa that built here the castle and fortified the village. In 1256 it was conquered by Genoa and since then it was a continuous sequence of wars and conquests over it from the French, Argoneses and Milan viscounts. From 1479, Lerici went back under Genoa that completed the castle as it is today. 

            In the XVI century, Andrea Doria, the famous admiral, took at Lerici the decision to stop the alliance with the French and start the one with Spain so stopping the French dominion over the Mediterranean sea. In the XVII and XVIII century Lerici developed becoming in the following centuries one of the most famous tourists resorts visited by famous poets and writers such as Byron e Shelley.

 

And if the freshening sea

Made them a terror – ‘twas a pleasing fear,

For I was as it were a child of thee;

And trusted to thy billows far and near,

And laid my hand upon thy mane – as I do here

                                                                                                               G.G. Byron

“Poets are mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present…

                                                                                    Percy Bysshe Shelley

   In 1800 Lerici wrote glorious pages in the history of Risorgmento, so much that Garibaldi called its population "the most strong and energic in Italy". The same Carlo Pisacane,  the Italian hero, in 1857, called at Lerici 8 of his faithful men for the mission of Sapri. But the one that mostly represented the Risorgimento spirit in Lerici was Giuseppe Petriccioli who, together with Felice Orsini and Carlo Pisacane brought the Italian flag on the Milano Duomo after having harshly fought during the famous "Five Days" (Cinque Giornate).

    In some aristocratic villas of the XVI century, amongst them the one where Andrea Doria lived in 1527, it is still visible the Genoa style.  

     The Castle, that today hosts the Geo-Paleontological Museum, is the most important monument in Lerici. It is a masterpieceof Italian medieval military architecture. The tower has a pentagonal base with overlapping small arches; the external bulwarks are from XVII century. Inside is a chapel dedicated to Saint Anastasia, a masterpiece of Ligurian gothic architecture. 

            Oratorio of San Rocco once was the Church of Saints Martino and Cristoforo, the historical rests are from XIII century. It is a baroque building with a bell tower that has a polihedral spire top in gothic style with oriental characteristics. The inside, not very large, shows some important paintings. 

            The Parish Church is dedicated to Saint Francis and it is from XVII century. The façade, rebuilt in the 60ies with typical Ligurian pink stone, is rich with baroque decorations while inside there are several paintings by Domenico Fiasella, Bernardo Carbone, Domenico Bocciardo, Domenico Capponi, Domenico Gar e by the Flemish painter Giovanni Miel.

The beaches in the city of Lerici

  Blue Venus Beach (Venere Azzurra)

            Venere Azzurra, this is the fill name, is am atypical resort, identified especially with the beach with the same name. This is a summer center where many tourists and people from the near city of La Spezia are coming. These faithful attendee can enjoy the free beach, but well equipped, with the possibility to rent beach unbrellas, sunbeds, deckchairds and pedal boats. 

            The beach of Venere Azzurra, awarded since the year 2000 with the Blue Flag, by FEE and with the 4 Sails by Legambiente for the quality of waters and services, offers a free entrance, opportunities of relax, entertainment and sport. 

           On the beach there are three restaurants. Every day there animations for the evening and the day, music festivals, aquagym and baby sitting.

 Blue Bay Beach (Baia Blu)

            The wonderful cove of Baia Blu, one of the most characteristic of the region, is enclosed between Punta Santa Teresa and Punta Galera.

           For those who arrive walking, Punta Santa Teresa is located on the right and takes the name from the fortress with the same name that dominates it. Punta Galera, on the left, is dominated by the steep slope of Falconara. 

 Fiascherino 1 Beach

            Few steps from Tellaro, toward Lerici, behind a charming reef full of atolls and indentations, a fauna paradise, there are the beaches of Fiascherino. These places are suggestive and emotional and from here great poets and writers such as ByronShelley or Lawrence could not ever leave. The first beach is distinguished by a military bunker from the second world war, place at one end. 

 Fiascherino 2 Beach

           At the Souther end of the Lerici gulf, Fiascherino 2 is a small and pleasant center located in a lightful bay made of indented cost and pine trees, holm oaks and olive trees at a very little distance from Lerici. The climate of this area allows a pleasant stay for the entire year. Fiascherino is famous because between 1913 and 1914 the famous English writer of David Herbert Lawrence, author of “Lady Chatterley Lover", stayed here together with his partner Frida.

Fiascherino, a looked for beach resort, has one of the most charming landscapes in Liguria, a cost of great environmental interest. 

 

 San Terenzo Beach

            It existed as an independent town already in the middle age. It was a fishermen and seamen village and at that time it used to trade in wine and oil. Here there was also a hospital and according to the legend this is where the monk Terenzio landed and where he was killed.

It has an equipped beach and created a walking path to the west, under the rocking cliffs and the Castle tower and also a promenade “from castle to castle” which connects the two towns of Lerici and San Terenzo.

 Lerici Lido Beach

            The beach that sweetly goes down in the clean shallow waters, allow even to the smaller ones secure baths and serene swimming for everybody. This beach is better for those who like clear air, strong sun, not too far from the rocks and the quay, neave deep waters with a crystal blue color. And if you want a fresh pause, the pinewood is there ready to welcome you in the shadow. In addition to the sun, the swimming, the sea you will have all sort of comfort on this beach such beach umbrellas, sunbeds, deckchairs, showers, phone, toilettes and even a bar. 

Marinella di San Terenzo Beach

             Charming bay located on the prosecution of the promenade of San Terenzio and under the castle, accessibile and free and few minutes from the center of the villane. From here you have a view on the entire Lerici Gulf. 

Behind Lerci Castle Beach 

             This is a magic place in a bay of exceptional natural beaut.  Out of the three beaches that once were attended especially by local people, only the third is left. 

It is extremely repaired and sunny and it is ideal to spend the first days at the sea after winter while in summer it is extremely hot. The bathing establishment "Ciccillo a mare" gives the possibility to rent sunbeds and beach umbrellas and a restaurant service in a one of the most beautiful terraces on the sea of this territory.  

            Lerici is reknown for the beaches but also for the charming naturalistic paths, walks that cross ancient woods, rock terraces vertical on the sea, places where the Mediterranean scrub gives space to magnificent olive groves. This routes must be walked with all 5 senses discovering the ancient connections paths where the memory of the great war is still alive, placet where you listen to the sea, little trips in the intense perfume of flowers and wild grass. The territori in the city of Lerici is inserted in the Regional Natural Park Montemarcello Magra  which is a guarantee not only of the beauty of the placet but also of the respect of the nature. Most of the paths are part of the Alta via del Golfo (AVG) circuit, the paths are cared for by the CAI which keeps them clean,  walkable and well marked. The map of the paths is available at the seat of the Sarzana Park, at the info point of the village Monte Marcello or at the info points of the city.

Some of these paths can be walked with a mountain bike.