It is one of the three towns that face over the Gulf of Poets, in the province of La Spezia, and is part of the Natural Park of Montemarcello Magra. SituatedIn the middle of a creek, it features a natural port characterized by the presence of a promontory on which stands the castle.
Lerici preserve traces of the Etruscan, Ligurian and Roman periods. In the Middle Ages it was an important port for the Orbetenghi and the Malaspina. The town was ceded to the Republic of Genoa by the lords of Vezzano and Arcola and at this period the center flourished and became of great importance. Even with the lack of fortifications, its location made it an ideal place to conclude negotiations. It was in Lerici, that, in 1217, a peace agreement was signed between Genoa and Pisa. In 1241, after the defeat of Genoa by Pisa, the town was fortified by high walls. But already in 1254, Lerici was re-conquered by Genoa, which improved its defensive apparatus. In the first half of '300 the nearby lands were the site of clashes between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, and the town was destroyed twice. At the end of '300 it was the time of the French to rule, till 1411 when the town was sold to the Florentines. The following year, Genoa managed to regain control of the territory which, fifteen years later, became the possession of Alfonso of Aragon. In the following years many dominations took place until the final changeover in Genoa in 1479.
The Church of San Francesco. The original building dated from the XIII century, was demolished and rebuilt between 1632 and 1636. In the XVIII century the structure was renovated and enlarged. The interior is baroque and preserves a large marble statue of St. Francis, six marble altars with works of major artistic importance, including two paintings by Domenico Fiasella, a marble triptych by Domenico Gare and the Dead Christ of the artist Maragliano. There are also the fourteen Stations of the Cross by the Carlone and the assumption of the Virgin of Jean Miel. Main feature of one of the chapels is the Miraculous table of Our Lady of Maralunga, found in the XV century.
Villa Padula located between Bellavista and Lerici.
Villa Marigola Valley, built in an area that belonged to the noble family of Magni Griffi. A residence of the Empress of Germany, the Princess Victoria, mother of William II.
Villa De Benedetti Picedi, built in 1700, is located on the hill called Barcolla. Among its guests over the centuries: Prince Metternich, the Cardinal Giustiniani, Maria Adelaide of Savoy.
The Church of Maralunga.
The Church of Santa Anastasia, a valuable example of Gothic-Ligurian style.
The fortified district, which dates back to the Pisan domination (1241-1256).
The Oratory of San Rocco. Its existence is documented since 1287. Inside are preserved stucco and decorative features of the '700.
Casa Doria, at short walking distance from Piazza Garibaldi, presents a beautiful slate portal and it represents an important part of the history of Lerici.