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Saturday, January 16th 2016:

 
Genova Brignole

 
First of all, happy 2016!! Shall we kick off the new year with a hike that’s perhaps less impossible than one might think?

Target of the hike is the only big Ligurian Xmas crib that we are yet missing: the one in Pentema. Together with the Manarola Xmas crib, it’s also likely to be the most famous in the region, as a whole village is turned into a gigantic Xmas crib, featuring not just the Nativity scene, but life sized statues that depict life as it used to be at the end of the XIX century.

What makes the hike rather complicated is the geographical location of Pentema, as it’s tucked deep inside the Genovese inland. So deep, that only 12 people are said to still live in Pentema: the oldest one is 94 ys old, while the youngest one is 82. Pentema is so out of reach that the Genovese people occasionally use the phrase “going to Pentema” to indicate something that’s way out of reach.

Despite the not so encouraging premise, I think that this Saturday we may still try to hike to Pentema (and lower the average age in town?)

According to MaurizioWeb website, there are 3 possible trails from Torriglia: while the first one is to be ruled out as it’s super-long, the 2nd and the 3rd look more feasible. The 2nd one actually takes less than 2 hours. So, unless we find unexpected hurdles (like snowy paths or having to dodge the attacking brambles), I think it’s a mission that’s quite… possible.

As for Torriglia, we can comfortably get there by catching the 9:50am bus from Genova Brignole to Torriglia (ticket is 3 euro, you need to get an ATP ticket of “B” type)

You may read more about Pentema and the possible trails on:

http://www.maurizioweb.it/montagna/liguria/pentema/index.php (in Italian)
http://www.sagep.it/easyUp/file/86_10.pdf (in English)
http://cinquantamila.corriere.it/storyTellerArticolo.php?storyId=546afb5193776 (an insight on Pentema)
http://www.naturaliguria.it/tag/monte-spigo/ (an insight on trail #3… not sure we’ll have time to do it, we’ll see how it goes!)

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How to get to Genova Brignole, and how to come back alive:

Would it be possible to meet at 9.30am at the Genova Brignole station newsstand? I’m not sure, since it also depends on Trenitalia, but if it were possible then we would have plenty of time to buy tickets and head to the bus stop. http://www.atpesercizio.it/Orari201601131003/orari_M/pagina.79g.pdf

Suggested trains are:

if you travel westwards
regional – 07:45 La Spezia Centrale – 09:15 Genova Brignole

if you travel eastwards
regional 2181 – 09:12 Genova Principe – 09:18 Genova Brignole
or
regional 21141 – 09:27 Genova Principe – 09:33 Genova Brignole

if you travel southwards
regional 2181 (*) – 07:25 Milano Centrale (07:32 Milano Lambrate) – 09:18 Genova Brignole

We’ll get back to Genova Brignole either at 6:15 or 7:25pm. There should still be plenty of regional and IC trains, for us to go back home.

(*) For coming back, remember that you can benefit from the “buy 1 and get 1 free” offer, provided you buy the “2×1” special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Friday. The offer is valid on all fast trains on Saturday

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

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Hi and welcome to Liguriah!

We’re a Genoa-based hiking group that often gathers on weekends to hike somewhere in between Ventimiglia/Finale Ligure (on the western side of Liguria) and Cinque Terre/Lerici (on the eastern side).

Fancy joining us? Please click on the About Liguriah tab. Or, if you are facebook-less, you may choose to become a “follower” of the group: just leave your email address to the left of this page and we’ll keep you up to date with the latest.

Hikes are sorted by province and starting railway station:

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Saturday, December 12th 2015:

 
Riomaggiore

 
Shall we keep up with the tradition of having the pre-Xmas hike in the Cinque Terre, so as to finish another year in front of the lit Xmas crib in Manarola? This time it has to be a Saturday hike: not only is the weather forecast slightly better (cloudy with sun spells vs cloudy with drizzle), the train timetable is considerably nicer. In fact, the new Trenitalia timetable, that premieres on 13th, is horrendous to say the least (and they even dared calling it a “Copernican revolution”! http://www.levantenews.it/index.php/2015/11/27/treni-rivoluzione-copernicana-passibile-di-miglioramenti/ . The Polish astronomer from Torun would have all rights to be offended)

Anyway, this Saturday the darkness of the new train schedule won’t affect us… yet, and we won’t risk missing the lit Xmas crib of Manarola: for those who yet don’t know about it, Manarola is famous for 15.000 light bulbs, that every December are placed on a hill. They are part of a gigantic Nativity scene, that for the past 54 years has been patiently laid on the hill of the Three Crosses, thanks to the outstanding efforts of now 88-year old Mario Andreoli.

