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Saturday, 17th November 2018

Sori

It seems like we have a sunny weekend ahead of us: is anyone up for a Saturday walk in the land that’s famous for its pesto, for the sunsets and for being the home town of Picasso’s family?

The plan is to head to Sori and do a loop hike across its many hamlets, all the way to the water mill of Fulle and back: the trail starts with the panoramic trail of the shrines, featuring the lookout points of S.Apollinare and S.Uberto (as well as the statue of Christ with a tilted cross); from S.Uberto, we’ll take the trails leading to the hamlets of S.Bartolomeo, the quaint town of Capreno and ultimately reaching the Fulle watermill, one of the oldest watermills that’s still working (see http://www.paesiabbandonati.it/2018/01/mulino-di-fulle-sori-ge.html )

Hike is labelled as T/E (easy/medium), is 8 km long and has a vertical gain of 500 metres. Overall, it should take us 3/4 hours to complete the loop.

You may read more about the hike on:
https://www.nakture.com/anello-recco-redentore/ (the first 2 churches)
http://www.agenziadisviluppogalgenovese.com/news/359/file/GP_descrizione_sentieri_confoto.pdf (a bit of trails 6-7-11)
and about the hamlets on:
http://www.prolocosori.it/index.php/le-frazioni

Return from Sori will be around 5pm.

*******************************
How to get to Sori, and how to come back alive:
Let’s meet at 11:32 at the entrance of Sori train station.

Suggested trains (*) are:

If you are travelling eastwards:

Reg 11239 – 10:40 Genova Piazza Principe (Genova Brignole 10:50) Sori 11:17

If you are travelling westwards:

REG 11368 + 11244 / 09:50 La Spezia Centrale – Sori 11:32

If you are travelling southwards:

REG 2175+11239 08:30 Milano Centrale (08:37 Lambrate 08:44 Rogoredo) Sori 11:17

********************************

(*) 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.
Alternatively, there’s the Insieme fare, that’s bookable before 11:59pm of Friday

*********************************
(**) 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.

********************************
As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to text/call me at +39 329 7203364

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Saturday, 6th October 2018

Moneglia

To hike or not to hike? This weekend we have a rather tricky hamlet-like question, as it’s not certain yet what the weather will be like. According to the latest forecast (by 3bmeteo, ilmeteo, meteoam,meteoliguria and meteocentrale), the weather should range from cloudy with some drizzle to cloudy with sun spells. Not too hideous! So I would gamble in favour of hiking, moreover as on Saturday the last of big yearly festivals takes
place in Bonassola: for those who never witnessed it, the Madonna del Rosario festival ( http://www.infobonassola.com/ ) is a visual treat, since it involves candles on the sea and a firework show, and usually is not so crowded, so it should be possible to comfortably watch it from the beach.

The idea for the hike is to walk from Moneglia to Deiva Marina, since we haven’t been there for ages.

We’ll follow the classic blue trail, that’s also described on: https://www.girovagandoconstefania.it/2018/01/trekking-sul-sentiero-moneglia-deiva-marina-framura.html

but, since we like to discover new things, we’ll add a variant that
we never tried. We can choose between two possible bonus hikes:
– the trail of the cork trees (+30 minutes, see http://www.natura2000liguria.it/sic80/itinerario5.htm )
– the trail to the ancient town of Mezzema, that existed since Charlemagne and has a rich history with some fun facts
(+90 minutes, see last link on https://www.prolocodeivamarina.it/trekking-deiva-marina/ and
http://www.ilsecoloxix.it/p/la_spezia/2011/07/27/AOdcjho-pasionaria_zittite_indagata.shtml)

Total hiking time is approx 2,5 hours + bonus hike time , vertical gain
is around 400 metres, trail is rated as T/E (easy/medium)

By 4 or 5pm we’ll likely be in Deiva Marina, where we could possibly have a swim before getting back home or heading on to Bonassola for the evening festival ( http://www.infobonassola.com and
http://www.mentelocale.it/la-spezia/eventi/57908-festa-della-madonna-del-rosario-di-bonassola.htm )

