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Sunday, July 3rd 2016:

 
Rapallo

 

As usual, it’s that time of the year when Rapallo gets ready to celebrate the anniversary of the apparition of Mary (on the Montallegro hills) with a colorful array of fireworks, as well as with the burning of its castle. Shall we renew our tradition of hiking on a trail leading to the Montallegro shrine?

Since it shouldn’t be too hot and we haven’t treaded for 3 years on the “0” trail that connects Rapallo to Mt Pegge, I would go for this one: basically, the idea is to do the hike that’s described on http://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/it/da-rapallo/48-montallegro-crocetta-rapallo.html (only difference is that we would go the opposite way and would make a slight detour to Mt Pegge… which means that hike will take around 3,5 or 4 hours and is rated as “E”/medium: it’s not arduous at all, but has a whopping 770 metres of elevation gain)

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 chapel of the “Black Madonna” (which we failed to spot last time.. but should be hidden somewhere on the S.Agostino hills); the peak of Mt Pegge, which is possibly one of the most panoramic picnic spots that I’ve seen, since it features a welcoming meadow atop a mountain overlooking the Tigullio gulf.

Once we get to Montallegro, we can head down to Rapallo via cable car, so as to have more swimming time. We’ll probably get to Rapallo around 5:30pm.

You may read more about the festival on:

http://www.festediluglio.it/

This year we’re very lucky, as the festival (which is strictly held on July 1,2,3 since those are the days of the miracle) falls on Friday, Saturday, Sunday. If anyone happens to already be in the area on July 1st or July 2nd and wishes to meetup for watching the firework show, please let me know! Only thing, it’s possible that on July 2nd the fireworks won’t start on time, as they’ll want to wait for the Euro 2016 Italy vs Germany game to end, before setting up things (four years ago the situation was pretty much the same)

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

On Sunday, July 3rd, let’s meet at the entrance of Rapallo train station at 11:20. We’ll then walk to the opposite side of the station, since the trail starts from there.

Suggested trains are:

— if you travel eastwards
REG 1749 – 10:23 Genova Piazza Principe (10:31 Genova Brignole) 11:20 Rapallo (I know, it’s an ominous “treno del mare”, but apparently you’re allowed to take it… unlike three weeks ago)

— if you travel westwards
Reg 2296 – 09:50 La Spezia Centrale – 10:39 Rapallo

— if you travel southwards (*)
Reg 1731 – Milano Lambrate 08:26 (Milano Rogoredo 08:44) Rapallo 11:20

May I ask you to pack lunch? Since I read there will be maintenance work in Genova Nervi throughout the weekend, I suspect that there will be delays with the trains, in which case it might be better to start walking right away, instead of hunting for focaccia.

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

You might want to catch the IC train that leaves from Milano just before the regional one, as you’ll get half price throughout July and August (provided you book the ticket 2 days in advance). Remember that you need to have a Cartafreccia card in order to use this 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 🙂 )

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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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