Travel Series: A castle in Lerici


Mountains near Sarzana

I always feel at home whenever I see mountains, probably because I grew up surrounded by the Sierra Nevada. We enjoyed these incredible dramatic peaks on the way from Pisa to Sarzana, where we got a taxi to Lerici. Our next Airbnb host, Antonio, met us in Piazza Garibaldi.

Piazza Garibaldi

I wondered why the taxi couldn’t just drop us off at the door, but when we got there I realized why. Antonio took us along the port and through a tunnel lined with kayaks and artwork that led to an elevator.

tunnel to elevator

When we got to the top, we were at a castle! If this were a Disney movie, this is right when my prince would appear…


From the castle we meandered down the “street” to our Airbnb. No cars allowed!


Our apartment had not one, but TWO levels of balconies with sweeping views of the sea.

lower balcony

upper balcony

I couldn’t get enough of this view! Can I live in this fairytale forever?

Lerici balcony view

We had five days in Lerici to explore the area and nearby Cinque Terre. Staying in an apartment rather than a hotel gave us a chance to feel at “home.” Going grocery shopping was probably one of my favorite things we did in Italy. There was so much delicious food! Everyone always says how expensive Italy is, but I couldn’t believe how much cheaper everything was at the grocery store than in America. For example, farm fresh eggs were only 2 Euros! In Texas I paid up to 7 dollars.

Grocery Store

The only thing missing was at our apartment was internet, but fortunately many of the restaurants had free wifi. We went to L’ancora di Lerici twice, the first time for wifi, and the second because we loved the food and views of the harbor.

L'ancora di Lerici

One night we got takeout pizza at Pizzeria Toscana because we wanted to enjoy our balcony view from our apartment. When my dad opened the box he exclaimed, “there’s only half a pizza!”

half a pizza!

No, dad, that’s a calzone! 🙂

Lerici was one of my favorite stops on our trip. I only wish we got to stay longer because it took a few days to get acquainted with the town and getting around the Cinque Terre area. The only way to get to other nearby villages is to take the bus or the ferry, which wasn’t running regularly to all destinations since we were there at the end of the summer season. There’s no train station, so the best way to hop on the train is to first catch a bus or taxi to Sarzana or La Spezia. It’s also nearly impossible to park in Lerici because most of the streets are more like walking paths, so I wouldn’t recommend driving there (Antonio told us that only residents are allowed to park in the town). However, the fact that it’s a little more  off the grid than the Cinque Terre is precisely what I liked so much about it.





Ciao, I'm Kelly!

Welcome to my adventures in learning Italian, often while cooking authentic Italian recipes and wine tasting! I love discovering the traditional regional cuisine of Italy and trying to recreate those dishes when I'm back home in the US. I'm also on my way to becoming an Italian citizen through jure sanguinis (by ancestry).

WSET Level 2 Certified Wine Blogger


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