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Saturday, 21st July 2018

La Spezia

August may be getting closer, but we can’t possibly go on holiday before having two more hikes, one for swimming and one for the fish: kicking off this Saturday is the “piscina naturale” event which, as every year at this time, takes place in Portovenere. The idea, of course, is to follow a path leading to the Infinite trail, then head down to Portovenere and swim to Palmaria island.

For the uninitiated: this Saturday’s big event consists in the closing of the Portovenere strait to the boats. From 3pm until evening, boats won’t be allowed to cross it, thus making it feasible to swim from Portovenere to Palmaria. The plan then is to swim to the island… and probably back to Portovenere (unless you find a cunning and waterproof way to carry your belongings with you). So that you know, the distance between Portovenere and Palmaria is around 200/250 metres.

As for the hiking part: let’s meet at La Spezia around 10:20am (I know, it’s early, but evil Trenitalia announced a strike, that starts at 9pm on Saturday and ends at 9pm on Sunday, so we shouldn’t take too much risk!) and head to Acquasanta (by bus). From there, we’ll hike up to Campiglia and continue to Portovenere along one of the most wonderful Ligurian paths, the so called “infinite trail”, so as to finish the hike in Portovenere. The “infinite” trail probably owes its name to the fact that the alignment of Mt Muzzerone, Portovenere and the islands of Palmaria and Tino make the trail appear much longer (almost infinite) than it actually is. In truth, the walk from Acquasanta to Campiglia should take 1,5 hours, while the trail to Portovenere requires 2 hours. Should we have some extra time, we might possibly have a short detour to the lookout point called “Salto della suocera”, i.e. jump of the mother in law(!), which is a cliff falling in a sheer drop into the Ligurian Sea (think of a Ligurian version of Norway’s Pulpit Rock)

First part of the hike is rated “T/E” (easy), while second part is “E” (medium).

You may read more about the Infinite trail on:
https://sentieridautore.it/2015/11/25/seguendo-minerva-a-portovenere/

and about Piscina Naturale on:
http://www.eventiportovenere.com/2017-2018/2018/piscina_naturale_luglio.html

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How to get to La Spezia… and how to come back alive:

On Saturday, July 21st, let’s meet at 10:20am outside La Spezia Centrale railway station, near the red human pyramid monument

Suggested trains are:

IC 35505: Genova Piazza Principe 08:53 (Genova Brignole 09:05) La Spezia Centrale 10:11 (*)

From Pisa and Parma there should be one connection at least, from Milano you’ll need to hop aboard the 6:30 regional train (the Thello train is a bit risky) in order to catch the connecting train at Genova Principe.

There’s plenty of trains back from La Spezia. If you come from afar, don’t forget there’s the 2×1 ticket! (if you plan on swimming or sightseeing in Portovenere, you should book a train after 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.

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(*) For those who happen to be over 60 or under 26:

You can have half price even without a travel buddy. 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 11:59 of Friday.

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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, 1st July 2018

Chiavari

The weather forecast looks quite favourable for hiking this weekend, which is good since we will otherwise have to wait 4(!) years, before a Montallegro festival falls again on a weekend. This year the anniversary celebrations of the apparition of the Virgin Mary on the Rapallo mountains take place on Sunday+Monday+Tuesday, so let’s have a hike on the first of the Montallegro days.

The idea is to walk on the classical Chiavari-Montallegro trail. We haven’t walked along the first half of trail for quite some time now, so it might be the right time to try it again. As usual, there will be the dilemma whether to take the direct route (via the churches of Sampierdicanne and Maxena) or the scenic route (via the churches of Madonna delle Grazie and either Madonnetta or Campodonico). Depending on the choice, hike may take 3 or 4 hours; it will mostly be under the woods, so no worries about the sun! Vertical gain is around 600 metres, difficulty is easy/medium (T/E).

Highlights of the hike include: the Montallegro shrine, featuring the Byzantine portrait that the Virgin Mary herself supposedly gave to a peasant on July 2nd 1557, and is behind all celebrations; the Anchetta Pass lookout point, where we stopped countless times to have a picnic or even eat a proper meal; the church of Madonna delle Grazie (if we take the scenic route), that features another miraculous painting as well as some impressive frescoes.

You may read more about the hike on https://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/gb/from-rapallo/51-rapallo-montallegro-chiavari.html (in super-scary English)

By 4:00pm we’ll likely be at Montallegro, where we can choose whether to hear the vespers or take the cable car down and have a swim.

For those staying in the evening, the fireworks are scheduled at 10:30pm. Apparently, there’s also a concert at 9:30pm as well as candles in the sea.

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

On Sunday, 1st July, let’s meet at Chiavari train station at 11:36 am.

Recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards

Reg 24745 – 10:39 Genova Brignole – Chiavari 11:26

or

REG 24747 (treno del mare, watch out as it might be packed!) 10:24 Genova Piazza Principe – 11:36 Chiavari

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* if you travel westwards

REG 11368: La Spezia Centrale 9:50 Chiavari 10:33
or
IC 666 – 10:35 La Spezia Centrale – Chiavari 11:30

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* if you travel southwards:

REG 24747 – 08:26 Milano Lambrate (08:44 Milano Rogoredo) 11:36 Chiavari

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Return will be from Rapallo station.

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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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Saturday, 16th June 2018

Framura

While waiting for the Montallegro festival (2 weeks from now), the weather forecast predicts for the upcoming weekend plenty of sunshine and the first heat waves: shall we have a hike&swim in the snorkeling paradise of Framura?

The idea is to hike along a loop, from Framura to Montaretto and back. Meeting point will be at 11am, at the train station of Framura: from there we’ll do some beach hopping, walking along the beaches of Torsei and Arena (via the seafront promenade) before crossing the atmospheric hamlet of Anzo. This will allow us to visit one of 5 hamlets that made Framura one of the most beautiful villages in Italy (see http://borghipiubelliditalia.it/project/framura/ and https://www.buzzfeed.com/marietelling/49-italian-villages-that-should-be-on-your-bucket-list )

From the medieval genovese watchtower, the hike will begin, as we’ll follow the green-azure coastal trail until we reach the historical village of Montaretto. Incidentally, the gattafin festival is taking place this weekend. As usual, it’s a mystery whether we’ll actually be able to taste the gattafin (i.e the herb-filled fried ravioli, that can only be found in the Levanto region), since we’ll arrive before the party begins. Nevertheless, the place is always worth a stop… and maybe we can try to convince the organizers to make some for us!

The way back to Framura will be along trail 660. As we never tried it, it’s hard to anticipate anything except that it’s supposedly easy and leads straight to the Framura lava-stone beach of Porto Pidocchio.

Total hiking time is approx 3 hours, vertical gain is around 300 metres. You may read more about it on http://www.comune.bonassola.sp.it/c011005/zf/index.php/servizi-aggiuntivi/index/index/idtesto/34 (in Italian)
http://framura.eu/en/foot/ (in English)
http://www.sentierialevante.it/mobile/map2/descr.html?cod_sent=660&dpx=15 (trail 660)

By 3:30pm we’ll likely be in Framura, where we can either swim in the snorkeling paradise of Porto Pidocchio or have a swim&beer at the beach of Torsei, just below the train station.

In case we fail to get gattafin in Montaretto, I believe there’s also the S.Erasmo festival in Santa Margherita Ligure (it was supposed to be last week, but I see now that it got postponed). Should we be hungry, we can stop there, on the way back home: I believe they’ll offer to everyone the so called fisherman biscuit (a sort of tasty bruschetta, with tomato and anchovy) at 6-7pm.

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

On Saturday, 16th June, let’s meet at Framura train station at 11:00 am.

Recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards

Reg 33875 + 24459: 09:22 Genova Piazza Principe (09:31 Genova Brignole) 11:00 Framura

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* if you travel westwards

REG 24452: La Spezia Centrale 10:15 Framura 10:53

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* if you travel southwards:

Reg 33875 + 24459: 07:25 Milano Centrale ( 07:32 Milano Lambrate 07:38 Milano Rogoredo) 11:00 Framura

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Return will be from Framura station, around 5-6pm.

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For those who are catching IC trains:
(***) there’s the Special 2×1 offer, provided you buy the ticket before 23:59 of Thursday

(**) If you’re younger than 30, you should be eligible to have a 30% discount, 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 Thursday

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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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Sunday, 27th May 2018

S.Margherita Ligure

Is anyone up for a short but (slightly) demanding hike? Since 4 years have passed, since the last (and only) time we hiked to Cala degli Inglesi, I would return there this Sunday… and, with the water being around 20 degrees, possibly have a short swim?

The idea is to hike from bay to bay: we’ll start from the emerald bay of Paraggi (which we’ll probably reach via bus, although walking is also possible) and head up to the Vessinaro pond, before descending to Cala degli Inglesi, a secluded bay that lies somewhere between Portofino and S.Fruttuoso and hides some secrets (according to the guide, a Canadian ship sank here some 50 years ago, in its waters there’s not just fish but sometimes even dolphins). One word of warning: the way down is labelled as “EE” (i.e. for “expert excursionists”). As far as I remember, it’s not so dangerous or exposed: the first half is even considered as easy/medium, but extra care needs to be taken in the last part of the trail (which is secured with chains and rather steep, you can get an idea from the photos on http://www.cralgalliera.altervista.org/calainglesi010.pdf ).

