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Saturday, 20th July 2019

La Spezia

August may be getting closer, but we can’t possibly go on holiday before having the most famous Ligurian hike&swim: taking place this Saturday is the “piscina naturale” event which, as every year at this time, is held 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 the Portovenere strait will be off limits for 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 and head to Fabiano Alto. From there, we’ll hike up to Campiglia, via Madonna dell’Olmo and the ruins of an ancient castle, and continue to Portovenere along 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 Fabiano to Campiglia should take 1,5 hours, while the trail to Portovenere requires 2 hours. Hike is rated as “E” (intermediate)

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

and about Piscina Naturale on:
https://www.gazzettadellaspezia.it/cronaca/item/37793-portovenere,-ecco-le-date-della-piscina-naturale

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

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

Suggested trains are:

» if you are travelling eastwards:

IC 505 – 08:51 Genova Piazza Principe (9:00 Genova Brignole) 10:09 La Spezia

» if you are travelling southwards:

REG 2179 Milano Lambrate 6:32 (Rogoredo 6:38) Genova P.Principe 8:21
+
IC 505 Genova P.Principe 8:51 – La Spezia 10:09 (*)

There’s plenty of trains back from La Spezia. However, if you’re not in a hurry, bear in mind that there’s the Sagra del Bagnun in Riva Trigoso at 8pm, with biscuits with tomato and anchovies for everyone. And that’s not all: at 9:30pm in Sestri Levante there will be even a classical music festival, with the Milano Philharmonic orchestra performing Beethoven and Ravel outdoors ( http://www.sestri-levante.net/event/concerto-la-fil-filarmonica-di-milano/ ). In the end, you may be able to kill 4 birds with one stone (hiking+swimming+food+concert), just by coming this Saturday!

(*) For IC trains on Saturday, don’t forget there’s the 2×1 ticket! 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 half price 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)

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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, 23rd June 2019

Rapallo

This year we’ll possibly miss the Montallegro firework festival (since the first 3 days of July fall on a Monday-Wednesday), but we can still keep up with the tradition of having a hike from Rapallo to the Montallegro shrine. For those who have never been to Montallegro, the neogothic church was built to honor the Virgin Mary, who allegedly appeared, on a hot day of July 500 years ago, in front of a shepherd on the Rapallo mountains and handed him a Byzantine portrait, that can be seen on the altar of the shrine.

Getting to Montallegro this year might be trickier than ever: the idea is to try a brand new trail, that was opened three years ago and follows the Tuia brook, while crossing several water mills. The trail is described as adventurous on https://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/it/da-rapallo/73-rapallo-montallegro-via-tuia.html

So far, the trail received positive feedback, from people who enjoyed the shade of the woods and the little lakes formed by the stream, as well as complaints, from people who got lost. If you feel you’re imbued with some Indiana Jones spirit, let’s try it: I’m fairly optimistic that the path should be in decent conditions, since the Montallegro celebrations are just around the corner; also, it appears as it has been marked ( we’ll have to follow 3 red dots, according to http://www.salitamontallegro.it/assets/pdf/CartaMontallegro_compressed.pdf ).

Hike is rated as E (medium), with 650 mt of elevation gain, and should take 3 hours; as usual, there will be the option of returning via cable car.

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

On Sunday, 23rd June, let’s meet at Rapallo train station at 10:50 am.

Recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards

Reg 24499 – 10:05 Genova Brignole – Rapallo 10:53
(the treni del mare might be super packed, so better avoid them)

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* if you travel westwards

REG 11368: La Spezia Centrale 9:50 Chiavari 10:41

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* if you travel southwards:

REG 2181: 07:32 Milano Lambrate – 10:09 Rapallo
( if you prefer taking the train arriving at Rapallo at 11:04 we should have no problem waiting for you, just let me know; there’s also the 8:10 IC train from Milano Centrale, but that will likely get sold out soon)

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Return will be from Rapallo station, probably around 5pm (or later, if you wish to have a swim after the hike).