The idea is to meet this Saturday in Riomaggiore and hike to the Xmas crib of Manarola via the shrine of Madonna di Montenero and via the recently opened vineyard trail of Costa Corniolo.

It’s likely that we’ll reach Manarola around 4:30pm, in time for the lighting of the Xmas crib.

You may read more about the trail on:
http://www.parconazionale5terre.it/iti_dettaglio.php?id_iti=3581 (in Italian)
http://www.ilvigneto5terre.com/il-sentiero-volastra-riomaggiore-n-532cn-531-via-groppo-costa-corniolo/ (in Italian)

and about the Xmas crib on:
http://www.turismo.it/il-luogo-del-giorno/articolo/art/manarola-il-presepe-pi-grande-del-mondo-eco-id-10109/

Hike is rated “T/E” (easy/medium), with 400 metres of elevation gain. The walk should take around 3,5 hours.

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How to get to Riomaggiore, and how to come back alive:

Let’s meet at 11:49 at Riomaggiore railway station.

Recommended trains are:

For those travelling eastwards:

Reg 33831
Genova Piazza Principe 10:04 ( Genova Brignole 10:13) Riomaggiore 11:49

For those travelling westwards:

Reg 33852
La Spezia 10:53 – Riomaggiore 11:00

For those travelling southwards:

IC 35533 (*)
08:10 Milano Centrale – 10:57 Levanto
+
Reg 33835
11:15 Levanto – 11:36 Riomaggiore

Return from Manarola will be around 5:30-6:00 pm.

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(*) For those who are catching IC 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.

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

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Sunday, November 29th, 2015:

 
Genova Acquasanta

 
After paying a new visit to the Val Gargassa canyon, one month ago, shall we return to the wastelands of that region?

This time I suggest getting off the train earlier, at the station of Genova Acquasanta. Acquasanta – which literally means “holy water” – is famous for hosting a shrine and some thermal baths (I guess that pilgrims must have a pretty good time here?). Just like in Rossiglione, the trails here are characterized by a vast barren landscape, occasionally interrupted by little rivers and waterfalls. Standing lonely on top of the mountain is the little chapel of Baiarda: it is said that here, 50 years ago, the Virgin Mary appeared to a boy from Albenga (in what was the first of 13 apparitions). Nowadays, the church is filled with ex voto and provides a stunning viewpoint to admire the western Ligurian coast.

After paying the chapel a visit two years, let’s return this Sunday, by taking a loop trail that’s slightly shifted to the east. This one should be a bit shorter, which means that, on the way back, we’ll likely have enough time to take the trail that connects Colla di Pra to the shrine of Acquasanta. As for the way up to the Baiarda chapel, we’ll follow the bits of “F” trail that we skipped last time (the “F” trail owes its initial to a religious Alpine man named Frassati). Hike is rated as “E” (medium) and takes around 3 or 3,5 hours (for the whole loop), with 500 metres of elevation gain.

You may read more about the trail on:
http://www.caibolzaneto.net/frassati/frassati.php (in Italian)
http://www.luci.web44.net/Escursioni/immagini/gite/appennino/B-Figne/app_lig_b_frassati_2010.gif (the map)

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How to get to Genova Acquasanta, and how to come back alive:

Let’s meet at the entrance of Acquasanta train station at 11:05 (or on the front coach of the “regionale 6182” train from Genova Brignole)

Suggested trains are:

* for those travelling from Genova *

Regionale 6182
Genova Brignole 10:32 (Genova Piazza Principe 10:39) Genova Acquasanta 11:04

