San Terenzo is a traditional Ligurian sea village whose essence hasn’t change over the years. Originally a fishing town from the 19th century on it has become a shelter for artists and intellectuals. The azure sea, the wide beach and the traditional colourful houses surrounding the Castle are the heart of this little village on the northern edge of the bay of Lerici. San Terenzo is a peaceful place where you can sunbathe during the day and enjoy lovely walks under the rocky crags of the Castle at night.
The Castle of San Terenzo rises right after the Brusacà Square, which is full of small, multicoloured boats lied under the tall maritime pine. It physically shapes the territory creating a natural terrace on the sea, under which is a mesmerizing cove with a little, pebbly beach. This wonderful spot is sheltered from the wind and is more intimate than the wide beach skirting the main road of the village.
Some of the most famous poets, writers and intellectuals choose San Terenzo as a holiday destination or as a place to live in, describing it as an inspiring and peaceful village. In 1822 Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife Mary moved to “Casa Magni”, a magnificent villa overlooking the sea and locating right on the promenade of San Terenzo, and they live there until his death. “A lonely house close by the soft and sublime scenes of the Bay of Lerici” was his description of the villa.
The Swiss painter Arnold Böcklin loved this spot too, and in 1892 he painted an emotional and picturesque portrait of the bay. In 1933, Virginia Woolf spent few days in a hotel very close to “Casa Magni”, and she wrote about her stay in her diary. Another place loved by many distinguished artists is Villa Marigola – a hidden pearl locating on a lush promontory between Lerici and San Terenzo. The villa entertained the playwright Sem Benelli, who coined the name “Gulf of Poets” during an eulogy in memory of the local poet and anthropologist Paolo Mantegazza.