LERICI AT LEISURE: AMONG POETIC CHARM AND MILITARY VOCATION
In a nutshell An excursion at leisure among the narrow carruggi of the charming fishing town of Lerici to discover the ancient origins of this important port popular with travellers, pilgrims and traders and once home to poets such as the Romantic Lord Byron. Then up the steps leading to the majestic castle dominating the city.
Good to know
- Excursion at leisure in Lerici, an ancient town of Etruscan origin
- Walk around the original Medieval carruggi
- Austere villas of the old noble families
- San Rocco oratory with a watchtower turned into a bell tower
- Via del Ghetto and thriving Jewish life in Lerici
- Imposing castle in a strategic position for the military control of the Ligurian Sea
- We leave the port behind us and head to *Lerici, one of the most famous fishing towns in Liguria, to explore this city of an incredible poetic charm that was once home to Lord Byron as well as Mary and Percy Shelley. The latter died during the sinking of his schooner in the waters right off Lerici.
- The origins of this town date back to Etruscan times, when it went from being a small fishing village to a strategic port. During the Middle Ages, it was often contended between Genoa and Pisa and it was precisely under Pisa that the famous castle was built in 1241, which was then extended and strengthened by Genoa when the city passed under its dominion in 1479. Over time, Lerici abandoned its military vocation to become an important port for travellers, pilgrims and traders headed to Rome, Northern Europe and Santiago de Compostela. This change brought an increasing number of noble families to the area, who built austere elegant villas that can still be admired to this day. The city then developed to become a charming tourist destination.
- The town still maintains its original Medieval layout with characteristic houses flanking the narrow carruggi. As we walk along them, we feel as if we have travelled back in time to relive the history of the city.
- We head to the main square, Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi where the San Rocco Oratory is located: its ancient watchtower was turned into a bell tower during the 16th century.
- The interesting Jewish quarter and Via del Ghetto are not to be missed. In 1955, restoration work unveiled a hidden niche with a few sefarims.
- The town centre is protected by its magnificent Castle, accessible through a unique staircase that unwinds among the Medieval buildings. It is considered one of the most significant examples of castle architecture in Liguria and its current appearance derives from a casual superimposition of interventions which unexpectedly combined in a harmonious way. The castle perfectly integrates with the outcrop where it is perched, almost as if it were a natural extension of the rock.
- At the end of this thrilling excursion, we return to the ship.
Good to know
- This excursion does not include a guide.
- Entrance to Lerici is Castle is free for Costa guests.