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Sunday, 1st July 2018

Chiavari

The weather forecast looks quite favourable for hiking this weekend, which is good since we will otherwise have to wait 4(!) years, before a Montallegro festival falls again on a weekend. This year the anniversary celebrations of the apparition of the Virgin Mary on the Rapallo mountains take place on Sunday+Monday+Tuesday, so let’s have a hike on the first of the Montallegro days.

The idea is to walk on the classical Chiavari-Montallegro trail. We haven’t walked along the first half of trail for quite some time now, so it might be the right time to try it again. As usual, there will be the dilemma whether to take the direct route (via the churches of Sampierdicanne and Maxena) or the scenic route (via the churches of Madonna delle Grazie and either Madonnetta or Campodonico). Depending on the choice, hike may take 3 or 4 hours; it will mostly be under the woods, so no worries about the sun! Vertical gain is around 600 metres, difficulty is easy/medium (T/E).

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 Anchetta Pass lookout point, where we stopped countless times to have a picnic or even eat a proper meal; the church of Madonna delle Grazie (if we take the scenic route), that features another miraculous painting as well as some impressive frescoes.

You may read more about the hike on https://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/gb/from-rapallo/51-rapallo-montallegro-chiavari.html (in super-scary English)

By 4:00pm we’ll likely be at Montallegro, where we can choose whether to hear the vespers or take the cable car down and have a swim.

For those staying in the evening, the fireworks are scheduled at 10:30pm. Apparently, there’s also a concert at 9:30pm as well as candles in the sea.

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

On Sunday, 1st July, let’s meet at Chiavari train station at 11:36 am.

Recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards

Reg 24745 – 10:39 Genova Brignole – Chiavari 11:26

or

REG 24747 (treno del mare, watch out as it might be packed!) 10:24 Genova Piazza Principe – 11:36 Chiavari

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* if you travel westwards

REG 11368: La Spezia Centrale 9:50 Chiavari 10:33
or
IC 666 – 10:35 La Spezia Centrale – Chiavari 11:30

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* if you travel southwards:

REG 24747 – 08:26 Milano Lambrate (08:44 Milano Rogoredo) 11:36 Chiavari

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Return will be from Rapallo station.

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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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Saturday, 16th June 2018

Framura

While waiting for the Montallegro festival (2 weeks from now), the weather forecast predicts for the upcoming weekend plenty of sunshine and the first heat waves: shall we have a hike&swim in the snorkeling paradise of Framura?

The idea is to hike along a loop, from Framura to Montaretto and back. Meeting point will be at 11am, at the train station of Framura: from there we’ll do some beach hopping, walking along the beaches of Torsei and Arena (via the seafront promenade) before crossing the atmospheric hamlet of Anzo. This will allow us to visit one of 5 hamlets that made Framura one of the most beautiful villages in Italy (see http://borghipiubelliditalia.it/project/framura/ and https://www.buzzfeed.com/marietelling/49-italian-villages-that-should-be-on-your-bucket-list )

From the medieval genovese watchtower, the hike will begin, as we’ll follow the green-azure coastal trail until we reach the historical village of Montaretto. Incidentally, the gattafin festival is taking place this weekend. As usual, it’s a mystery whether we’ll actually be able to taste the gattafin (i.e the herb-filled fried ravioli, that can only be found in the Levanto region), since we’ll arrive before the party begins. Nevertheless, the place is always worth a stop… and maybe we can try to convince the organizers to make some for us!

The way back to Framura will be along trail 660. As we never tried it, it’s hard to anticipate anything except that it’s supposedly easy and leads straight to the Framura lava-stone beach of Porto Pidocchio.

Total hiking time is approx 3 hours, vertical gain is around 300 metres. You may read more about it on http://www.comune.bonassola.sp.it/c011005/zf/index.php/servizi-aggiuntivi/index/index/idtesto/34 (in Italian)
http://framura.eu/en/foot/ (in English)
http://www.sentierialevante.it/mobile/map2/descr.html?cod_sent=660&dpx=15 (trail 660)

By 3:30pm 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.

In case we fail to get gattafin in Montaretto, I believe there’s also the S.Erasmo festival in Santa Margherita Ligure (it was supposed to be last week, but I see now that it got postponed). Should we be hungry, we can stop there, on the way back home: I believe they’ll offer to everyone the so called fisherman biscuit (a sort of tasty bruschetta, with tomato and anchovy) at 6-7pm.

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

On Saturday, 16th June, let’s meet at Framura train station at 11:00 am.

Recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards

Reg 33875 + 24459: 09:22 Genova Piazza Principe (09:31 Genova Brignole) 11:00 Framura

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* if you travel westwards

REG 24452: La Spezia Centrale 10:15 Framura 10:53

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* if you travel southwards:

Reg 33875 + 24459: 07:25 Milano Centrale ( 07:32 Milano Lambrate 07:38 Milano Rogoredo) 11:00 Framura

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Return will be from Framura station, around 5-6pm.

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For those who are catching IC trains:
(***) there’s the Special 2×1 offer, provided you buy the ticket before 23:59 of Thursday

(**) If you’re younger than 30, 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 Thursday

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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)