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Sunday, 12th January 2020

Chiavari

Happy new year! Given the unusually warm and sunny weather, shall we salute the new year with a walk in the Chiavari/Lavagna inland? This easy hike features one of the major churches in Liguria, a panoramic church (located on the highest point of the trail) and the famous Christmas crib of Lavagna (Presepe del Brunzin), awaiting us at the end.

Starting point of the hike is the church of San Salvatore dei Fieschi. Be it because of the marble&slate decorated facade, or because it was a symbol of the power of the pope, the church has been for 800 years one of the most important monuments in Liguria. Nowadays it’s also well renowned for a medieval festival that takes place in mid August and ends with the “Torta dei Fieschi” bridal cake, that gets cut in Lavagna and offered to anyone who solves its riddle.

The plan is to reach the basilica either by bus or on foot, starting from Chiavari station. As long as the trains are on time, the bus should be quite feasible. If the plan fails, then it takes about 1 hr on foot: not such a drama, considering that the path follows a pedestrian/bike-only route across the Entella park.

Once we’re at Basilica dei Fieschi, we’ll follow the slate trail that women in old times used to tread, when carrying the slate from the caves down to Lavagna. The trail will take us across a few slate caves and eventually up to the panoramic chapel of S.Giacomo, before descending to Lavagna, via a chestnut grove.

Hike has a vertical gain of 550 metres, takes around 3 hours and is rated as T/E (easy/medium). It’s very well described on the always useful Sentieri d’Autore website ( https://sentieridautore.it/2019/01/09/il-sentiero-dellardesia/ ). For returning to Lavagna, we’ll follow trail 2 on http://www.comune.lavagna.ge.it/sites/default/files/159-cartina_web.pdf

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

On Sunday, let’s meet at 10:30 at the entrance of Chiavari train station. The bus to S.Salvatore leaves at 10:50.

Recommended trains are

– if you’re travelling eastwards:

REG 2181 – Genova Piazza Principe 09:11 (Genova Brignole 09:20) Chiavari 10:15
or
IC 1533(*) – Genova Piazza Principe 09:47 (Genova Brignole 09:56) Chiavari 10:28

– if you’re travelling westwards:

REG 24502 – La Spezia Centrale 08:19 Sestri Levante 09:25
+
BUS 98 to Lavagna Ospedale (and BUS 3 to S.Salvatore)

– if you’re travelling southwards:

IC 1533(*) – Milano Centrale 08:10 – Chiavari 10:28
or
REG 2181: Milano Centrale 07:25 – Chiavari 10:15

Return will be from Lavagna, around 17:30.

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

If you have one or two travel buddies, you should buy the “Insieme” special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Friday. You’ll get 30% off.

If you’re younger than 30 or older than 60, you can have 30% off, provided 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 Friday).

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

Hiking to S.Fortunato festival, via Semaforo Nuovo/Rocca del Falco

A record-breaking hiking group of 53 ventured across Parco di Portofino and went on to conquer the lookout points of Semaforo Nuovo and the recently opened Rock of the Hawks (speaking of which, if you can spot Leticia on the group picture, you’re definitely hawk-eyed!). The 11km trail wasn’t the most direct way to get from S.Margherita to Camogli, but allowed us to walk close to the coast; among many returners there was Michaela, who flew all the way from the Netherlands to land on the Rock of the Hawks; the two sculptures featured Iron-Man and the Bank of Uncle Scrooge being plundered; for the 2nd consecutive hike, we had a meal in a restaurant (dinner this time); the final show started super-late, but we did manage to both see the fireworks and get warmed by the bonfires

Hiking to Camogli, along the coast and via the Rock of the Hawks

An 18km loop trail, from Torriglia to the Pentema Xmas crib

It took us more than just a stroll to reach Pentema: we hiked 18km in order to complete the Torriglia loop with Pentema detour, it’s no wonder that the Genovese regard the little town as a remote place, that’s almost at the edge of the world. But then,it was all worth it! and, despite what the Genovese may say, we were happy to go to… Pentema (and discover its gigantic Xmas crib)

As for the hike: we met some snow and had some slips, but in general coped well with the turned-to-white trail; once in Pentema, we took plenty of time to drink mulled wine and explore all houses of the village: they were open for visitors, as they showed scenes from everyday life at the end of the XIX century (some actually were slightly creepy, we easily dismissed the idea of spending the night there!); the 2nd part of the Torriglia loop offered some incredible 360 degree views over hills, snow capped mountains and the sea; and, from the Donetta hills, we could also make out the village of Pentema, which looked like a toy village.

