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Saturday, 16th December 2017

Sestri Levante

Shall we keep up with the tradition of combining our pre-Xmas hike with a Xmas crib? Taking into account that there’s a train strike on Sunday and (it seems) they’re not ready yet with the Manarola lit nativity scene in the Cinque Terre, I would suggest paying a visit to the “Presepe do Bronzin”, that zaps the whole town of Lavagna into a Xmas crib.

The idea then is to meet this Saturday and walk from Sestri Levante to Lavagna: we’ll first follow the ancient Roman way and the footsteps of the unfortunate/fortunate medieval knight, that lost control of his horse while being spellbound by the landscape and fell into a cliff, only to be miraculously saved by a bush that stood in the way. As a token of gratitude, he had a chapel built for St Anna. Nowadays only ruins of the chapel remain, but we can still admire the landscape over the Gulf of Poets. We’ll then head up to the valley of watermills to Crocetta, before heading down to the lookout point of Santa Giulia, a natural balcony over the coast between Portofino and Sestri headlands. We’ll then follow the slate trail until Lavagna, where the Presepe do Bronzin awaits us.

Hike is rated as T/E (easy/medium) and should take around 3,5 hours, with 500 metres of elevation gain. It is well described on:
http://www.comune.lavagna.ge.it/sites/default/files/159-cartina_web.pdf

You may read more about the Lavagna Xmas crib on:
http://www.ilsecoloxix.it/p/eventi/2017/12/08/AScGWAZL-statuine_culturale_presepe.shtml

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How to get to Sestri Levante, and how to come back alive:

Let’s meet at the entrance of Sestri Levante station at 11:30 am. Please bring food with you, as the path starts from the opposite side of the town.

Recommended trains are:

— if you travel eastwards
REG 24529 10:10 Genova Principe (10:20 Genova Brignole) 11:28 Sestri Levante

— if you travel westwards
Regionale 24452 – 10:15 La Spezia Centrale – 11:19 Sestri Levante

— if you travel southwards
IC 1533 – 08:10 Milano Centrale – 10:36 Sestri Levante (*)

Return may be around 6:00pm, from your favourite station between Lavagna and Chiavari (if you come from afar, definitely choose Chiavari!).

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

If you have a travel buddy, you should buy the “2×1” special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Thursday.

If you’re younger than 26 (i.e. if you’re at most 25 year + 364 days old) or older than 60, you can pay half price, 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 text me! (at +39 329 7203364)

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Saturday, 18th November

Recco

Given the fine and relatively warm weather,
is anyone up for one more hike in the Ligurian inland? This time we’ll be closer to the seaside: the idea is to try the high way of Tigullio and walk along the panoramic ridge between the coast and the Fontanabuona valley, from Uscio to Passo Serra.

The plan is to catch a bus from Recco to Uscio, town of clockmakers of Liguria (virtually every Ligurian bell tower clock has their Trebino or Terrile signature, even the Vatican uses them), and start by visiting the twin church of
Sant’Ambrogio (one is romanic and is a thousand years old, the other one is baroque), before heading up on the rolling hills of Passo dei Cassetti, which should allow us a relaxing and almost flat walk until Passo Spinarola, with views over the 2 Gulfs of Portofino Park. From Passo Spinarola, we’ll continue along the ridge to Passo Serra, where we’ll head down to Rapallo, via Chignero and Sant’Andrea di Foggia.

Since the hike doesn’t feature big elevation gains, we should have enough time. Which is good, as we never tried many parts of this trail. Along the way, we may have the chance to do two bonus hikes that are also lookout points: monte Tugio and Manico del Lume. Some of you might remember the latter one, as it featured an extraordinary viewpoint as well as a fun, albeit challenging, narrow trail secured with chains.

Hike is rated as T/E (easy/medium), with 200 metres elevation gain (300 if we go to Mt Tugio), however it becomes EE (hard), should we find the time and will to do the optional Manico del Lume hike.

