Featured in RB Explore Photography Page November – 21 – 2012
Views 930 at January – 20 – 2013
Ministry of Heritage and Cultural Activities, Superintendence for the Architectural, the Landscape, the Historical Heritage. Artistic and Ethno-Anthropological of Italy
Nikon D300 Nikon 12/24
Lerici a Medieval Port
In the twelfth century Lerici was already a maritime port of call and an important trading centre. The three destinations of the medieval pilgrims from the north towards Rome and Jerusalem, and in the opposite direction towards Santiago de Campostela, became sea journeys from this point. Dante talks about Lerici in his Purgatory, Bocaccio sets the final scene of one of his novellas here and Petrarch choosesthe fortissimus Eryx as the home of the goddess Athena, who discovered olive oil. Themedieval town of Lerici is built upon the promontory which juts into the sea ending in the massive structure of the castle. It was fought over by the Maritime Republic of Genoa, which held the stronghold of Porto Venere, and by the Maritime Republic of Pisa, which, for a brief period (1241-1256), made it its most advanced outpost to the north in its defence system. The town was the venue for important peace negotiations, economic agreements and the centre of the salt trade; it also served as the port forLucca, whose merchants preferred to use it for their commerce of fabrics and silks with France rather than the dangerous coast of Tuscany, controlled by Pisa. As one ascends from the Calata (the Slope) one sees the interesting Jewish Ghetto, which was a settlement of merchants originally from Leghorn; then one sees the via del Revellino, the fortified walls of the castle, the salita (uphill road) Arpara,the name comes from the late medieval toponym meaning “place where the hawks make their nests”,the Vico de’ Pisani, the small square Poggio and the square of San Giorgio, opposite the castle entrance.