Going to Pentema took some effort, but we were rewarded by a picturesque town

Hike Index

map of Liguria
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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Sunday, 22nd December 2019

Riomaggiore

The weather has been a bit wet lately… and the worst is possibly still to come: today (Friday) all hell is expected to break loose over Liguria, as a red alert has been issued over the whole region. Luckily, things should improve over the weekend, so let’s have a Sunday hike. Temperature is likely to be warm on Sunday afternoon, with little wind.

Since it’s almost a tradition to have the last hike of the year in Cinque Terre, so as to see the lit Xmas crib of Manarola, let’s try a trail that was opened just a few months ago: Riomaggiore-Cacinagora-Volastra. Cacinagora is an abandoned hamlet, that probably dates back to the Middle Ages and existed before Cinque Terre.

You may read more about Cacinagora at:
https://www.comune.riomaggiore.sp.it/percorso_d.html
http://www.parks.it/parco.nazionale.cinque.terre/dettaglio.php?id=55768

and about the Xmas crib on:
https://www.5terre.com/blog/dettaglio_notizie-art-manarola_sa_accendere_il_natale-articolo-222.html

Trail is rated as T/E (easy/medium) and should take 3 hours, with 400 metres of elevation gain. As usual, the idea is to arrive in Manarola in the late afternoon, so as to admire the sunset first, from behind the Hill of Three Crosses, and then the lit Xmas crib. For those who yet don’t know it, the lit Xmas crib of Manarola features thousands of light bulbs, that every December are placed on a hill. They are part of a gigantic Nativity scene, that for the past 55 years has been patiently laid on the hill of the Three Crosses, thanks to the outstanding efforts of now 91-year old Mario Andreoli.

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

On Sunday 22nd, let’s meet at 11:34 at Riomaggiore railway station.

Recommended trains are:

» For those travelling eastwards:

REG 2181 + 24459 Genova Piazza Principe 9:11 (9:20 Genova Brignole) 11:34 Riomaggiore
or
IC 1533 (*) Genova Piazza Principe 9:47 (Genova Brignole 9:56) Levanto 10:58
+
REG 24459 11:15 Levanto – 11:34 Riomaggiore

» For those travelling westwards:

Reg 24454
La Spezia 11:15 – Riomaggiore 11:23

» For those travelling southwards:

REG 2181
07:25 Milano Centrale – 10:28 Sestri L
+
REG 24459 10:41 Sestri L – 11:34 Riomaggiore

If you prefer, you may also take the 8:10 IC train (*) to Levanto (see above) and then change to the 24459 train,

Return from Manarola will be around 5:30 pm.

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(*) For those who are catching IC trains:

If you have one or two travel buddies, you should buy the “Insieme” special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Friday. You’ll get 30% off,.

If you’re younger than 30 or older than 60, you can have 30% off, provided 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 Friday).

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

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Saturday, 30th November 2019

Recco

Shall we take advantage of the (short) break from bad weather and have our traditional end-of-year hike to Mt.Manico del Lume? The idea, of course, is to have a relaxing walk along the panoramic 2G trail between Recco and Rapallo, then add an adventurous twist towards the end, with chains and a short climb leading us to the top of Mt Manico del Lume, where a memorable 360 degree view awaits us, as well as the chance of adding our 2019 signature to its guestbook.

But first things first: the plan is to catch the 11:15 bus from Recco to Salto/Avegno and take a look at the church of S.Antonio, before starting our walk. The trail from Salto to Passo della Spinarola is brand new, we never tried it but it shouldn’t be too complicated, if we’re to trust http://www.agenziadisviluppogalgenovese.com/news/359/file/GP_descrizione_sentieri_nofoto.pdf (trail #16): it has 300 metres elevation gain and goes across olive and chestnut groves. From Passo Spinarola, we’ll take the almost flat 2G trail (where 2G doesn’t – luckily – refer to internet connectivity, but to the 2 Gulfs of Portofino Park, which may be admired from the trail). Once we’re at the foot of Mt Bello, we’ll pretty much do what we did one year ago: we’ll continue along the narrow path to Passo Serra, where can either head down to Rapallo, via Chignero and Sant’Andrea di Foggia, or, if we feel like it (hopefully, we will!), have a bonus hike to Mt Manico del Lume. For the uninitiated, Mt Manico del Lume is a mountain shaped like the layers of melted wax at the base of a candle (hence the name), with an extraordinary viewpoint at its top, which can be reached via a fun, albeit challenging, narrow trail secured with chains.

