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Italian Riviera Travel - Cinque Terre, Portofino, and Top Coast Towns


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Lerici and the Gulf of Poets
lerici picture

Lerici Picture: Lerici from the high road, across the bay (gulf of poets) from Portovenere (upper left).

James Martin
The Gulf of La Spezia is called the Gulf of Poets because of its attraction to some of the world's most celebrated poets who came, and even died, here. Shelley lived in the village of San Terenzo, and died when his boat was hit by a storm. There's a grotto dedicated to Lord Byron at Portovenere where he used to swim. Both Dante and Petrarch spoke of the natural beauty of the gulf.

There are small villages scattered around the gulf. Lerici, the largest village on the Gulf of Poets, sits across the bay from Portovenere. From Lerici you can walk to San Terenzo and there are hiking trails to small fishing villages to the southeast like Fiascherino, Tellaro, and Montemarcello. Lerici has a castle and a small old quarter.

Lerici can be reached by ferry from La Spezia, Portovenere, and Le Cinque Terre. Small ferries between the Gulf of Poets villages run mainly in summer. It's a scenic drive around the peninsula between the Magra River and the sea as well as up into the interior. There's a large pay parking lot between Lerici and San Terenzo with a shuttle bus that takes you into town although you can walk to either village from the parking area. There's a tourist information kiosk by the parking lot, too.

More about Gulf of La Spezia:

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