A visit in the Poets’ Gulf : Lerici, San Terenzo e Tellaro
In a narrow stretch of the sea inside the Poets’ Gulf, two castles meet together with a very cute church. Each of them is settled on the cliff-side, typical aspect of Liguria region.
The fortifications are the castles of Lerici and San Terenzo, which testify the presence of the ancients Maritime Republics of Pisa and Genoa. The Church is consecrated to San Giorgio and it is situated in Tellaro, which has been declared one of the most beautiful hamlet in Italy. The charm of these seaside hamlets, rewarded from many years of the Blue Flag for the their crystalline waters, bewitched even in the past many illustrious people. For example the writers Percy and Mary Shelley and Lord Byron were guests of Villa Magni in San Terenzo, while Tellaro guests for many years the poet Mario Soldati, who had is house in town. These hamlets in the area of La Spezia are inside the jurisdiction of the town of Lerici.
The first thing that will catch your attention once arrived in San Terenzo is its Castle. It is not very big, but it maintains a sort of majestic vibe to it, as it rises from a cliff that is called La Bastia. You need to climb some stairs to reach it, passing through narrow streets (carruggi). Once there you won’t resist to take a picture of the hamlet below and the city of Lerici on its background, with its own castle. At its feet there is the small Marinella beach. San Terenzo’s Castle is open every morning and from 3 pm to 4pm; recently has been chosen to guest an exposition of local artists. The art passionate will love this set-up.
Coming back in Brusacà Square the choice will be between enjoying an ice-cream in one of the many ice-cream shop or seaside bars on Mantegazza Street, or one stop at the beach. The shore is very wide and the sand is soft and golden, the sea is not very deep next to it. You can also enjoy shopping in the carruggi where you will find boutiques and shops.
Then you can walk along the promenade and reach Lerici. Walking on the seaside path you will enjoy a beautiful marine scenery, with the hamlet on the background, a great spot for pictures. Venere Azzurra ( Blue Venus) beach deserve a visit because as the name itself suggested it is a Beauty: golden sand and blue sea, you can walk along the coast without swimming as it is very shallow.
The seaside promenade continues to the town of Lerici. At the beginning of the city there is a pine grove and a garden, where you can sit and relax enjoying the shadow of the trees, and why not having an ice-cream. In the hearth of the town in the big square Garibaldi, recently renovated. The square looks directly on the town’s harbour, that keeps going along the promenade with belvedere. This in another great spot for pictures with the coast on the east and the beaches of Fischerino, Tellaro and San Terenzo on the other side. Here you will find ice-cream shops, bars, and restaurants, with sea view, for a lunch or dinner with mussels (cozze in La Spezia dialect) and variety of fried fish. From here you can reach the castle: inside you will find the geo-paleontology museum that is worth a visit. Here as well at the feet of the castle you will find a small, gorgeous beach.
On the harbour there is the offices of the sail club: if you love this sport you cannot miss this opportunity. The narrow streets of town are worth a visit, even if many of them are uphill. If you like to buy some souvenirs or go shopping, here in Lerici you will find as well many shops and boutiques.
If you visit the town in August do not miss Sagra da’ Lumaga, the feast of the escargot, that take place in the small town of La Serra, on the hills of Lerici. It is one of the most ancient feast of the area and the escargots are delicious as well as the other dishes on the menu that you will enjoy while watching the sea.
You can reach Tellaro following a path on the cliff by the sea that leads to the gorgeous beaches of Maralunga and Fiascherino. The hamlet recalls Cinque Terre, because the houses are built cliff-side with their vibrant colour and the street that you will find are narrow and uphill. Tellaro has no beach, it is possible to lay down on some flat rocks and enjoy the beautiful blue sea. To enter the water there are some steps built just for that purpose.
The sight is dominated from the San Giorgio’s Church, built cliff-side on a very narrow strip of land that seems to dive into the sea. There is a legend about the church: it tells that one night a giant octopus cling to the bell’s rope and rang it so that the inhabitants could escape from the Saracen pirates that were arriving at the shore. To the octopus is dedicated a feast that take place on the last weekend of august, which is really worth the visit. It is so appreciated that every year there is a very long line to wait for a place to sit and enjoy the food that is served.