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** How to get to Moneglia, and how to come back alive: **

On Saturday, 6th October, let’s meet at 11:05 at the entrance of
Moneglia railway station. Before hiking, we might also be able to visit the Villafranca castle, as it’s near the beginning of the trail and appears to be open to the public ( http://www.culturainliguria.it/cultura/it/Temi/Luoghivisita/architetture.do;jsessionid=9C51760553F4EAC2055B0586DE41FA19.node3?contentId=27458&localita=2122&area=210 )

Suggested trains are:

If you are travelling eastwards:

REG 2181 09:11 Genova Piazza Principe (09:20 Genova Brignole) 10:28 Sestri Levante
+
REG 24459 10:41 Sestri Levante – Moneglia 10:50

If you are travelling westwards:

REG 24452 – 10:15 La Spezia 11:05 Moneglia

If you are travelling southwards:

REG 2181 07:25 Milano Centrale (07:32 Lambrate 07:38 Rogoredo) 10:28
Sestri Levante
+
REG 24459 10:41 Sestri Levante – Moneglia 10:50

Or you can catch the 8:10 IC train from Milano Centrale to Sestri
Levante, with a 2×1 ticket (*)

********************************

(*) 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.

*********************************
(**) 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.

********************************
As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel
free to text/call me at +39 329 7203364

next hike

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)

********************************

(*) 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.

*********************************
(**) 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.
********************************
As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to text/call me at +39 329 7203364

next hike (2/2)

Sunday, 5th August 2018

Camogli

Wrapping up season #8 of the Ligurian hikes is the Stella Maris, the event that sees countless candles being placed on the sea, as a token of gratitude to the Star of the Sea, i.e. the Madonna that protects fishermen when they sail out of Camogli.
Since most of the festival takes place in the evening, I suggest meeting in the afternoon, at 3pm at Camogli station. From there, we’ll take the classic loop that leads to Punta Chiappa and the altar of the Stella Maris.
Hike takes around 2,5 hours (1,5 hours for going, 1 for coming back), it’s T/E (easy-medium) for going and T (easy) for coming back and is well described on:
https://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/it/da-camogli-o-san-rocco/22-camogli-san-rocco-punta-chiappa.html (the way back; for going, we’ll walk via Guardia, as it’s visually more rewarding)

You may read more about the festival on:
http://expatinitaly.com/stella-maris-in-camogli/

Unlike Saturday, you won’t need to bring much water, as there’s plenty of water taps along the way.
———————————-

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

On Sunday, 5th August, let’s meet at 15:00 opposite the entrance of Camogli railway station (under the relief of the Madonna with Child)

Suggested trains are:

If you are travelling eastwards:

either
REG 25731 14:10 Genova Piazza Principe
(14:19 Genova Brignole)
14:56 Camogli-S. Fruttuoso

If you are travelling westwards:

Reg 25714 + Reg 25716 La Spezia 13:38 – Camogli-S. Fruttuoso 14:59

********************************

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

If you have a travel buddy, you can have 30% off by buying the “Insieme” special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Friday.

*********************************
(*) 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, please use AMICO110423712 as referral code when signing up… and we’ll both get a 10 euro coupon:-) ). Also, ticket should be booked before 11:59 of Saturday.

*********************************
As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to text me! (+39 329 7203364)

next hike (Saturday)

Saturday, 4th August 2018

Moneglia

With the secret fried fish festival on Saturday and the Stella Maris on Sunday, we might throw in two hikes over the weekend, so as to end season #8 of the Ligurian hikes in a sizzling way. Since the sun will be high and the temperature quite warm, I would stick to hikes that are short yet fulfilling: who’s up for returning to the emerald waters of the secluded craggy coast of Valletta (Moneglia)?