Hike is rated as T/E (easy/medium), with 400 metres elevation gain, however it becomes EE (hard), should we find the time and will to do the Manico del Lume bonus hike.

You may read more about the hike on:
https://montiliguri.weebly.com/caprile-lume.html
http://www.mappeliguria.com/TRK-GE-116-SpinarolaManicoLume.php

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

On Saturday, let’s meet at the entrance of Recco train station around 10:55am. From there, we’ll take the 11:15 bus to Avegno/Salto.

Suggested trains are:

* for those travelling from Genova *

Regionale 24529
Genova Piazza Principe 10:11 Genova Brignole 10:20 Recco 10:55

* for those travelling westwards *

Regionale 11368
La Spezia 09:50 Recco 10:52

* for those travelling southwards *

IC 1533
Milano Centrale 08:10 S.Margherita Ligure 10:14

followed by Regionale Regionale 11368 S. Margherita Ligure 10:46 Recco 10:52

(from Milano, there’s also Regionale Veloce 2181
Milano Centrale 07:25 Milano Lambrate 07:32 Recco 09:51)

We’ll then catch the 11:15 bus from Recco to Uscio:
https://www.atpesercizio.it/

Return will be from Rapallo, after 6:30pm.

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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 Thursday. It’s a buy 1 and get 1 free offer, so you’ll basically pay half price. You can have a discount even without a travel buddy, if you’re younger than 30 or older than 60. Remember that you need to have a Cartafreccia card in order to use the junior/senior special offer (in the unlikely case that you don’t have a Cartafreccia card yet, let me know and I can send you an invitation… in which case we’ll both get a 10 euro coupon:-) ). Also, ticket should be booked before 23:59 of Thursday.
********************************
As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to write me (at vidlothianATgmailDOTcom) or call me (at +39 329 7203364)

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Saturday, 26th October 2019

Chiavari

As this Saturday is the last day with daylight saving time, shall we use the extra hour of light to venture far away, in the Aveto valley, where wild horses run free and the unique landscape gave the region the nickname of “Ligurian Switzerland”? The idea is to hike to Mt Ramaceto, four years later. Back then, we were unlucky as the lookout points were shrouded in the fog; let’s see if this time we’ll find a bigger reward at its most famous and panoramic landmark: the chapel of Mt Ramaceto. The view from there is said to be incredible, as it encompasses the highest peaks of the Apennine mountains and a great deal of the Ligurian coast.

Regardless of the outcome, the walk itself is enjoyable, with old forests of beeches and scenic ridges. For starting point, we can choose either Parazzuolo or Passo della Forcella. The finish point will definitely be passo della Forcella. Be warned, if you’re coming from outside Liguria: the bus back is at 17:19, so this hike could end up being a race against the time for you. That said, be assured that 4 years ago everyone coming from Lombardia made it safely back (while half of Ligurian hikers got stuck for 2 hours at Passo della Forcella, waiting for the 19:18 bus)

The trail features 500 metres of elevation gain (the starting point is 850 metres above sea level, while Mt Ramaceto is 1345 mt high), takes about 4 hours and is rated as “E” (medium).

You may read more about it on
http://www.trekkinginliguria.it/Escursione_Ramaceto.html
or
http://www.rifugioventarola.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ventarola_g.pdf

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How to get to Passo della Forcella:

On Saturday 26th, let’s meet around 11:15am at the entrance of Chiavari station.

From there, we’ll take the 11:35 bus to Passo della Forcella. As we’ll be a bit short with time, please bring food with you! (of course, you may also get it in Chiavari, if you arrive early)

For coming back, I suggest catching the 5:19pm bus from Passo della Forcella. Alternatively, there’s also the 7:18pm bus (although that would mean arriving in Chiavari pretty late)

For more details about the bus, please refer to:
https://www.atpesercizio.it/Orari201910231505/orari_TC/11_a_r_fer_fes.pdf

As for Chiavari, recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards, I would go with either

Reg 33827 – 09:27 Genova Piazza Principe (Genova Brignole 09:35) 10:28 Chiavari
or
IC 35533 – 09:48 Genova Piazza Principe (9:57 Genova Brignole) 10:29 Chiavari (*)

If you wish to sleep more/risk a bit, it should also be fairly safe to catch:
Reg 24529 – 10:11 Genova Piazza Principe (Genova Brignole 10:20) 11:18 Chiavari

* if you travel westwards:
REG 11368 – La Spezia Centrale 09:50 – Chiavari 10:33

* if you travel southwards:
IC 35533 Milano Centrale 08:10 – Chiavari 10:29 (*)

Return will be from Chiavari station, around 6:30pm.

