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Saturday, 3rd August 2019

Camogli

There’s more than just the Stella Maris this weekend: rumours have it that the Santa fried fish festival will take place this Saturday, courtesy of the fishermen guild of S.Erasmo. Can we possibly say no to a nice dish of fish?

Of course we can’t! The idea then is to get there, walking from Camogli to S.Margherita Ligure across Portofino Park. We’ll first follow the coast, so as to swim in one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in Liguria: Punta Chiappa. Following the swim and lunch break, we’ll hike up to Batterie and up to Guardia, then we’ll tread the scenic trail leading to Buca dei Corvi and Pietre Strette, before heading down to Santa Margherita via Busseto, in time for the fish festival.

First part of hike is rated as T/E (easy/medium), takes around 1 hour and has 250 metres of elevation gain. Second part is E (medium) and requires slightly less than 3 hours. We’ll likely reach S.Margherita around 5:30pm, in time for the fish festival (which starts at 6pm).

You may read more about the trails on:
http://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/gb/trail-map/2-san-rocco-punta-chiappa.html (first part, in scary English)
http://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/gb/from-santa-margherita-ligure/66-santa-margherita-ligure-camogli.html (second part, again in scary English)

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

On Saturday 3rd, let’s meet at 10:00am, at the entrance of Camogli train station. More precisely, we could meet under the “Madonna with Child” relief that’s on the wall opposite the train station entrance.

Recommended trains are:

»» if you are travelling eastwards and don’t want to be packed like sardines:

Reg 11229 – 08:35 Genova Piazza Principe ( 08:48 Genova Brignole ) 09:32 Camogli-S. Fruttuoso

[if you wish to take the risk of becoming a sardine]:

REG 2181 – 09:14 Genova Piazza Principe ( 09:23 Genova Brignole ) 09:58 Camogli-S. Fruttuoso

»» if you are travelling westwards:

Reg 23718 – 9:24 Sestri Levante – 9:58 Camogli-S. Fruttuoso

»» if you are travelling southwards:

REG 2181
Milano Centrale 07:25
Camogli-S. Fruttuoso 09:58

Return will be from S.Margherita Ligure (for those coming from Milano, the 19:46(*) train is a good option).

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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.

If you’re missing a travel buddy, you can still get 30% off with your Cartafreccia card, courtesy of the Cartafreccia Estate offer valid throughout August (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:-) ). Again, remember to book the ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Thursday

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As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to write me (at vidlothianATgmailDOTcom) or call me (at +39 329 7203364)

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Saturday, 20th July 2019

La Spezia

August may be getting closer, but we can’t possibly go on holiday before having the most famous Ligurian hike&swim: taking place this Saturday is the “piscina naturale” event which, as every year at this time, is held in Portovenere. The idea, of course, is to follow a path leading to the Infinite trail, then head down to Portovenere and swim to Palmaria island.

For the uninitiated: this Saturday the Portovenere strait will be off limits for boats. From 3pm until evening, boats won’t be allowed to cross it, thus making it feasible to swim from Portovenere to Palmaria. The plan then is to swim to the island… and probably back to Portovenere (unless you find a cunning and waterproof way to carry your belongings with you). So that you know, the distance between Portovenere and Palmaria is around 200/250 metres.

As for the hiking part: let’s meet at La Spezia around 10:20am and head to Fabiano Alto. From there, we’ll hike up to Campiglia, via Madonna dell’Olmo and the ruins of an ancient castle, and continue to Portovenere along the so called “infinite trail”, so as to finish the hike in Portovenere. The “infinite” trail probably owes its name to the fact that the alignment of Mt Muzzerone, Portovenere and the islands of Palmaria and Tino make the trail appear much longer (almost infinite) than it actually is. In truth, the walk from Fabiano to Campiglia should take 1,5 hours, while the trail to Portovenere requires 2 hours. Hike is rated as “E” (intermediate)

You may read more about the Infinite trail on:
https://sentieridautore.it/2015/11/25/seguendo-minerva-a-portovenere/

and about Piscina Naturale on:
https://www.gazzettadellaspezia.it/cronaca/item/37793-portovenere,-ecco-le-date-della-piscina-naturale

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How to get to La Spezia… and how to come back alive:

On Saturday, July 20th, let’s meet at 10:10am outside La Spezia Centrale railway station, near the red human pyramid monument

Suggested trains are:

» if you are travelling eastwards:

IC 505 – 08:51 Genova Piazza Principe (9:00 Genova Brignole) 10:09 La Spezia

» if you are travelling southwards:

REG 2179 Milano Lambrate 6:32 (Rogoredo 6:38) Genova P.Principe 8:21
+
IC 505 Genova P.Principe 8:51 – La Spezia 10:09 (*)

There’s plenty of trains back from La Spezia. However, if you’re not in a hurry, bear in mind that there’s the Sagra del Bagnun in Riva Trigoso at 8pm, with biscuits with tomato and anchovies for everyone. And that’s not all: at 9:30pm in Sestri Levante there will be even a classical music festival, with the Milano Philharmonic orchestra performing Beethoven and Ravel outdoors ( http://www.sestri-levante.net/event/concerto-la-fil-filarmonica-di-milano/ ). In the end, you may be able to kill 4 birds with one stone (hiking+swimming+food+concert), just by coming this Saturday!

(*) For IC trains on Saturday, don’t forget there’s the 2×1 ticket! 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. You can have half price even without a travel buddy, if you’re younger than 30 or older than 60. 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 23:59 of Thursday.

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As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to write me (at vidlothianATgmailDOTcom) or call me (at +39 329 7203364)