One of the most beautiful seaside villages in Liguria, a real jewel of the Gulf of Poets, a village between poetry and the sea: houses painted in a thousand shades of yellow, orange and red, a medieval castle, built overlooking a hill, golden beaches and crystal clear water.
A place that has bewitched artists and writers, from the great romantic poets Byron and Shelley, to his wife Mary Shelley, author of the famous novel Frankestein, passing through Dante, who mentions the village in the third canto of Purgatory, and including Giosuè Carducci and Gabiele D’Annunzio.
It is worth taking the time to visit the artistic treasures that make the town even more attractive. You can stop at the oratory of S. Rocco, in largo Marconi, near the tourist port, or visit the seventeenth-century church of S. Francesco, in via Cavour; the sacristy leads to the oratory of St Bernardine, where according to tradition St Bernardine of Siena preached from the small pulpit in black slate.
The Gulf of Poets offers hundreds of kilometers of paths of varying difficulty. It is an universe of farming terraces stolen from the sides of the mountain, supported by dry stone walls, cultivated until no long ago with the help of donkeys.
Along the coastal walk you can enjoy the long beaches of Lerici which for several years have been awarded the Blue Flag title for the quality of the water. The sandy beaches alternate with rocks and small bays. In fact, the Lericina coast, due to its rocky conformation, hides many bays and coves that at times can be reached by stairways, others, however, can only be reached by boat.
A few other beaches can also be reached on foot: that of San Giorgio, south of the castle of Lerici; the scenographic Baia Blu (between Punta Santa Teresa and Punta Galera) and the Caletta, with emerald waters, stacks and depths of eight meters where the wreck of a Roman ship lies.
This is the main beach in the town center, one of the pearls of the Gulf of Poets, an ancient fishing village and a famous tourist and seaside resort. It is a sandy beach just over a hundred meters long, bordered by a fragrant pine forest and then by the coast and bathed by a clear and blue sea, with shallow waters for serene swims. The beach is equipped with umbrellas and sunbeds and stretches just north of the picturesque port of Lerici.
This is a small beach of about 50 meters set within a picturesque rocky bay between Fiascherino and Maralunga, from which it is separated by two rocky promontories covered with greenery. The beach is renowned for the exclusive bathing establishment to which it owes its name, harmoniously inserted into the surrounding landscape and particularly loved for its elegance, organization and attention to detail, as well as for its seafront restaurant. The small beach is of coarse gray sand mixed with gravel and is bathed by a clear and clean sea, with shallow waters for a long stretch. Not far away there are rocks and a pier, close to deeper blue waters.
How to get there: Only a 50-minute drive from Pisa airport or 20 minutes from La Spezia rail station.
When: Ideal for a Spring or Autumn break when the beaches are less crowded and temperatures allow for exploration.
Best for: a car-free beach holiday with a charming old town and a strategic location to explore the surroundings by boat or local transport.
Beyond Lerici: there are regular daily boats to Cinque Terre from Lerici’s port as well as the regular ”5 Terre Express” from La Spezia’s rail station.
In Lucca each stone tells a story. It tells of bloody battles, heated political debates, cultural exchanges between artists and architects. A city that has always enjoyed its strategic position: the Romans transformed it into a fortress, the Lombards made it a place of commercial exchange but also of defense, until the Middle Ages, when Lucca gained indipendence from Florence.
This land has always been a crossroads for artists and poets, architects and musicians, who made it an important hub for cultural exchange.
Today the city is one of the most important Italian cultural hubs, not only for the presence of a renowned University, but also for the rich calendar of events distributed throughout the year: among the most unmissable, there are the Lucca Film Festival, the Lucca Summer Festival, the LuccAutori (literary review of a certain depth) and the Lucca Comics & Games, dedicated to fans of comics of all kinds (the 2nd world’s largest after the Japanese Comiket).
Pisa is only a 27-minute ride with direct trains throughout the day and can be visited on a day trip. If you wish to make it more fun, you can also cycle one way or both ways. It’s about an hour and it’s flat, quiet, well-surfaced and suitable for any rider.
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