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Saturday, 15th September 2018

La Spezia

The summer holidays and the Recco celebrations may be over, but a potentially interesting event is happening this weekend, as the far-east side of Liguria gets ready to celebrate San Venerio, patron of lighthouses. Venerio, a hermit who was born on the island of Palmaria some 1500 years ago and spent his last years on the island of Tino, lighting fires at night to provide sailors with a reference point, celebrates his name day on September 13th. Because of that, Tino (which normally is off-limits as it’s a military base) is open to the public on the weekend following September 13.

Shall we seize the chance and visit it? I doubt there will be much hiking to do: since it’s a really tiny island, I read that the whole loop takes… 40 minutes. On the other hand, with a (visitable) lighthouse on top and two lookout points with 360 degree views over the sea, there should be enough ingredients to make this trip rewarding.

You may read about Tino island on:

https://www.magpedia.com/it/tempo-libero/isola-del-tino-visitare-escursione/
http://www.verdeazzurroligure.com/index_htm_files/09l-Isole%20del%20golfo%20new.pdf
https://www.gazzettadellaspezia.it/cultura/item/89096-la-marina-militare-partecipa-alle-celebrazioni-in-onore-di-san-venerio

Will it be possible to swim? From the very few clues availables, it seems so!

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How to get to Tino island… and how to come back alive:

On Saturday, 15th September, the idea is to catch the 10:40 ferry from La Spezia to Tino island. Should that fail, there’s also one at 11:50. Should the situation be chaotic (i.e. if there are legendary queues, because the whole city of La Spezia wishes to go to Tino island) we might consider catching a ferry to Palmaria Island and having a hike on Palmaria instead (in which case, the hike will be much more demanding… although still fairly easy and definitely fulfilling)

*** getting to La Spezia ***

Suggested trains are:

IC 35505: Genova Piazza Principe 08:51 (Genova Brignole 09:00) La Spezia Centrale 10:04 (*)(**)

From Pisa and Parma there should be one connection at least, from Milano you’ll need to hop aboard the 6:30 regional train (the Thello train is a bit risky) in order to catch the connecting train at Genova Principe.

There’s plenty of trains back from La Spezia. If you come from afar, don’t forget there’s the 2×1 ticket! (if you plan on swimming or sightseeing in Portovenere, you should book a train after 6pm)

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(*) For those who are catching IC or Freccia trains:

If you have a travel buddy, you should buy the “2×1” special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Thursday. It’s a buy 1 and get 1 free offer, so you’ll basically pay half price.

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(**) For those who happen to be over 60 or under 30:

You can have half price even without a travel buddy. Remember that you need to have a Cartafreccia card in order to use the junior/senior 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:-) ). Also, ticket should be booked before 11:59 of Friday.
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As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to text/call me at +39 329 7203364

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