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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 Thursday. It’s a buy 1 and get 1 free offer, so you’ll basically pay half price. You can have a discount even without a travel buddy, if you’re younger than 30 or older than 60. Remember that you need to have a Cartafreccia card in order to use the junior/senior special offer (in the unlikely case that you don’t have a Cartafreccia card yet, let me know and I can send you an invitation… in which case we’ll both get a 10 euro coupon:-) ). Also, ticket should be booked before 23:59 of Thursday.
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As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to write me (at vidlothianATgmailDOTcom) or call me (at +39 329 7203364)

next hike

Saturday, 5th October 2019

Levanto

Temperature is still warm enough, so let’s have one more coastal hike&swim, before heading to the Ligurian inland. As you probably already know, taking place this weekend is the last big firework show of the year: it comes courtesy of the Madonna del Rosario festival, which is held in Bonassola every October on the first Saturday. The festival ( https://nuovaprolocobonassola.business.site/posts/4503411583702105098?hl=it ) is a visual treat, since it involves candles on the sea and a firework show, and usually is not so crowded, so it should be possible to comfortably watch it from the beach. My only doubt is whether they’ll do the candles, since the sea won’t be too calm, according to the weather forecast.

As for the hike, the idea is to meetup, shortly after 11am, at the train station of Levanto: from there we’ll take the panoramic path to Bonassola, via Scernio. From the church of San Giorgio, we’ll head north to Montaretto and south to the Hop of the Hare lookout point. Should the weather forecast predict a calmer sea, we can also consider taking a short detour to the green/red beach of Sca, so as to improve the swimming experience.

Total hiking time is approx 3 hours (plus half an hour, if we head down to Sca), vertical gain is around 300 metres, trail is rated as T/E (although the descent to Sca is E/EE as it’s steep and even features a rope. However, it’s not dangerous at all).

By 5-6pm we’ll likely be in Bonassola, in time for the festival.

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

On Saturday, 5th October, let’s meet at Levanto train station at 11:14 am.

Recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards

REG 2181: Genova Piazza Principe 09:11 (Genova Brignole 09:20) Sestri Levante 10:31
+
REG 24459: Sestri Levante 10:41 Levanto 11:14

or

IC 1533 (*): Genova Piazza Principe 9:47 (Genova Brignole 9:56) Levanto 10:58

——–

* if you travel westwards

REG 21188: La Spezia Centrale 10:25 Levanto 10:55

——–

* if you travel southwards:

IC 1533 (*) 08:10 Milano Centrale – 10:58 Levanto

REG 2181: Milano Centrale 7:25 (Milano Lambrate 7:32) Sestri Levante 10:31
+
REG 24459: Sestri Levante 10:41 Levanto 11:14

———-

Return will be from Bonassola station, at 11:45pm if you intend to watch the firework show. Otherwise, 5 or 6pm.

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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 Thursday. It’s a buy 1 and get 1 free offer, so you’ll basically pay half price. You can have a discount even without a travel buddy, if you’re younger than 30 or older than 60. Remember that you need to have a Cartafreccia card in order to use the junior/senior special offer (in the unlikely case that you don’t have a Cartafreccia card yet, let me know and I can send you an invitation… in which case we’ll both get a 10 euro coupon:-) ). Also, ticket should be booked before 23:59 of Thursday.
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As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to write me (at vidlothianATgmailDOTcom) or call me (at +39 329 7203364)

next hike

Saturday, 21st September 2019

Sestri Levante

The weather forecast may not look promising on Sunday, but on Saturday we should still be able to enjoy a fine sunny day: shall we then have a hike and swim that leads to the emerald waters of the secluded craggy coast of Valletta (Moneglia)? This time I would propose starting the hike from the town that is home to the “bombosculptures” and to the most elaborate painted façade ever seen: Casarza Ligure. From there, we’ll hike up to Mt Moneglia via a couple of abbeys and churches and down to Moneglia, where we may end the day with a refreshing swim at Valletta.

Hike is rated as E (medium), has a vertical gain of 500 mt and should take 3 hours. Among highlights, there’s a Benedictine monastery, the chapel of S.Rocco (the lookout point of the hike) and the so called bombosculptures, i.e. 150 gods and heroes, from Greek and Arthurian mythology, that were created by a local geologist (who, unfortunately, passed away last year): he solely used gas tanks and pieces of metallic trash to assemble them.

