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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.

**********

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

**************************

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.

********************************
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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