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Saturday, August 23rd:

 
La Spezia

 
While waiting to discover new hiking trails, on a new season starting from mid-September, does anyone fancy doing the classical Palmaria island-loop-hike this Saturday? For the second time this year, the strait of Portovenere will be open to swimming; since we already walked along the infinite trail of Portovenere last month, it comes natural to suggest the complementary hike, on the island of Palmaria.

The plan is then to catch the 11:15am ferry from La Spezia to Palmaria and walk clockwise around the island. Trail is rated as T/E (easy/medium), offers plenty of impressive views (over the Ligurian coast and the islands of Tino/Tinetto) and takes around 2,5 hours. It is well described on http://www.liguriaguide.com/palmaria-hiking.html : should we decide to try some bonus hikes, there’s either the “Trail of the Condemned” or the path leading down to Punta Marinella.

A map can be viewed on: http://www.quotazero.com/gallery/data/media/12/Palmaria-Mappa2.jpg

If the swimming pool event is confirmed, we’ll be able to swim to Portovenere after the hike. Otherwise, we could always catch a boat to Portovenere and swim in the Byron cave.

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How to get to Palmaria island… and how to come back alive:

Since the goal is to catch the 11:15am ferry to Palmaria, I suggest meeting around 10:15 at La Spezia Centrale railway station, by the (outside) entrance to the ticket office.

Recommended trains are:

* for those travelling eastwards
Intercity 35805: Genova Piazza Principe 08:51 (Genova Brignole 09:00) La Spezia Centrale 10:02

* for those travelling westwards
Reg 21396: Pisa Centrale 08:13 – La Spezia Centrale 09:32

Ferry trip costs 5 euro (one way) or 8 euro (round-trip).

You may download timetables at:

http://www.atcesercizio.it/

http://www.barcaioliportovenere.com/?lang=en

http://www.navigazionegolfodeipoeti.it/

Return from the island of Palmaria may be around 6pm; it’s either possible to catch a boat to La Spezia, or catch a boat to Portovenere and then catch a bus.

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For those who are catching IC or Freccia trains:

If you have a travel buddy, you should buy the “2×1″ special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Friday. It’s a buy 1 and get 1 free offer, so you’ll basically pay half price. The only catch of the offer: if you buy this special ticket online, Trenitalia requires you to specify names of both passengers. If your travel buddy betrays you, the fine is half the price you paid + 8 euros. Inspectors rarely check for ID, but they may get suspicious, if the ticket says “Alice and Bob” and there are 2 guys or 2 girls.

On the other hand, if you buy the “2×1″ ticket” at a “Fast Ticket” machine at a train station, you won’t need to punch in any names, which makes it easier to find another travel buddy, if your former trip companion betrays you.

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As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to text me! (at +39 329 7203364)

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