You may read more about the hike on (scary English warning!):
https://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/gb/trail-map/17-portofino-cala-degli-inglesi.html
(we would start from Paraggi)
https://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/gb/from-santa-margherita-ligure/62-santa-margherita-nozarego-olmi-portofino-paraggi-cappelletta-delle-gave-smargherita-ligure.html
(the way back, it’s half of the trail indicated on the map)

Overall, the whole hiking loop takes around 3 hours, has 400 mt of vertical gain and is rated as T/E (easy/medium) and EE (hard, along the trail to Cala degli Inglesi)

Return will be from S.Margherita Ligure. We’ll probably arrive there around 5pm. So, in case you’re interested in some focaccia (the focaccia festival is taking place in nearby Recco, till 6:30pm), you’ll likely still be in time for it!

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

On Sunday, May 27th, let’s meet at 11:02 am at the entrance of S.Margherita Ligure/Portofino railway station (by the infamous taxi telephone).

Suggested trains are

if you travel eastwards

REG 33871: 10:27 Genova Piazza Principe ( 10:35 Genova Brignole ) 11:02 S.Margherita Ligure-Portofino

– if you travel westwards

REG 11368 – 09:50 La Spezia Centrale – 10:45 S.Margherita Ligure-Portofino

– if you travel southwards:

REG 33871 – 8:17 Milano Greco Pirelli (08:26 Milano Lambrate) (08:44 Milano Rogoredo) 11:02 S.Margherita Ligure-Portofino

or

IC 35033: 8:10 Milano Centrale – 10:14 S.Margherita Ligure-Portofino (*)

Return will be from S.Margherita station

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(*) For those who are catching IC trains:

If you have 1 or more travel buddies, you can buy the “Insieme” special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Saturday (if I’m not mistaken). It’s a “get 30% off if you’re at least 2 people” offer. In order to get the discount, remember to buy the ticket one day in advance.

If you’re younger than 30 or older than 60, you can again get 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 one day in advance.

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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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Saturday, 12th May 2018

Recco

Hello everyone! Once again, it’s that time of the year when Camogli celebrates St.Fortunato, by offering a sizzling show on Saturday and fried fish on Sunday. Since the visually entertaining bits are all on Saturday, shall we have a hike in the area in the late morning/afternoon, then spend the evening in Camogli? For those who are yet uninitiated, the Saturday program features two big statues, made of wooden junk, that are brought to the shore and burnt at the stake. There will be a procession, with people carrying the ark of S.Fortunato across town… and plenty of fireworks (otherwise it wouldn’t be a Ligurian festival!).

As for the hike, I would pick the 2G trail from Recco to Rapallo. I read that they’re having free guided tours of Valle Christi: we could then end the hike in S.Maria del Campo, so as to visit the monastery ruins. As for the start of the hike, let’s meet at 11am at Recco train station: from Recco we’ll hike up to the Caravaggio ridge, where the 2G trail awaits us. The trail owes its name to the 2 gulfs, that can be seen while walking from the Caravaggio ridge down to Ruta. The path is quite panoramic, with the Paradise Gulf on the right, the Tigullio Gulf on the left and the Portofino Park in between. Just before reaching Ruta, there should be a trail leading to San Martino di Noceto and then on to Santa Maria del Campo: there’s not much info about that path, but somehow I’m optimistic that it will be in decent conditions (if not, there’s a backup trail from Ruta).

Hike is rated as T/E, with 500 metres of vertical gain. Hiking time should be 3 hours.

We’ll probably arrive at Santa Maria del Campo around 4:00pm. From there, we can either go to San Michele di Pagana for a swim or head to Camogli by bus, for the evening festival.

You may read more about the hike on:
http://www.agenziadisviluppogalgenovese.com/news/359/file/GP_descrizione_sentieri_confoto.pdf (trails 12+18)

and about the festival on:
http://www.camogliedintorni.it/Falò.html

Return will be from Rapallo, if you skip the festival, or from Camogli.
Needless to say, if you plan to watch the fireworks and the burning of the statues, you might want to stay until 11pm or midnight.

If you choose to stay overnight, take into account that there’s the “buy 1 and get 1 free” train offer also on Sunday (courtesy of Trenitalia and Mother’s Day)

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

On Saturday, May 12th, let’s meet at 11:07 am at the entrance of Recco railway station

Suggested trains are:

– if you’re travelling eastwards

REG 24529: 10:10 Genova Piazza Principe (10:20 Brignole) 10:55 Recco

or

REG 11367: 10:45 Genova Piazza Principe – 11:07 Recco

– if you’re travelling westwards

REG 11368 09:50 La Spezia Centrale – 10:52 Recco

– if you’re travelling southwards

REG 2175 + 2507 + 11367 Milano Centrale 8:30 (8:37 Lambrate 8:44 Rogoredo) 11:07 Recco (yes, it’s 3 trains, since they make you change twice at the two stations of Genova! )

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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)