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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

—  Comune  —
Comune di Lerici
Lerici is located in Italy
Location of Lerici in Italy
Coordinates: 44°05′N 09°55′E / 44.083°N 9.917°E / 44.083; 9.917Coordinates: 44°05′N 09°55′E / 44.083°N 9.917°E / 44.083; 9.917
Country Italy
Region Liguria
Province La Spezia (SP)
Frazioni San Terenzo, Tellaro, La Serra, Pugliola, Solaro, Muggiano, Pozzuolo, Venere Azzurra, Senato
 - Mayor Emanuele Fresco (since May 28, 2002)
 - Total 15 km2 (5.8 sq mi)
Elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (31 December 2007)
 - Total 10,667
 - Density 711.1/km2 (1,841.8/sq mi)
 - Demonym Lericini
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 19032, 19036, 19030
Dialing code 0187
Patron saint Madonna of Maralunga
Saint day March 25
Website Official website

Lerici is a town and comune in the province of La Spezia in Liguria (northern Italy), part of the Italian Riviera. Its nearest bay is the Bay of Lerici. The town is connected by ferry to the Cinque Terre and Portovenere.

One of the main sights of Lerici is its notorious castle controlling the entrance of the Gulf of La Spezia. Today the castle contains a museum of palaeontology.



The origins of the town date back to the Etruscan period. In the Middle Ages the town came under Genovese control. After it had been sold to Lucca, it became involved in a series of conflicts between Genua and Pisa, as it was on their common border. In 1479, the town came under Genovese sway for good.

Notable people

Italian author Mario Soldati had a residence in the frazione of Tellaro.

English writers Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley lived some three miles north in an isolated old boat house called Casa Magni, and anchored their sailing boat in Lerici. Their closest neighbours were the villagers of the tiny hamlet of San Terenzo. Percy Bysshe Shelley was drowned on July 8, 1822 in the Bay of Spezia, returning to Lerici from a journey to Leghorn and Pisa. His corpse eventually washed up on the beach at Viareggio, located approximately halfway between Livorno and Lerici. The popularity of Lerici with the Shelleys and with Lord Byron earned the Golfo di Lerici its nickname as the Golfo dei Poeti.

Hungarian author Baroness Emmuska Orczy, author of The Scarlet Pimpernel had a villa built in the hills above Lerici, near the locality of Bellavista, and called it La Padula [1]. Orczy and her husband Montague Barstow spent several months there in the 1930s - alternating between La Padula, Villa Bijou in Monte Carlo, and trips to England. Eventually they decided to abandon fascist Italy for Villa Bijou. La Padula still stands today. Italian painter Oreste Carpi spent many years in San Terenzo making hundreds of paintings and drawings reproducing town landscapes.


Lerici is one of the mariner communities which take part to the Palio del Golfo, a rowing contest held in La Spezia every first Sunday of August.

Twin towns

  • France Mougins, France, since 26 ottobre 2008

Lerici is also twinned with Horsham, in Great Britain, although the latter no longer records this as an 'active' twinning on its official website


  1. ^ Orczy E. 1943. Links in the Chains of Life, p. 174. London: Hutchinson & Co.

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LERICI, a village of Liguria, Italy, situated on the N.E. side of the Gulf of Spezia, about 12 m. E.S.E. of Spezia, and 4 m. W.S.W. of Sarzana by road, 17 ft. above sea-level. Pop. (1901) 9326. Its small harbour is guarded by an old castle, said to have been built by Tancred; in the middle ages it was the chief place on the gulf. S. Terenzo, a hamlet belonging to Lerici, was the residence of Shelley during his last days. Farther north-west is the Bay of Pertusola, with its large lead-smelting works.