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(*) For those who are catching IC trains:

If you have one or more travel buddies, you might be able to have 30% off through the “Insieme” offer (however, due to some bug on the Trenitalia website, the offer does not always appear: it’s better if you get it at a ticket machine)

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)

next hike

Saturday, 1st June 2019:

Bonassola

The weekend ahead will be very eventful, since there’s Republic Day. Levanto will host the “notte bianca” festival on Saturday, with all kinds of music (ranging from classical to jazz, country and rock) in the streets starting from 7pm, while Genova on Sunday will open museums and palaces that are normally closed to the public, as well as offer focaccia, wine and fireworks.

I would then suggest starting the weekend with a Saturday hike, from Bonassola to Levanto: shall we return to Mt Rossola?

Veterans of the group will have no hesitation in recognizing the mountain, because its silent and barren peak yields a spectacular 360 degree view over the riviera and the villages in the inland. And, if you were already part of the group 7 years ago, you’ll definitely remember this as the most terrific and terrifying hike up to date: in fact, a shower of lightning bolts coming from all directions surprised us, right when we reached the peak, and scared the bejesus out of us. This is also the hike that spawned a 5 minute movie: if you don’t mind having spoilers, you can still watch the video on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwRRAMnmxBs

On Saturday we won’t need to worry about the weather, as there should be plenty of sunshine. Hike is rated as E (medium, due to the steep ascent and the rocky terrain), has a vertical gain of 560 metres and takes around 4 hours.

By 5:30 pm we’ll likely be in Levanto. Don’t know if sea will be swimmable (is 18-19 degrees ok for you?), but we can definitely have a walk around town (to know more about the festival, see http://www.levantenews.it/index.php/2019/05/28/levanto-torna-la-notte-bianca/ ).

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

Let’s meet at the train station of Bonassola, at 11:06 am.

Recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards

Regionale Veloce 2181+Regionale 24459 (it will likely be the same train changing number at Sestri): 9:14 Genova P.Principe (9:23 Genova Brignole) 11:06 Bonassola

——–

* if you travel westwards

Regionale 24452: La Spezia Centrale 10:15 Bonassola 10:48

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* if you travel southwards:

Regionale Veloce 2181+Regionale 24459 (it will likely be the same train changing number at Sestri): 7:25 Milano Centrale (7:32 Milano Lambrate 7:38 Milano Rogoredo) 11:06 Bonassola

Return will be from Levanto, we’ll probably arrive around 5-6pm. If you come from afar (or even from Genova and you opt for an IC train for going back), remember that you can benefit from the 2×1/Cartafreccia Senior/Cartafreccia Young offers (*) for going back

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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 23:59 of Thursday. It’s a buy 1 and get 1 free offer, so you’ll basically pay half price.

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 Thursday).

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More about Mt Rossola:

https://montiliguri.weebly.com/monte-rossola.html
https://minosmountain.wordpress.com/monte-rossola-da-levanto-a-bonassola/

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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, 25th May 2019:

Sestri Levante

It appeared like yet another cold and rainy weekend was in store for us, but today’s abrupt change in the weather forecast calls for a hike! Apparently, it will be a sunny Saturday over Liguria, so shall we have a short hike? If you’re voting for the European elections on Sunday, you may even benefit from train tickets with a 70% discount.

Since we haven’t hiked for a while, the idea is to start with an easy yet panoramic hike: the trail from Sestri Levante to Punta Manara is a Ligurian classic that usually pleases everyone. It’s also the hike that started it all, 9 years ago, when this group was founded. It’s short and relaxing, yet it can be turned into a longer path by adding a detour to Monte Castello (the highest point on the Manara headland) and a detour to Ciappa del Lupo (the stone of the wolf, i.e. a flat cliff barely above sea level).

Hike is rated as “T” (easy) and should take 2 hours, with an elevation gain of only 200 metres (and yet, the height gain should be enough to have outstanding views over the Ligurian coast). The detour to Monte Castello is T/E (easy/medium) and will add an extra half hour, while the optional detour to Ciappa del Lupo is considered E/EE (medium/hard, but I’ve never done it) and would require an extra hour.

