Posted by: Debra Kolkka | July 12, 2020

A swim in Lerici

Lerici is a pretty town on the Italian Riviera in the Gulf of La Spezia, 8 kilometres south of the town La Spezia.

I just happened to be there on the 8th July, the anniversary of the death of Percy Bysshe Shelley, the English poet who drowned on this day in 1822 when his boat was caught in a storm on the way back to his home from Livorno. He and his wife Mary of Frankenstein fame lived in Lerici for a time.

I checked into my hotel, just south of Lerici, on a cliff over Fiascherino beach.

After admiring the view and thinking of my later swim, I headed back to Lerici to explore. There is a Zona Limitata sign at the entrance, which means only residents or those with a parking permit can enter. Fortunately there is a 5 level car park there as well.

I wandered down the obligatory narrow path and winding streets to the seashore.


The main piazza faces the sea and is lined with restaurants, bars and shops. I had an excellent lunch the the seafood restaurant in the middle of the row.

Then off to explore… There is an enormous castle high above the town. It is not beautiful, but it is old. It dates from 1152.

There is a lift up to the castle as well as the path at the back of the piazza. I took the lift up and walked down the path…it was a hot day!

The views from the top are spectacular. On one side is the view of the harbour, the town and the beaches.

On the other is a beautiful bay with a tiny beach below the cliff.

The houses on top of the cliff must have wonderful views.

Back at the harbour I found these old fishing boats moored beside the hundreds of leisure boats.

The is a path along the water’s edge with a cool, shady park beside it…wonderful on a hot summer day.

Walking or just standing in the water seems popular. I saw very few people actually swimming.

Lying on the rocks holds no appeal for me, but I could happily climb down here for a swim.

I would also love this. Scouring rock pools to discover sea life is something I spent lots of doing as a child.

Here is an excellent example of Italian parking.

Further on is the main swimming beach. This is not my idea of a pleasant day at the beach. I can’t think of anything much worse than baking under an umbrella all day!  I must say I admire the carefree attitude of many Europeans at the beach, displaying their bodies in all shapes and sizes in the briefest of costumes. I have seen several bikinis disappear under rolls of flesh without a hint of embarrassment by the wearer. I couldn’t do it! I prefer to keep my rolls under cover.


After a very hot trudge back up the hill to my car I went back to the hotel for an afternoon nap before I walked down the many steps to the cool water? I found this little cove much more pleasant than the bigger beach.

A leisurely swim out to deep water followed by some serious floating was the perfect end to the day. I left the beach as the shadows began to creep across it.

Lerici is a lovely place to be. I can see myself returning for another dip this summer.

I stayed at Rosa dei Venti, a comfortable hotel with a good restaurant and a terrace on the top floor. The hotel is between Lerici and Tellaro.


  1. Looked very lovely – I missed my Italian summer this year – hopefully will be back next summer

    • I find it much too hot here in summer. I prefer spring and autumn. I won’t come back in summer ever.

  2. Debra your pictures are magnificent, One day Nick and I will travel to the places you have shared with us. xxx

    • Thank you. Italy is an excellent subject and there are many gorgeous places to visit.

  3. Looks like the perfect place to be on a hot day. Have you visited there before Deb?

    • We did visit Lerici many years ago, but it was very quick. It was nice to stay overnight and the swim was great.

  4. Lovely to see the photos. That is our go to place for a passeggiata. We are really missing it. Have to admit though that we stay clear in the summer months. Normally too hot and too crowded.

    • There are no crowds this year. I think that road along the coast would be impossible in a busy summer. i much prefer to be here in other seasons.

  5. Loved all the photos & especially agree about keeping “rolls” under cover. The umbrellas are necessary with that heat and blue seems to be the required colour.
    Thanks for another interesting tour.

    • I like to walk along the sand, have a swim and go. I grew up across the road from one of the best beaches in the world and spent my childhood in the surf and playing in the sand, but lying under an umbrella has never appealed to me.
      This little cove was lovely and the water was cool and clear.

  6. Lovely to see this place, Lerici, I have been there probably some 58 years ago, my parents took us there for summer vacation. Thank you for sharing, Debra.

    • Lerici is very pretty, I’m pleased you enjoyed the visit.

  7. What a great coincidence!! I was there in Winter of 2018 and it looks completely different. Enjoy.

    • I went years ago, probably also in winter and I had little recollection of the town. It is lovely and I will happily return.

  8. Hi Debra! Thanks for visiting and posting! Esp, supporting the local businesses! BTW, the hotel website is incorrect, (unless you stayed at a distant antique shop in Turin!!!), should be

    • Thank you for the correction. I will fix it immediately.

      • What a lovely spot to visit. The water looks incredible.
        Would have to agree about hiding the ‘rolls’ myself, but at the same time I do admire the European woman who obviously have no issues with body image. Maybe we could all learn a lesson there. Just another difference in cultures I guess.

      • I don’t I will be uncovering much at the beach, but top marks to those who do.

  9. Love the detail Deb. How was the water temperature?

    • It was a perfect temperature, refreshing, not cold.

  10. The water is so beautifully clear and i love the fishing boats. Your post makes me think of the movie Shirley Valentine – which i love – but I’m sure there was nary a pomme in site in Lerici! Today in Maleny it’s sunny, extremely windy and very cold – the temperature is forecast to soar to 16, I’m tapping this in front of the fire😀

    • I heard no languages other than Italian. I was there mid week and it was not busy. I imagine in a normal summer the place would be packed.

  11. sigh
    This looks like a little bit of heaven.

    • It is a delightful town and the water is so clear and blue.

  12. […] A swim in Lerici […]

  13. […] There is more on Lerici in the post I wrote last year…A swim in Lerici […]

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