Megan McCaffrey-Guerrera is a California native turned Ligurian. Her longtime passion for Italy inspired her to move there, where she married Cinque Terre native Luigi, and created Bella Vita Italia, a company that offers customized itineraries, trip consulting, rentals, and excursions up and down the boot. Clients rave about Bella Vita Italia’s services, that tailor all details to individual desires, and give travelers insiders’ experiences for the memory books.
When Megan has a moment away from her work and new baby Pietro, she blogs about her life in Lerici and her beautiful travels in Italy (including great photos and advice)–I especially enjoyed a recent post: I *Heart* the Valpolicella, where she rhapsodizes about this Veneto wine region and clues us in on a choice place to stay there.
I am so grateful this travel expert has joined in to share some tips for a Golden Day in her home base of Lerici. This seaside village, on the Gulf of the Poets in southern Liguria, is a real gem…
So here’s Megan:
A wonderful way to spend a morning in Lerici is to take a walk along the “lungomare” from the village center to the neighboring village of San Terenzo, with several white sand beaches along the way and gorgeous views over the Gulf of Poets, Portovenere, and the islands of Palmaria and Tino. It only takes about 25 minutes each way.
You may want to begin with a caffe in Lerici–either at Il Pontile for the Lungomare location, literally a jetty on the harbor, or Bar Costa (Piazza Garibaldi, next to the ferry boat stand), for my favorite latte macchiato in town! For focaccia, try Rizzoli in San Terenzo or L’Ambrosia in Lerici. And for gelato, Rana Galosa in San Terenzo is absolutely the best in the Gulf! Try “Veramore!”
Back in Lerici, you may also enjoy a walk up to the medieval fortress. While the inside is nothing special, the panoramic views of the Gulf of Poets are SPECTACULAR.
Another nice walk is from the village center to the charming village of Tellaro (about 30 minutes) through the area known as Fiashcerino with some of the most beautiful, old villas on the Italian Riviera jutting down into the Mediterranean below. Tellaro itself is a well-intact seaside village with typical colorful “terratetto” homes and a charming old church right on the sea.
If you are up for hiking, there are a couple of fantastic routes from Lerici up to the area known as Zanego and then down to Tellaro. Another good one is on the ridge of la Rocchetta to Montemarcello where you have views of both the Gulf of Poets to the west AND the Carrara marble mountains to the east.
Or you can rent boats in the Lerici harbor for the day at Oltre Mare found at Calata Mazzini (about €180 for the full day).
As far as restaurants, Il Frantoio (Via Cavour 21, 0187 964 174) and Bonta Nascoste (Via Cavour 52, 0187 965 500), both specialize in local Ligurian dishes. At either we recommend the seafood antipasto: 6-8 little tasty dishes ranging from octopus salad to stuffed mussels to swordfish carpaccio, YUM!
On the main piazza, there is La Mano di Fatima (Piazza Garibaldi 27, 0187 969 255), the best in a sea of average trattorias. They serve a fantastic focaccia di Recco (which we like as an appetizer).
Lerici is a great base to explore southern Liguria and Northwest Tuscany. In an hour or less you can be in such places as Genova, Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure, Cinque Terre, Portovenere, Parma, Pisa, Lucca, or Via Reggio.
A couple of good places to stay in Lerici are Doria Park – a nice, family-run 3-star hotel that has been recently renovated. They serve an abundantly delicious breakfast until NOON!
Or check out Piccolo Hotel del Lido, a modern, chic 4-star, right on the water with its own private beach club. Rooms are small but well equipped with large bathrooms (double size showers!) and each room has there own rooftop terrace.
Grazie Megan, for bringing me to sunny Lerici on this cold winter day…