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

Let’s meet at Sestri Levante at 11:30 am. Recommended trains are:

Sa, 25.05.2019

— if you travel eastwards
Reg 32529
10:11 Genova Piazza Principe
(10:20 Genova Brignole)
11:28 Sestri Levante

— if you travel westwards
Reg 24452
10:15 La Spezia Centrale
11:19 Sestri Levante

— if you travel southwards
Milano Lambrate 8:37
(Milano Rogoredo 8:44)
(3 trains!)
Sestri Levante 11:34

Return may be around 5pm.

If you’re voting on Sunday, remember to bring your election card: you can get 60%/70% off your train ticket back to your hometown ( https://www.trenitalia.com/it/informazioni/elettori.html ). You’ll actually need to buy a roundtrip ticket, which means that you’ll either waste the second ticket or you’ll come back to Liguria next week (actually, not a bad option: we might be having our first hike&swim!).

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You may read more about the hike:
http://escursionialevante.blogspot.com/2009/02/il-piccolo-anello-di-punta-manara.html (in italiano)
http://www.natura2000liguria.it/sic73/itinerario1.htm (in italiano)
http://cralgalliera.altervista.org/SestriLevPuntaManaraCiappaLupo017.pdf

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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, December 15th 2018:

Riomaggiore

After last year’s break, for visiting the Presepe del Bronzin, shall we return to Cinque Terre, for the end-of-year hike? Needless to say, the idea is to walk to the lit Xmas crib in Manarola.

Once again, it has to be a Saturday hike, as the weather forecast is considerably better. Finding a trail that we have not done yet becomes harder every year, since we pretty much tried all coastal trails between Monterosso and Riomaggiore (except for Corniglia-Manarola, which I’ve never seen open in over 10 years), as well as most of the red trail, that runs along the ridge between sea and inland. However, there’s still one segment we’re missing, and it might be worth exploring: the red trail between Forte Bramapane and Sella La Croce. The path initially features a bunch of stairs (that go by the name of holy stairs, as they were part of a pilgrimage trail), but, after some huffing and puffing, it should also offer plenty of views from its lookout points of Forte Bramapane (the ruins of a XIX century fort), the abandoned Schiappacasse cave and the Madonna di Montenero shrine.

Trail is rated as E (medium) and should take 3.5 hours, with 600 metres of elevation gain. As usual, the idea is to arrive to 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 54 years has been patiently laid on the hill of the Three Crosses, thanks to the outstanding efforts of now 90-year old Mario Andreoli.

You may read more about the trail on:
http://www.parks.it/parco.nazionale.cinque.terre/iti_dettaglio.php?id_iti=3583 (in Italian)
http://www.parks.it/parco.nazionale.cinque.terre/iti_dettaglio.php?id_iti=3518 (in Italian)
http://www.parks.it/parco.nazionale.cinque.terre/iti_dettaglio.php?id_iti=3580 (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/

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

Let’s meet at 11:34 at Riomaggiore railway station.

Recommended trains are:

» For those travelling eastwards:

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

or (but it’s considerably longer!)
REG 2181 + 24459 Genova Piazza Principe 9:11 – 11:34 Riomaggiore

» For those travelling westwards:

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

» For those travelling southwards:

IC 1533 (*)
08:10 Milano Centrale – 10:58 Levanto
+
REG 24459 11:15 Levanto – 11:34 Riomaggiore

Return from Manarola will be around 5:30 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 Thursday. It’s a buy 1 and get 1 free offer, so you’ll basically pay half price. On Friday, you may still get the “Insieme” fare (which is more or less a 3×2)

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).

********************************
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, 1st December 2018

Rapallo

Since the Manarola Xmas crib is not ready yet, let’s have a hike in the middle of the Levante coast, before moving to the Spezia province 2 weeks from now. For the penultimate hike of the year, I suggest doing the trail of the 2 Gulfs from Ruta to Passo Serra (with Manico del Lume acting as possible bonus hike): it should suit both those who enjoy a relaxing hike and those who seek adventure.