* for those travelling westwards *

FB 35760 (**)
La Spezia Centrale 09:06 Genova Brignole 10:03

followed by Regionale 6182
Genova Brignole 10:32 Genova Acquasanta 11:04

* for those travelling southwards *

either Regionale 2181
Milano Centrale 07:25 Milano Lambrate 07:32 Genova Piazza Principe 09:14 (if you plan on catching this one, you probably need to punch in “Milano Lambrate – Genova Acquasanta” on the trenitalia website, in order to see this option)

or IC 1533 (**)
Milano Centrale 08:10 Genova Piazza Principe 09:42

followed by Regionale 6182
Genova Piazza Principe 10:39 Genova Acquasanta 11:04

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Return will be from Genova Acquasanta. The ideal train would be at 4:53pm. If we fail to catch it, there’s another one at 6:34pm

Ah, bring food and plenty of water with you! (as there are no water taps along the trail.. and I’m not sure about focaccia places in Acquasanta)

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(**) For those who are catching IC or FB trains:

If you’re younger than 26 (i.e. if you’re at most 25 year + 364 days old) or older than 60, you should be eligible to have discounts as high as 50%, if you registered to the (free) Cartafreccia program. In case you haven’t registered yet, send me a message and I can send you an invitation (of course, you can also register on your own… but an invitation would grant us both a 10 euro voucher :-) )
In order to get the discount, remember to buy the ticket before 23:59 of Saturday.

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

next hike

Sunday, November 15th, 2015:

 
Monterosso

 
As the so called “summer of S.Martin” grants us yet another fine weekend, shall we have a hike this Sunday?

The idea is to explore the inland of Monterosso/Levanto and tread old mule tracks that, since the Middle Ages, provided a connection between the seaside and the inner Via Aurelia.

We’ll start in Monterosso and walk up to the shrine of Soviore; by the old Marian church we’ll likely have our lunch break. From Soviore we’ll tread the “Alta Via delle Cinque Terre” until Mt Bardellone, before heading down to Levanto, via the churches of S.Bartolomeo and Ridarolo.

Hike takes around 3.5 hours, has 600 mt of elevation gain and is rated as E (medium).

It passes through two outstanding view points (the shrine of
Madonna di Soviore and Foce di Bardellone), from which we should be able to see both the seaside and Val di Vara.

You may read more about the hike on:

http://www.parconazionale5terre.it/iti_dettaglio.php?id_iti=3455 (1st part)
http://www.metrogenova.com/magazines/01-Levanto%20-%20Pignone.pdf (2nd part)

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How to get to Monterosso, and how to come back alive:

Let’s meet at the entrance of Monterosso train station (there should be a pharmacy just outside) at 11:40 (or on the front coach of the “regionale 33831” train from Genova Brignole)

— if you travel eastwards

REG 33831 – 10:04 Genova Piazza Principe (10:13 Genova Piazza Principe) 11:40 Monterosso

— if you travel westwards

REG 33852 – La Spezia Centrale 10:53 Monterosso 11:19

— if you travel southwards

IC 35533 (**) – 08:10 Milano Centrale – 11:04 Monterosso

Return from Levanto may be around 5-6pm. Please bring food and water with you, so that we can start hiking right away!

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(**) For those who are catching IC or FB trains:

If you’re younger than 26 (i.e. if you’re at most 25 year + 364 days old) or older than 60, you should be eligible to have discounts as high as 50%, if you registered to the (free) Cartafreccia program. In case you haven’t registered yet, send me a message and I can send you an invitation (of course, you can also register on your own… but an invitation would grant us both a 10 euro voucher :-) )
In order to get the discount, remember to buy the ticket before 23:59 of Saturday.

*********************************

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

next hike

Sunday, November 1st, 2015:

 
Rossiglione

 
There is a valley in Liguria, where a river forms little lakes and waterfalls and runs across a canyon with pinnacles and boulders of conglomerate rock towering over it: it’s the Val Gargassa, some of you might remember visiting it two years ago. The valley is said to offer three enchanting trails: on All Saints’, shall we go marching in… to the Ligurian canyon?

Just like last time, the big dilemma will be which of 3 trails to sacrifice.