You may read more about the hike on:
http://www.mappeliguria.com/TRK-GE-116-SpinarolaManicoLume.php
http://www.cailiguria.it/AVML/portale/it/raccordoview4a0a.html?contentId=RAC223
http://www.sentieriitaliani.it/3-escursione-8b-santuario-caravaggio-manico-del-lume-nostra-signora-montallegro-rapallo-anello-golfo-del-tigullio.htm (first part)
http://www.gulliver.it/gita/158639/

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

Let’s meet at the entrance of Recco train station around 10:55am. From there, we’ll take the 11:15 bus to Uscio.

Suggested trains are:

* for those travelling from Genova *

Regionale 24529
Genova Piazza Principe 10:10 Genova Brignole 10:20 Recco 10:55

* for those travelling westwards *

Regionale 11368
Sestri Levante 09:10 Recco 10:52

* for those travelling southwards *

IC 1533
Milano Centrale 08:10 S.Margherita Ligure 10:14
followed by Regionale 11368 S. Margherita Ligure 10:46 Recco 10:52

(from Milano, there’s also Regionale Veloce 2181: Milano Centrale 07:25 Milano Lambrate 07:32 Recco 09:51)

We’ll then catch the 11:15 bus from Recco to Uscio:
https://www.atpesercizio.it/Orari201711130847/orari_ST/pagina.106g.pdf

Return will be from Rapallo, after 6pm.

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

If you have a travel buddy, you should buy the “2×1” ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Thursday.

If you’re younger than 26 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 text me! (at +39 329 7203364)

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Saturday, 11th November

Chiavari

It seems like rain will give us a break, and the so called St.Martin’s summer will offer us a very sunny Saturday. Shall we return to Val d’Aveto, one year later?

It’s probably our last chance (before the winter) to hike in the so called “Ligurian Switzerland”: the idea this time is to head back to the Giacopiane lakes, a remote region where the vegetation is almost alpine and wild horses roam free, and from there hike up to the panoramic peak (1100mt) of Mt Bregaceto.

Hike features 550 metres of elevation gain (the starting point is Villa Jensi, some 600 metres above sea level, while the lakes are 1000 metre high), takes about 3,5 hours and is rated as “T/E” (easy/medium).

Can’t write more, as my PC refuses to boot and writing on a tablet is not so enjoyable 🙂 However, you may read more about the hike on:

http://www.giacopiane.com/bertigaro_giacopiane.html
http://luoghidasogno.altervista.org/Montagna/ValdAveto/Bregaceto.htm
http://www.101giteinliguria.it/il-lago-di-giacopiane-e-i-cavalli-selvaggi-dell-aveto-wild-horsewatching/
https://montiliguri.weebly.com/campori-bregaceto.html
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How to get to Bertigaro/Villa Jensi and how to come back alive:

Let’s meet at 11:15 am at the entrance of Chiavari station.

From there, we’ll take the 11:36 bus to Bertigaro/Villa Jensi. As we’ll be a bit short in time, please bring food with you! (of course, you may also get it in Chiavari,if you arrive early)

For coming back, I suggest catching the 17:35 bus from Bertigaro/Villa Jensi. Alternatively, there’s also the 19:30 bus (those who came to the Ramaceto hike know what this means!)

For more details about the bus, please refer to:
https://www.atpesercizio.it/Orari201711070943/orari_TC/11_a_r_fer_fes.pdf

As for Chiavari, recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards
REG 24529 – 10:10 Genova Principe 10:20 Genova Brignole – 11:18 Chiavari

* if you travel westwards:
REG 11368 – 09:50 La Spezia Centrale – 10:33 Chiavari

* if you travel southwards:
IC 1533 Milano Centrale 08:10 – Chiavari 10:28 (**)

Return will be from Chiavari station, probably around 6:30pm.

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

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

If you have a travel buddy, you should buy the “2×1” special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Thursday.

If you’re younger than 26 (i.e. if you’re at most 25 year + 364 days old) or older than 60, you can pay half price, 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 text me! (at +39 329 7203364)

From S.Margherita to Punta del Giasso

Sunday, 15th October

S.Margherita Ligure

It may be October, but it (almost) feels like summer: given that the forecast predicts sunshine and the sea temperature is estimated to be 21 degrees, shall we have one more hike&swim along the coast, before returning to the inland next time?

