Sunday, November 29th, 2015:
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)
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 *
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
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)
(**) 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)