Reaching the emerald waters of Valletta is not straightforward, as it involves a T/E (easy/medium) hike, with 300 metres of elevation gain, followed by an ending trail, that could possibly be E/EE (medium/hard), since you need a slight amount of climbing to get into the water. It takes around 2,5 hours for the complete loop from the town of Moneglia and back.

Should the temperature be unpleasantly high, we can take an easier 2 hour loop (via La Secca beach), that’s more in the shade.

You may read more about the trail on:
http://luoghidasogno.altervista.org/Mare/Liguria/RivieraLevante/Moneglia/PuntaMoneglia.htm
http://www.costadeonde.com/sentieri/ (trail #4)

Please remember to bring plenty of water, as there are no fountain taps!
You can expect to be back in Moneglia around 3pm. This means there will be plenty of time for icecream, beer or a second swim in the shallow waters of Moneglia beach,

As for the secret fried fish festival, assuming it’s taking place (it’s so secret that they usually publish it one day before!), it will start at 7pm in Santa Margherita Ligure. If it’s confirmed, those who travel back to Genova or Milano might well consider stopping there to grab a dish of fried fish, before catching the train back home.

———————————-

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

On Saturday, 4th August, let’s meet at 11:05 at the entrance of Moneglia railway station

Suggested trains are:

If you are travelling eastwards:

either
REG 25697 09:22 Genova Piazza Principe (09:30 Genova Brignole) 10:36 Sestri Levante (could be crowded)
OR
REG 24733 08:56 Genova Brignole – 10:18 Sestri Levante (should be empty)
+
REG 24737 10:46 Sestri Levante – Moneglia 10:56

If you are travelling westwards:

REG 24452 – 10:15 La Spezia 11:05 Moneglia

If you are travelling southwards:

REG 25697 07:20 Milano Centrale (07:27 Lambrate 07:33 Rogoredo) 10:36 Sestri Levante
+
REG 24737 10:46 Sestri Levante – Moneglia 10:56

********************************

(*) 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.

*********************************
(*) 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, please use AMICO110423712 as referral code when signig up… and we’ll both get a 10 euro coupon:-) ). Also, ticket should be booked before 11:59 of Friday.

*****************************************

As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to text me! (for example, at +39 329 7203364)

next hike

Saturday, 21st July 2018

La Spezia

August may be getting closer, but we can’t possibly go on holiday before having two more hikes, one for swimming and one for the fish: kicking off this Saturday is the “piscina naturale” event which, as every year at this time, takes place 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’s big event consists in the closing of the Portovenere strait to the 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 (I know, it’s early, but evil Trenitalia announced a strike, that starts at 9pm on Saturday and ends at 9pm on Sunday, so we shouldn’t take too much risk!) and head to Acquasanta (by bus). From there, we’ll hike up to Campiglia and continue to Portovenere along one of the most wonderful Ligurian paths, 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 Acquasanta to Campiglia should take 1,5 hours, while the trail to Portovenere requires 2 hours. Should we have some extra time, we might possibly have a short detour to the lookout point called “Salto della suocera”, i.e. jump of the mother in law(!), which is a cliff falling in a sheer drop into the Ligurian Sea (think of a Ligurian version of Norway’s Pulpit Rock)

First part of the hike is rated “T/E” (easy), while second part is “E” (medium).

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

and about Piscina Naturale on:
http://www.eventiportovenere.com/2017-2018/2018/piscina_naturale_luglio.html

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

On Saturday, July 21st, let’s meet at 10:20am outside La Spezia Centrale railway station, near the red human pyramid monument

Suggested trains are:

IC 35505: Genova Piazza Principe 08:53 (Genova Brignole 09:05) La Spezia Centrale 10:11 (*)

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)

********************************

(*) 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.

*********************************
(*) For those who happen to be over 60 or under 26:

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.

next hike

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

——–

* 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

——–

* if you travel southwards:

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

———-

Return will be from Rapallo station.

********************************
As usual, if you have doubts, questions, Hamlet-like dilemmas… feel free to text me! (for example, at +39 329 7203364)