The idea is to explore Portofino Park and walk to the only bay that we’ve never seen: Punta del Giasso. In order to get there, we’ll hike from S.Margherita Ligure to Olmi, as described on http://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/it/da-nozarego/31-nozarego-crocetta-casone-vessinaro-olmi-nozarego.html: it’s relaxing, panoramic and yet offers a lot of variety, from olive groves to pine trees and chestnuts woods. If we have enough time, we’ll take the upper part of the trail (via Monte Croce and Crocetta: I believe we’ve never tried it), otherwise (if there are train delays or other problems) we’ll take the classical lower path.

Once we’re in Olmi, we can make our way to Punta del Giasso: if the hiking party feels like it, by following the indications on http://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/it/mappa-sentieri/19-portofino-punta-del-giasso.html we’ll take the detour to Cappelletta and down to the Giasso headland. One word of warning: the detour is labelled as “EE” (i.e. for “expert excursionists”). While it should be nothing dramatic (the first half is even considered as medium), some extra care needs to be taken in the last part of the trail. Needless to say, since this is a detour, we can also happily skip Punta del Giasso and walk along the main path.

Overall, hike takes around 3,5 hours (bonus hike included), has 400 mt of vertical gain and is rated as T/E (easy/medium), except for the bonus hike (which is EE)

Assuming that we don’t swim at Punta del Giasso, we could have a dive in the turquoise bay of Paraggi (which will probably be empty, at this time of the year) before heading back home.

Return will be from S.Margherita Ligure, around 6pm (we can also get there by catching a bus from Paraggi)

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How to get to S.Margherita Ligure, and how to come back alive:

On Sunday, 15th October, let’s meet at 11:04 am at the entrance of S.Margherita Ligure/Portofino railway station (by the infamous taxi telephone).

Suggested trains are

– if you travel eastwards

REG 24529: Genova Piazza Principe 10:10 (Genova Brignole 10:20) S.Margherita Ligure 11:04

– if you travel westwards

REG 11368: La Spezia Centrale 09:50 – S. Margherita Ligure 10:45

– if you travel southwards:

IC 35833: Milano Centrale 08:10 – S. Margherita Ligure 10:14 (*)

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(*) For those who are catching IC trains:

If you have 2 travel buddies, there’s the Special 3×2 offer, provided you buy the ticket before 23:59 of Friday.
Also, if you’re younger than 26 (i.e. if you’re at most 25 year + 364 days old) or older than 60, you should be eligible to a 30% discount, if you catch the IC train and 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

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

next hike

Saturday, 30th September 2017

Levanto

Summer may have waved goodbye but, as the sea is still swimmable, shall we remain on the coast and have one last hike&swim? So far, the weather forecast seems favourable, the sea will be much quieter than 2 weeks ago, plus there will even be the Madonna del Rosario festival, taking place in Bonassola. The 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 is to meetup, shortly after 11am, at the train station of Levanto: from there we’ll take the panoramic path to Bonassola, via Scernio. From the church of San Giorgio, we’ll head north to the hamlet of Reggimonti, whose we’ll find an old church containing the Madonna del Rosario, that the festival pays tribute to.
We’ll then head south to Bonassola, via the Hop of the Hare lookout point. Should we have time, we can also take the small detour to the green/red beach of Sca, so as to improve the swimming experience.

Total hiking time is approx 3,5 hours (plus half an hour, if we head down to Sca), vertical gain is around 300 metres, trail is rated as T/E (although the descent to Sca is E/EE as it’s steep and even features a rope. However, it’s not dangerous at all).

By 5-6pm we’ll likely be in Bonassola, in time for the festival ( http://www.mentelocale.it/la-spezia/eventi/57908-festa-della-madonna-del-rosario-di-bonassola.htm )

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

On Saturday, 30th September, let’s meet at Levanto train station at 11:14 am.

Recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards

REG 2181: Genova Piazza Principe 09:11 (Genova Brignole 09:20) Sestri Levante 10:28
+
REG 24459: Sestri Levante 10:41 Levanto 11:14

or

IC 35833 (***) (**): Genova Piazza Principe 9:47 (Genova Brignole 9:56) Levanto 10:58

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* if you travel westwards

REG 24452: La Spezia Centrale 10:15 Levanto 10:44

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* if you travel southwards:

IC 35833 (***) (**) 08:10 Milano Centrale – 10:58 Levanto

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Return will be from Bonassola station, at 11:45pm if you intend to
watch the firework show. Otherwise, 5 or 6pm.

