One of the main sights of Lerici is its castle which since its first founding in 1152 was used to help control the entrance of the Gulf of La Spezia. The magnificent castle rises on a rocky promontory overlooking the Bay of Lerici and is considered one of the most impressive and beautiful fortification inall of Liguria.
Due to its location in the Gulf of La Spezia, it has a rich history of disputes between the naval powers in the Mediterranean during the Middle Ages, evidence of which can be found in the inscriptions still legible at the Castle's entrance.
The first phase is referred to as the Pisan domination. It was the Pisans that began construction in 1152 of the oldest structure of the castle - its pentagonal tower. The Castle’s initial structure was built in 1241 while Lerici was occupied by the Pisans and later extended and reinforced as its role developed during the rule of the Genoese.
The third phase began in 1555 and consisted of the completion of all the fortifications resulting in the current shape of the Castle and let to reinforcing the Lerici Castle’ strategic importance on the eastern border of Liguria.
Today the castle contains a museum of palaeontology.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.