Saturday, 20th July 2019
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:
and about Piscina Naturale on:
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.
As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to write me (at vidlothianATgmailDOTcom) or call me (at +39 329 7203364)