Lerida, a province of northern Spain, formed in 1833 of districts previously included in the ancient province of Catalonia, and bounded on the N. by France and Andorra, E. by Gerona and Barcelona, S. by Tarragona and W. by Saragossa and Huesca. Pop. (1900) 274,590; area 4690 sq. m. The northern half of Lerida belongs entirely to the Mediterranean or eastern section of the Pyrenees, and comprises some of the finest scenery in the whole chain, including the valleys of Aran and La Cerdana, and large tracts of forest. It is watered by many rivers, the largest of which is the Segre, a left-hand tributary of the Ebro. South of the point at which the Segre is joined on the right by the Noguera Pallaresa, the character of the country completely alters. The Llanos de Urgel, which comprise the greater part of southern Lerida, are extensive plains forming part of the Ebro valley, but redeemed by an elaborate system of canals from the sterility which characterizes so much of that region in Aragon. Lerida is traversed by the main railway from Barcelona to Saragossa, and by a line from Tarragona to the city of Lerida. In 1904 the Spanish government agreed with France to carry another line to the mouth of an international tunnel through the Pyrenees. Industries are in a more backward condition than in any other province of Catalonia, despite the abundance of waterpower. There are, however, many saw-mills, flour-mills, and distilleries of alcohol and liqueurs, besides a smaller number of cotton and linen factories, paper-mills, soap-works, and oil and leather factories. Zinc, lignite and common salt are mined, but the output is small and of slight value. There is a thriving trade in wine, oil, wool, timber, cattle, mules, horses and sheep, but agriculture is far less prosperous than in the maritime provinces of Catalonia. Lerida (q.v.) is the capital (pop. 21,432), and the only town with more than 5000 inhabitants. Seo de Urgel, near the headwaters of the Segre, is a fortified city which has been an episcopal see since 840, and has had a close historical connexion with Andorra (q.v.). Solsona, on a small tributary of the Cardoner, which flows through Barcelona to the Mediterranean, is the Setelix of the Romans, and contains in its parish church an image of the Virgin said to possess miraculous powers, and visited every year by many hundreds of pilgrims. Cervera, on a small river of the same name, contains the buildings of a university which Philip V. established here in 1717. This university had originally been founded at Barcelona in the 15th century, and was reopened there in 1842. In character, and especially in their industry, intelligence and keen local patriotism, the inhabitants of Lerida are typical Catalans. (See CATALONIA.) Lerida, the capital of the Spanish province of Lerida, on the river Segre and the Barcelona-Saragossa and Lerida-Tarragona railways. Pop. (1900) 21,432. The older parts of the city, on the right bank of the river, are a maze of narrow and crooked streets, surrounded by ruined walls and a moat, and commanded by the ancient citadel, which stands on a height overlooking the plains of Noguera on the north and of Urgel on the south. On the left bank, connected with the older quarters by a fine stone bridge and an iron railway bridge, are the suburbs, laid out after 1880 in broad and regular avenues of modern houses. The old cathedral, last used for public worship in 1707, is a very interesting late Romanesque building, with Gothic and Mauresque additions; but the interior was much defaced by its conversion into barracks after 1717. It was founded in 1203 by Pedro II. of Aragon, and consecrated in 1278. The fine octagonal belfry was built early in the 15th century. A second cathedral, with a Corinthian façade, was completed in 1781. The church of San Lorenzo (1270-1300) is noteworthy for the beautiful tracery of its Gothic windows; its nave is said to have been a Roman temple, converted by the Moors into a mosque and by Ramon Berenguer IV., last count of Barcelona, into a church. Other interesting buildings are the Romanesque town hall, founded in the 13th century but several times restored, the bishop's palace and the military hospital, formerly a convent. The museum contains a good collection of Roman and Romanesque antiquities; and there are a school for teachers, a theological seminary and academies of literature and science. Leather, paper, glass, silk, linen and cloth are manufactured in the city, which has also some trade in agricultural produce.

Lerida is the Ilerda of the Romans, and was the capital of the people whom they called Ilerdenses (Pliny) or Ilergetes (Ptolemy). By situation the key of Catalonia and Aragon, it was from a very early period an important military station. In the Punic Wars it sided with the Carthaginians and suffered much from the Roman arms. In its immediate neighbourhood Hanno was defeated by Scipio in 216 B.C., and it afterwards became famous as the scene of Caesar's arduous struggle with Pompey's generals Afranius and Petreius in the first year of the civil war (49 B.C.). It was already a municipium in the time of Augustus, and enjoyed great prosperity under later emperors. Under the Visigoths it became an episcopal see, and at least one ecclesiastical council is recorded to have met here (in 546). Under the Moors Lareda became one of the principal cities of the province of Saragossa; it became tributary to the Franks in 793, but was reconquered in 797. In 1149 it fell into the hands of Ramon Berenguer IV. In modern times it has come through numerous sieges, having been taken by the French in November 1707 during the War of Succession, and again in 1810. In 1300 James II. of Aragon founded a university at Lerida, which achieved some repute in its day, but was suppressed in 1717, when the university of Cervera was founded.

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