A VILLAGE in Italy has been dubbed the "pearl of the Gulf" for decades – and it won't be overrun with hordes of holidaymakers.
Writers and poets, like Lord Byron, dubbed Lerici the "pearl of the Gulf" in the 19th century thanks to its breathtaking beauty.
Set on the Italian Riviera, Lerici is known for its multi-coloured houses, pristine beaches, and quaint fishing boats.
While other towns along the Italian Riviera like Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore often see hordes of holidaymakers, Lerici remains off the beaten path.
The small seaside village has also been named one of the Best Tourism Villages of 2023 by the United Nations World Travel Organization (UNWTO).
In total, the awards recognised more than 54 villages from all over the world, including Lephis in Ethiopia and Caleta Tortel in Chile.
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Lerici was named a bucket-list-worthy destination thanks to its stunning views, commitment to sustainable tourism, and efforts to protect marine biodiversity.
The small Italian town is home to the Santa Teresa Smart Bay, an underwater laboratory used to monitor and protect the bay's ecosystem.
At a 50-minute drive away, Pisa Airport is the closest Italian airport to Lerici.
The Italian village can also be reached on a train, although this journey can take over two hours.
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Both Ryanair and easyJet operate direct flights from London to Pisa, with prices starting from as little as £20 for a one-way ticket.
Hotels in Lerici are relatively affordable too.
Sun Online Travel has found an overnight stay at Albergo Serena, a three-star hotel, for £30 per person, based on two people sharing a room.
There are even other spots too, like Hotel San Terenzo – a beachfront hotel where rooms cost £60 per night per person.
According to Trip Numbers, food and drink in the city is cheap too, with a pint of beer costing €4 (£3.50), while a meal at an inexpensive restaurant can cost just €15 (£13) per person.
When booking a trip, summer is the best time to go as temperatures can reach 28C.
What is there to do in Lerici?
While Lerici isn't as well known as some of the other towns and villages along the Italian Riviera, there are plenty of things to do in the coastal town.
One of the village's main attractions is Castello di Lerici- a medieval castle built to protect the village from invaders.
Set high above the village's shoreline, the castle promises breathtaking views along the coastline.
Entry tickets to the castle cost €5 (£4).
Other attractions include Castello di San Terenzo, a medieval watchtower that houses art exhibitions.
While the watchtower is temporarily closed, it is due to reopen in early December.
The Italian village is also home to plenty of golden sandy beaches like Lido di Lerici, Spiaggia Eco del Mare, and Spiagge di Fiascherino.
Other nearby attractions include a visit to the Italian city of La Spezia.
What else is there to do in Italy?
As a popular holiday hotspot, Italy certainly isn't short of tourist attractions.
In the Italian Riviera, a popular attraction is set to reopen to the public after being closed for more than 10 years.
Via dell’Amore in Italy's Cinque Terre (a group of five towns along the Italian Riviera) will reopen next year.
The popular walking route was forced to close after a landslide, but it has since been cleared and restored.
Meanwhile, travel experts and holidaymakers have dubbed Treviso, a city in the north of Italy, "Little Venice" thanks to its canals, palaces, and historic buildings.
Holidaymakers will be able to spread the cash even further in the city of Florence, which is home to 'wine windows', €1.50 pizza, and new UK flights.
What else do I need to know?
The local language in Lerici is Italian, but English will be spoken at hotels and restaurants throughout the village.
Italy is one hour ahead of the UK.
The local currency is the Euro, with £10 getting around €11.52.
There are currently no Covid restrictions and Brits can stay in Italy for up to 90 days without a visa.
However, your passport must have at least three months left after the day you plan to leave.
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