Lerici and its Surroundings
Our hotel is located on the eastern tip of the San Terenzo Bay, facing the promontory right where the fifteenth-century castle, surrounded by battlements, with its grandiose square tower, lies. In the old village overlooking the beach’s arch, there is the seventeenth-century Parish Church of S. Maria which houses a sixteenth-century “Madonna della Arena” and two paintings attributed to the painter Fiasella known as “Il Sarzana”. Paolo Mantegazza, a distinguished anthropologist and naturalist who lived for a long time in San Terenzo (he died in 1910 at Villa Serenella), was enchanted by the beauty of this village which he compared to “a nest hidden between two blue oceans, the sky and the sea”. The words used by Mary Shelley to describe her stay evoke images and atmospheres that up to this date, especially in the evening, when the clamor of the day fades, are present in the lyrical landscape of our Gulf.. “.. the landscape that surrounded us was of an indescribable beauty. The blue expanse of the sea, the bay framed by the shores closed to the east by the nearby Castle of Lerici, to the west, from the far way Portovenere, in the distance the various shapes of the precipitous rocks bordered the beach ... and the sea without tides that left neither sand nor pebbles. Everything appeared as in a Salvator Rosa painting".
The recently completed walk allows you to reach the chief town of Lerici in absolute safety, enjoying a splendid panorama between the sea and the park of Villa Marigola, the hills of olive trees and the bathing establishments.
In Lerici, the beautiful “Piazza Garibaldi”, restored to new splendor by the municipal administration, is the centerpiece of the village. From the square, bordered by an eighteenth-century "building", the "carruggi" branch off, where shops and restaurants magically appear. Just beyond the small harbor, the last stretch of our walk leads to the Castle: from its terrace you’ll admire the delightful coves of Maralunga, Maramozza and the Bay of Fiascherino that can be reached through the road that unravels from “Piazza Garibaldi”. Marching on, you’ll reach the enchanting village of Tellaro or you may visit the locality of “La Serra”, a village with its typical Ligurian traits, the Rocchetta Mount, the Park of Montemarcello and Solaro perched on a hill of olive trees, a balcony overlooking the sea. All these natural environments are extraordinarily beautiful jewels inviting those who visit them to stay longer, thus allowing them to discover the great and small treasures of the Gulf of Poets, the latter described by Charles De Montesquie as "one of the most wonderful things to be found in Italy".
Tellaro is a pretty village located on the eastern edge of the Gulf of La Spezia or "Gulf of Poets".
Located on a rocky spur that slopes gently into the sea, it seems to emerge from the sea itself, telling of its scents and flavors, ancient and new marine suggestions.
The charm that surrounds this fairytale village is soon explained: just enter its “carrugi” or "alleys", surrounded by the typical Ligurian colored houses attached to each other, from which you can still see the remains of fortifications and walls that once surrounded all the inhabited area, observe every single stone and walk down towards the Oratory to grasp its true essence and beauty.
At the terrace of the Oratory of Santa Maria n'Selaa, a building of ancient origins probably dating back to the fourteenth century, you’ll enjoy a unique panorama on the surrounding coast and the Gulf with the Islands of Tinetto, Tino and Palmaria.
Continuing your walk towards the Marina, your gaze will be immediately captured by the beautiful almost unearthly Church of San Giorgio, originally a defensive tower built around 1300, which seems to arise from the foam of the incessant waves breaking on the rock.
Going beyond the Marina, dotted with colorful boats, through a short path on the rock, you may lie down in the sun on the warm rocks, caressed by the sea breeze and brackish spray, and enjoy a breathtaking view of the Portovenere Promontory and its wonderful Islands.
The Montemarcello-Magra-Vara Park includes the district related to the middle and lower course of the Vara River, the path of the Magra River on the Ligurian side and the Montemarcello Promontory which frames the final part of the Magra.
It extends from Punta Bianca, the rocky end to the south of the Park, in the Caprione Promontory, up to the Vara Valley, also known as the "Valle del Biologico" and crosses 18 municipalities: Ameglia, Arcola, Beverino, Bolano, Borghetto Vara, Brugnato , Calice al Cornoviglio, Carro, Carrodano, Riccò del Golfo, Pignone, Follo, Lerici, Rocchetta Vara, Santo Stefano Magra, Sarzana, Sesta Godano and Vezzano Ligure.
The most characteristic and important places, which certainly deserve a visit, are: the town of Sarzana, Lerici, the localities of La Serra and La Rocchetta of Lerici, Tellaro with the beaches of Fiascherino, Montemarcello, Ameglia, Bocca di Magra, Arcola, Vezzano Ligure, Brugnato and Calice al Cornoviglio.
The Park includes the enchanting beaches of Punta Bianca and Punta Corvo: the first one can be reached from the Caprione Promontory while the other from the village of Montemarcello, both via suggestive stairways.
Montemarcello is renowned for the pretty colorful houses of its historic center and the breathtaking view of the Gulf of La Spezia.
Ameglia is a beautiful village perched on a hill overlooking the Magra Valley. To visit: the ancient historic center with the beautiful Castle dating back to around 963.
Bocca di Magra is renowned not only for its excellent fish restaurants, but also for its Marina at the mouth of the Magra River and the fantastic view of the Apuan Alps.
Arcola is an intriguing village, rich in history. Among its "alleys" you’ll rediscover hidden treasures. Highlights to visit: the Castle of Arcola with the Pentagonal Tower, the Obertenghi Tower and the Sanctuary della Signora degli Angeli.
Vezzano Ligure is a lively ancient village located on a hill overlooking both the Gulf of La Spezia and the Magra Valley. From its historic center you’ll admire, from above, the point where the Vara River enters “The Magra”, a unique spectacle.
Absolute musts: the historic center with the narrow "carrugi", the Arch of San Giorgio, the Pentagonal Tower, Palazzo Giustiniani and the Hospital of San Nicola. Finally, the remains of the Castle and the Tower on the top of the village and the Parish Church dedicated to “Nostra Signora del Soccorso”.
Brugnato is a pretty village in the Vara Valley. Highlights: the historic center with the Diocesan Museum, the Oratory of San Bernardino, the Church of Saints Peter, Lorenzo and Colombano and the ancient Medieval Bridge over the River Vara. Just outside the hamlet, the Sanctuary of “Nostra Signora dell’Olivo” stands out.
In addition, for your daily shopping, the Brugnato Outlet, 5Terre Outlet Village, is the ideal venue for the amusement of young and old.
Calice al Cornoviglio is a beautiful village perched on a hill boasting a magnificent view of the Vara Valley. The Doria Malaspina Castle, of very ancient origins, now houses, in addition to a small guesthouse in the Montemarcello Park, 3 museums: the "David Beghè" Art Gallery, the "Pietro Rosa" Piccolo Museo and the Beekeeping Museum.