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Sunday, 12th January 2020

Chiavari

Happy new year! Given the unusually warm and sunny weather, shall we salute the new year with a walk in the Chiavari/Lavagna inland? This easy hike features one of the major churches in Liguria, a panoramic church (located on the highest point of the trail) and the famous Christmas crib of Lavagna (Presepe del Brunzin), awaiting us at the end.

Starting point of the hike is the church of San Salvatore dei Fieschi. Be it because of the marble&slate decorated facade, or because it was a symbol of the power of the pope, the church has been for 800 years one of the most important monuments in Liguria. Nowadays it’s also well renowned for a medieval festival that takes place in mid August and ends with the “Torta dei Fieschi” bridal cake, that gets cut in Lavagna and offered to anyone who solves its riddle.

The plan is to reach the basilica either by bus or on foot, starting from Chiavari station. As long as the trains are on time, the bus should be quite feasible. If the plan fails, then it takes about 1 hr on foot: not such a drama, considering that the path follows a pedestrian/bike-only route across the Entella park.

Once we’re at Basilica dei Fieschi, we’ll follow the slate trail that women in old times used to tread, when carrying the slate from the caves down to Lavagna. The trail will take us across a few slate caves and eventually up to the panoramic chapel of S.Giacomo, before descending to Lavagna, via a chestnut grove.

Hike has a vertical gain of 550 metres, takes around 3 hours and is rated as T/E (easy/medium). It’s very well described on the always useful Sentieri d’Autore website ( https://sentieridautore.it/2019/01/09/il-sentiero-dellardesia/ ). For returning to Lavagna, we’ll follow trail 2 on http://www.comune.lavagna.ge.it/sites/default/files/159-cartina_web.pdf

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

On Sunday, let’s meet at 10:30 at the entrance of Chiavari train station. The bus to S.Salvatore leaves at 10:50.

Recommended trains are

– if you’re travelling eastwards:

REG 2181 – Genova Piazza Principe 09:11 (Genova Brignole 09:20) Chiavari 10:15
or
IC 1533(*) – Genova Piazza Principe 09:47 (Genova Brignole 09:56) Chiavari 10:28

– if you’re travelling westwards:

REG 24502 – La Spezia Centrale 08:19 Sestri Levante 09:25
+
BUS 98 to Lavagna Ospedale (and BUS 3 to S.Salvatore)

– if you’re travelling southwards:

IC 1533(*) – Milano Centrale 08:10 – Chiavari 10:28
or
REG 2181: Milano Centrale 07:25 – Chiavari 10:15

Return will be from Lavagna, around 17:30.

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(*) For those who are catching IC trains:

If you have one or two travel buddies, you should buy the “Insieme” special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Friday. You’ll get 30% off.

If you’re younger than 30 or older than 60, you can have 30% off, provided you 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 Friday).

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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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