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For those who are catching IC trains:
(***) both on Saturday and on Sunday, there will be the Special 2×1 offer, provided you buy the ticket two days in advance, before 23:59

(**) If you’re younger than 26 (i.e. if you’re at most 25 year + 364 days old) or older than 60, you should be eligible to have a 30% discount, if you catch the IC train and 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.

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

Hiking in Zoagli, along old watermills and bell towers

Sunday, 3rd September 2017:

Zoagli

Is anyone up for having a twin hike this weekend? According to the mayor of Zoagli, the newly restored trails of Zoagli are possibly even more beautiful than those in Cinque Terre, since they offer more variety and better paving. As this is the last week where the so called “Treno del Mare” will connect Milano to Liguria, shall we find out this Sunday if the statement is true? The idea is to hike along the bell-tower trail, from Zoagli to Passo dell’Anchetta across the castle of Sam Benelli and the churches of St Peter and Semorile, and walk back along the mysterious “Giro della Barca”, that follows a stream and features some ancient water-mills.

Trail is easy/medium, has a vertical gain of 500 metres and should take around 3 hours, thus leaving us with plenty of time for swimming (possibly as far as to the cave of the priests)

You may read more about the hike on:
http://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/gb/from-zoagli/67-zoagli-semorile-san-pietro-di-rovereto-zoagli.html (in scary English)
http://www.ilsecoloxix.it/p/levante/2017/05/03/ASb3RlFH-sentieri_sindaco_altroche.shtml
(in Italian)
http://marcia5campanili.it/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/anello-marcia5campanili-2013-byALTEA.pdf
(in Italian)

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

On Sunday, let’s meet at 11:09 am at the entrance of Zoagli train station.

Suggested trains (*) are:

– if you travel eastwards:

Regionale 24499 – Genova Brignole 10:05 Zoagli 10:58

or (but you risk standing, since the train is coming from Milano)

REG 1731 – Genova Piazza Principe 10:24 (Genova Brignole 10:32) Zoagli 11:09

– if you travel westwards:

Regionale 11368 + Regionale 24499 – La Spezia Centrale 09:50 – Zoagli 10:58

– if you travel southwards:

REG 1731 – Milano Lambrate 08:26 (Milano Rogoredo 08:44) Zoagli 11:09

Return will be from Zoagli train station, probably around 6pm.

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

next hike

Saturday, 29th July 2017:

Camogli

Something’s fishy in Portofino Park: 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! so how about wrapping up season #7 of the Ligurian hikes with a walk from Camogli to S.Margherita Ligure?
The idea is to take a path similar to last year, yet a bit different. 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 move on to Batterie and up to Guardia, we’ll tread the very scenic trail leading to Buca dei Corvi and Bocche, before heading down to Santa Margherita, 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)
http://www.nonsolotigullio.com/eventi_tigullio/25134__Sagra_del_Fritto_e_Gara_del_pesto/ (the final part)

If you come at 11am, please bring some food and water with you! Of course, if you come from Milano you’ll have plenty of time in Camogli, to wander around and get some focaccia.

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

Let’s meet at 10:59am, 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 travel eastwards

REG 24529
Genova P.Principe 10:10
(Genova Brignole 10:20)
Camogli-S.Fruttuoso 10:59

– if you travel westwards:

REG 24514
09:27 Sestri Levante
09:59 Camogli-S. Fruttuoso

(if you come from La Spezia, there should be a train at 8:15; if you come from Pisa and arrive later, you might want to skip the first part of the hike and take a boat from Camogli to Punta Chiappa)

– If you travel southwards:

(the much dreaded) REG 33185
Milano Centrale 07:25
(Milano Lambrate 07:32)
Camogli-S. Fruttuoso 09:59

Return will be from S.Margherita Ligure, somewhere around 6 or 7pm.

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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 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:-) )

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