#1 (circle+rhombus) is the longest one and runs along the southern ridge of the canyon; with 250 metres of vertical gain, it’s very panoramic, takes 2 hours and is rated as T/E (easy/medium)

Trail #2 (2 crosses) is perhaps the most surprising one, as it runs along the river. Even though it has barely 100 metres of vertical gain and it takes less than 1,5 hours, it’s rated as E (medium), as extra care is required in two spots, where you need to cross the Gargassa river.

Trail #3 (3 dots) runs along the northern ridge of the canyon; it’s also very panoramic, takes 90 minutes and it’s rated as E/EE (medium/hard, because of a couple of exposed sections, that are secured with chains)

Since last time we tried #2+#1, I would probably suggest #2 and #3 this time: I’ve been told that the EE part of trail #3 is nothing to be scared of, provided you don’t suffer from vertigo.

You may read more about the trails on:
http://www.101giteinliguria.it/genova/gite/genova/i-canyons-della-valle-gargassa (in Italian, it describes #1 and #2)
http://www.gambeinspalla.org/gruppi_montuosi/appennino_ligure/anello_della_val_gargassa.htm (in Italian, it describes #2 and #3)
http://www.parcobeigua.it/iti_dettaglio.php?id_iti=3433 (in English, again it just describes #2 and #3)
http://www.altea-ge.it/Altea/gite/PDF%20GITA1-00-18ROBALCONEVEREIBUDRANROSS.pdf (in Italian, it describes #1 and #3 and another bonus hike)

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How to get to Rossiglione, and how to come back alive:

Let’s meet at the entrance of Rossiglione train station at 11:25 (or on the front coach of the “regionale 6182” train from Genova Brignole)

Suggested trains are (on Sunday, November 1st):

* for those travelling from Genova *

Regionale 6182
Genova Brignole 10:32 (Genova Piazza Principe 10:39) Rossiglione 11:25

* for those travelling westwards *

FB 9760 (**)
La Spezia Centrale 09:10 Genova Brignole 10:01

followed by Regionale 6182
Genova Brignole 10:32 Rossiglione 11:25

* for those travelling southwards *

IC 1533 (**)
Milano Centrale 08:10 Genova Piazza Principe 09:44

followed by Regionale 6182
Genova Piazza Principe 10:39 Rossiglione 11:25

(from Milano, there’s also Regionale Veloce 2181
Milano Centrale 07:25 Milano Lambrate 07:32 Genova Piazza Principe 09:14)

Return will be from Rossiglione (probably after 6pm, as the 4:30pm train would require quite a fast hiking pace)

Ah, please bring food and enough water with you (as there are no water taps along the trail, plus it would be better to start hiking right away, at 11:30. In case trail #3 turns out to be more complicated than expected, we can always go back and take trail #1)

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(**) For those who are catching IC or FB trains:

If you’re younger than 26 (i.e. if you’re at most 25 year + 364 days old) or older than 60, you should be eligible to have discounts as high as 50%, if you registered to the (free) Cartafreccia program. In case you haven’t registered yet, send me a message and I can send you an invitation (of course, you can also register on your own… but an invitation would grant us both a 10 euro voucher :-) )
In order to get the discount, remember to buy the ticket before 23:59 of Saturday.

*********************************

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

next hike

Sunday, October 11th, 2015:

 
Levanto

 
The weather may be getting colder, but the forecast predicts enough sunshine this Sunday, to dare having one more dive in the Ligurian sea: before going back to the inland, shall we have one more hike&swim along the coast?

Just like one year ago, I suggest aiming at the beach that enchanted us the most: Porto Pidocchio of Framura. Since it’s a boar-hunting Sunday, I propose going mainstream and treading the blue trail between Levanto and Framura.
The idea is to meetup, shortly after 11am, at the train station of Levanto: after picking up the usual focaccia (and possibly some gattafin?), we’ll follow trail #1 until Scernio, then we’ll take trail #4, so as to avoid going down to Bonassola and hiking up again. We’ll head up to Montaretto and then we’ll reconnect to trail #1 and walk on until Framura. Trail is rated as T/E (easy/medium), features old mule tracks, basaltic rocks and many lookout points over the bay of Bonassola and Framura; it is well described on . http://www.prolocobonassola.it/eng/iti08.asp
http://www.prolocobonassola.it/eng/iti03.asp
http://www.prolocobonassola.it/eng/iti06.asp

Total hiking time is approx 3,5 hours, vertical gain is around 300 metres.