We know the first part quite well: from the Millennium Church of Ruta to Passo del Gallo the trail is easy/medium, features 250 metres of elevation gain and offers inviting green meadows and memorable views over both the Paradise Gulf and the Tigullio Gulf.
From Passo del Gallo to Passo Serra, it’s mystery: from what I read, the trail is narrow but not tough (medium difficulty), with views over the sea between Portofino and Punta Manara.. and possibly some goats. From Passo Serra, we’ll head down to Rapallo, via Chignero and Sant’Andrea di Foggia.

And that’s for the basic hike. Needless to say, it would be a crime not to at least consider reaching Manico del Lume, from Passo Serra. Some of you might remember it from last year (or 4 years ago), as getting there meant facing a fun, albeit challenging, narrow trail secured with chains, followed by the satisfaction of conquering an extraordinary lookout point. Few Ligurian mountains do get as panoramic as the 800mt “Candle Handle”.

Overall, hike is rated as E (medium), with 400 metres elevation gain, however it becomes EE (hard), with 200 extra metres of elevation gain, should we find the time and will to do the Manico del Lume bonus hike.

You may read more about the hike on:
http://web.infinito.it/utenti/s/sercas/cdl/mare/rapallo.htm (trail 505)
https://montiliguri.weebly.com/ruta-lume.html

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

On Saturday, December 1, let’s meet at 10:40 at the entrance of Rapallo train station. From there, we’ll take the 11:05 bus to Ruta (if something goes wrong with trains, there are also other buses to San Pietro di Novella, but I would prefer Ruta as it allows us to start from a height of 250 metres instead of just 50)

Suggested trains are:

* for those travelling from Genova *

Regionale 24529
Genova Piazza Principe 09:11 (Genova Brignole 9:20) Rapallo 10:06
or
IC 1533 (**)
Genova Principe 09:47 (Genova Brignole 9:56) Rapallo 10:19

* for those travelling westwards *

Regionale 11368
La Spezia 09:50 Rapallo 10:41

* for those travelling southwards *

IC 1533 (**)
Milano Centrale 08:10 Rapallo 10:19

We’ll then catch the 11:05 bus from Rapallo to Ruta:
https://www.atpesercizio.it/Orari201811271103/orari_TOC/pagina.38_fer_ar.pdf

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

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

If you have a travel buddy, you should buy the “2×1” ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Thursday.

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).

********************************
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, 17th November 2018

Sori

It seems like we have a sunny weekend ahead of us: is anyone up for a Saturday walk in the land that’s famous for its pesto, for the sunsets and for being the home town of Picasso’s family?

The plan is to head to Sori and do a loop hike across its many hamlets, all the way to the water mill of Fulle and back: the trail starts with the panoramic trail of the shrines, featuring the lookout points of S.Apollinare and S.Uberto (as well as the statue of Christ with a tilted cross); from S.Uberto, we’ll take the trails leading to the hamlets of S.Bartolomeo, the quaint town of Capreno and ultimately reaching the Fulle watermill, one of the oldest watermills that’s still working (see http://www.paesiabbandonati.it/2018/01/mulino-di-fulle-sori-ge.html )

Hike is labelled as T/E (easy/medium), is 8 km long and has a vertical gain of 500 metres. Overall, it should take us 3/4 hours to complete the loop.

You may read more about the hike on:
https://www.nakture.com/anello-recco-redentore/ (the first 2 churches)
http://www.agenziadisviluppogalgenovese.com/news/359/file/GP_descrizione_sentieri_confoto.pdf (a bit of trails 6-7-11)
and about the hamlets on:
http://www.prolocosori.it/index.php/le-frazioni

Return from Sori will be around 5pm.

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How to get to Sori, and how to come back alive:
Let’s meet at 11:32 at the entrance of Sori train station.

Suggested trains (*) are:

If you are travelling eastwards:

Reg 11239 – 10:40 Genova Piazza Principe (Genova Brignole 10:50) Sori 11:17

If you are travelling westwards:

REG 11368 + 11244 / 09:50 La Spezia Centrale – Sori 11:32

If you are travelling southwards:

REG 2175+11239 08:30 Milano Centrale (08:37 Lambrate 08:44 Rogoredo) Sori 11:17

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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.
Alternatively, there’s the Insieme fare, that’s bookable before 11:59pm of Friday

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(**) For those who happen to be over 60 or under 30:

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