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Sunday, 2nd July 2017:

Rapallo

*** update ***

The firework show has been postponed ( http://www.festediluglio.it/2017/06/30/rinvio-spettacoli-pirotecnici/ ) due to the rough sea, sad but true! This means that our Sunday hike will be accompanied only by firecrackers, but none of those wonderful fireworks for which the Montallegro festival is famous. For those living in Liguria, you can catch the fireworks on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night.

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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 paintings on the ground and a colorful array of fireworks in the sky, both at day and at night. 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 it for 6 years, I suggest hiking along a loop from Rapallo to Montallegro and back, following the pilgrim path on the way up and the diamond trail on the way down. This will allow us to see the midday fireworks while we’re going up and have our (more or less) secluded beach at the end of the hike (Pozzetto, on the borders between Rapallo and Zoagli).

Veterans of this group might remember this as one of five deadliest hikes in our history: the diamond-marked trail was in such bad conditions 6 years ago, that we had to fight our way through the brambles. Nowadays, I believe the path can be walked safely, since a few websites report it as being clean and even suitable for children of 7 years.

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 S.Ambrogio shrine, which offers an impressive lookout point as well as fountain.

You may read more about the festival on:

http://www.festediluglio.it/
or
http://www.levantenews.it/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/LUGLIO-2.jpg

As for the hike, it has 650 metres of elevation gain, it should take 3,5 hours and I would say it has E (medium) difficulty (given the trouble we had 6 years ago). For more info, you can refer to:
http://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/it/da-rapallo/46-rapallo-sant-ambrogio-montallegro-rapallo.html
or
http://www.xinformare.org/xinformare_percorsi/schede.php?name=rap_ambrogio_mont

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

On Sunday, July 2nd, let’s meet at the main entrance of Rapallo train station at 11:05. 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 24499 – 10:05 Genova Brignole – 10:53 Rapallo

(or the treno del mare from Milano)

— if you travel westwards

REG 11368 – 09:50 La Spezia Centrale – 10:41 Rapallo

— if you travel southwards (*)(**)
IC 1533 – 08:10 Milano Centrale – 10:19 Rapallo
or
REG 1731 (treno mare) – 8:26 Milano Lambrate – 11:04 Rapallo

Return will be from Rapallo, feel free to choose any train from 6pm to midnight: if you wish to stay for the firework show, it’s at 11pm

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(*) If you catch the IC train, there’s the Special 3×2 offer, provided you buy the ticket before 23:59 of Friday

(**) 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 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 Saturday.

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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)

next hike

Sunday, 18th June 2017:

Levanto

As the Montallegro festival (2 weeks from now) makes it impossible to alternate hiking weekends, let’s have a second consecutive hike&swim, and take a break next week. Besides, the summer heat calls for some more swimming! and, when swimming is the goal, is there any better place than Framura?

The idea is to meetup, shortly after 11am, at the train station of Levanto: from there we’ll either take the pedestrian tunnel or the panoramic path that crosses the Francesca resort (if the resort doesn’t complain) and leads to Bonassola.

Once we’re in Bonassola, we can check out what they are doing (according to their website, special celebrations will be held for the Corpus Domini) before moving on to the village of Montaretto (where supposedly the gattafin festival takes place this weekend. For those who didn’t know it yet, the gattafin are herb-filled fried ravioli, that can only be found in the Levanto region: since we’ll arrive before the party begins, will we succeed in convincing them to make some gattafin for us? ).

After Montaretto we’ll reconnect to trail #1 and walk on until Framura. Trail is rated as T/E (easy/medium) and should feature enough water taps to quench everyone’s thirst; it is well described on http://www.comune.bonassola.sp.it/c011005/zf/index.php/servizi-aggiuntivi/index/index/idtesto/34

Total hiking time is approx 3,5 hours, vertical gain is around 300 metres.

By 4pm 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..

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

On Sunday, 18th June, 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 10:28
+
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 24452: La Spezia Centrale 10:15 Levanto 10:44

——–

* if you travel southwards:

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

———-

Return will be from Framura station, around 6pm.

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For those who are catching IC trains:
(***) just this Sunday, there will be the Special 2×1 offer, provided you buy the ticket before 23:59 of Friday

(**) 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 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 Saturday.

********************************
As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to text me! (for example, at +39 329 7203364)

next hike

Sunday, 11th June 2017:

Moneglia

Now that both the weather and the sea are pleasantly warm, who’s up for returning to the emerald waters of the secluded craggy coast of Valletta (Moneglia)?

Reaching Valletta is not straightforward, as it involves a T/E (easy/medium) hike, with 350 metres of elevation gain. It takes around 2,5 hours for the complete loop from the town of Moneglia and back. Plus one hour of bonus hike, should we want to reach the cross and votive stone of Mt Comunaglia (and we should, since we never made it up there, and they barely require a bonus hike with 50 metres of vertical gain)

You may read more about the hike on:
http://www.vannacalzature.it/Itinerari_paesaggistici/Valletta_terra.htm
http://www.vannacalzature.it/Itinerari_paesaggistici/Cresta_Comunaglia-Monte_Comunaglia.htm

While the trail is relatively easy, getting to swim is trickier, as it involves either performing a dive from a certain height or doing some climbing (nothing arduous, you just need to be a bit careful on the rocks)

As for the way back to Moneglia, since we should have plenty of time I suggest taking the safer path under the shade of the woods, rather than outrunning the cars(!) like last time.
It should be feasible to catch any train from Moneglia, starting from the 5:30pm Treno del Mare.

Since one of issues we’ve had with this hike in the past is thirst, please remember to bring enough water with you! Also, goggles or a snorkeling mask might come in handy, as we noticed that not just the humans, but also jellyfish and urchins love Valletta.

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

Let’s meet at 11:50 on Sunday, at the entrance of Moneglia train station.

If you travel eastwards, we recommend:

REG1731* (treno del mare): Genova Piazza Principe 10:24 (Genova Brignole 10:32) Sestri Levante 11:28
+
REG24461: Sestri Levante 11:41 – Moneglia 11:50

* if the train is too crowded and you’re leaving from Genova Brignole, you may also take train 11367, which departs from Brignole at 10:45 and arrives at Sestri Levante just before the next train to Moneglia

If you travel westwards:

Regionale 24490

REG24452: 10:15 La Spezia Centrale – 11:05 Moneglia

If you travel southwards:

REG1731: Milano Lambrate 8:26 – Sestri Levante 11:28
+
REG24461: Sestri Levante 11:41 – Moneglia 11:50

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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)