By 4pm we’ll likely be in Framura, where it might be feasible to have a quick swim in the sea, before catching the train back: water temperature should be 20/21 degrees.

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How to get to Levanto, and how to come back alive:

On Sunday, October 11th, let’s meet at Levanto train station at 11:11 am.

Recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards

REG 2181: Genova Piazza Principe 09:12 (Genova Brignole 09:21) Sestri Levante 10:30
+
REG 24505: Sestri Levante 10:47 Levanto 11:11

or

IC 1533 (**): Genova Piazza Principe 9:47 (Genova Brignole 9:56) Levanto 10:57

——–

* if you travel westwards

REG 24488: La Spezia Centrale 10:06 Framura 10:34

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* if you travel southwards:

Take REG 2181 (at 7:25) or IC 1533 (**) (at 8:10) from Milano.

———-

Return will be from Framura station, around 6pm.

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(**) For those who are catching IC trains:

If you’re younger than 26 (i.e. if you’re at most 25 year + 364 days old) o older than 60, you should be eligible to have discounts as high as 50%, if you catch the IC train and registered to the (free) Cartafreccia program. In case you haven’t registered yet, send me a message and I can send you an invitation (of course, you can also register on your own… but an invitation would grant us both a 10 euro voucher :-) )
In order to get the discount, remember to buy the ticket before 23:59 of Saturday.

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

next hike

Sunday, September 27th:

 
S.Margherita Ligure

 
Time flies: it seems like yesterday, that a few English-speaking hikers (mostly teachers, engineers and Austrian-Finnish students) gathered on a fine Sunday morning (following a stormy night), to hike to Punta Manara. In truth, that happened back in September of 2010. Five years and 2050 subscribers later, let’s celebrate the 5th anniversary of the “English Speaking hiking meetups around Genova” group (a.k.a. Liguriah) by doing the classical panoramic hike from S.Margherita Ligure to S.Fruttuoso, via Bocche and Pietre Strette.

It will also be the last weekend when it’s possible to catch a 5pm ferry back to Camogli (or S.Margherita), so let’s seize the chance of having one more relaxing swim in the bay of S.Fruttuoso. In order to get there, we’ll walk along the coast until Gave, then move westwards towards Monte di Portofino by following the hiking signs to Frate, Bocche and Pietre Strette. We’ll end the hike by walking down to S.Fruttuoso. After recently discovering how beautiful the view is from the beginning of the forbidden trail of the Tubes, I suggest having a two minute detour by Caselle, to admire it one more time.

Return from S.Fruttuoso will likely be by boat (either via Portofino/S.Margherita or via Camogli).

Hike is 3 hr long and is as rated T/E (easy/medium), with an elevation gain of 400 metres.

You may read more about the hike on:
http://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/lang-en/da-nozarego/67-nozarego-bocche-costasecca-bocche.html (first part, in scary English)
http://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/from-san-fruttuoso/71-pietre-strette-san-fruttuoso-di-camogli.html (second part, again in scary English)

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How to get to S.Margherita Ligure, and how to come back alive:

On Sunday 27th, let’s meet at 11 am at the entrance of S.Margherita Ligure railway station (by the infamous taxi telephone).

Suggested trains are:

if you travel eastwards:

REG – Genova Piazza Principe 10:04 (Genova Brignole 10:13) S.Margherita Ligure 10:52

if you travel westwards:

REG – La Spezia Centrale 09:50 S. Margherita Ligure 10:54

if you travel southwards
REG – 07:25 Milano Centrale – 09:54 S. Margherita Ligure-Portofino
or
IC – Milano Centrale 08:10 – S. Margherita Ligure 10:20

Return will be from Camogli (or S.Margherita Ligure) railway station, around 6pm.

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