You may read more about the hike on:
https://www.comune.casarza-ligure.ge.it/it/page/escursioni-e-passeggiate

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How to get to Sestri Levante, and how to come back alive:

Let’s meet at Sestri Levante at 10:40am, then catch one of frequent buses to Casarza Ligure.

Recommended trains are

– if you’re travelling eastwards:

REG 2181 – Genova Piazza Principe 09:14 (Genova Brignole 09:23) Sestri Levante 10:31
or
IC 35353 (*) – Genova Piazza Principe 09:47 (Genova Brignole 09:56) Sestri Levante 10:36

– if you’re travelling westwards:

REG 11368 – La Spezia Centrale 09:50 Sestri Levante 10:25

– if you’re travelling southwards:

REG 2181: Milano Centrale 07:25 – Sestri Levante 10:31

Return will be from Moneglia, perhaps around 6pm (*)

********************************
(*) 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 Thursday. It’s a buy 1 and get 1 free offer, so you’ll basically pay half price.

You can have a discount even without a travel buddy, if you’re younger than 30 or older than 60. Remember that you need to have a Cartafreccia card in order to use the junior/senior special offer (in the unlikely case that you don’t have a Cartafreccia card yet, let me know and I can send you an invitation… in which case we’ll both get a 10 euro coupon:-) ). Also, ticket should be booked before 23:59 of Thursday.
********************************
As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to write me (at vidlothianATgmailDOTcom) or call me (at +39 329 7203364)

next hike

Sunday, 1st September 2019

Deiva Marina

The summer vacations may be gone for many of us but, before leaving them behind, we can partly defeat the post-holiday blues by having a relaxing hike&swim along the trails of Mt Serro. Who’s up for hiking from Deiva Marina to Framura?

The woods of Mt Serro (i.e. the area between Deiva Marina and Framura) have the nice feature of offering trails of all kinds: it’s possible to wander through intricate forests, looking for traces of old civilization and mystic ponds with yellow flowers, and at the same time it’s possible to have a relaxing walk with plenty of lookout points, as well as a botanical garden.

Either way, the idea is to start off at Deiva Marina station at 11am. If it’s sunny, let’s walk along the classic azure-blue trail that connects Deiva Marina to Framura and have lunch break by the lookout point of Punta Apicchi. Hike takes around 2,5 hours, has 350 mt of vertical gain and is rated as T/E (easy/medium). This will allow us to have more swimming time at Porto Pidocchio. Should the weather be more cloudy than sunny, we can always extend the hike by taking the never treaded loop trail of Acqua Fredda and Cava Serin.

Will the sea be warm enough to have a swim? Definitely, so be sure to bring goggles, swimming suit and sunscreen!

You may read more about the hike on:
http://www.ambienteinliguria.it/eco3/DTS_PUBBLICAZIONI/20071018/rivieraspezzina.pdf
(hike #3.. we can actually make it shorter by taking the trail to Serra di Framura, instead of Costa)

Return will be from Framura, around 5pm.

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How to get to Deiva Marina, and how to come back alive:

On Sunday, September 1st, let’s meet at 11:00 am at the entrance of Deiva Marina railway station

Suggested trains are:

– if you’re travelling eastwards

REG 2181 + REG 24459
09:14 Genova Piazza Principe (9:23 Genova Brignole) 10:54 Deiva Marina (formally, it’s 2 trains, but it will likely be the same one, changing number at Sestri)

[if you fear becoming a sardine, take REG 11229 08:48 Genova Brignole – 10:13 Sestri Levante instead of REG 2181: it will be much emptier!]

– if you’re travelling westwards

REG 1612 – 10:03 La Spezia Centrale – 10:49 Deiva Marina

or

REG 24452 – 10:15 La Spezia Centrale – 10:59 Deiva Marina

– if you’re travelling southwards

REG 2181 + REG 24459 – 07:25 Milano Centrale (07:32 Milano Lambrate) – 10:54 Deiva Marina (formally, it’s 2 trains, but it will likely be the same one, changing number at Sestri)

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Given that Deiva Marina is served by slow trains only, I don’t know if it makes sense to use those IC train offers. Nevertheless, should you happen to come by IC train, there’s 30% off if you’re younger than 30, older than 60 or travelling with a buddy (for that, you need to book your ticket before midnight of Friday and select the “Cartafreccia young”, “cartafreccia senior”, “Insieme” fare)

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