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

——————————–

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.

Advertisements

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.

——————————-

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)

next hike

Saturday, 16th June 2018

Framura

While waiting for the Montallegro festival (2 weeks from now), the weather forecast predicts for the upcoming weekend plenty of sunshine and the first heat waves: shall we have a hike&swim in the snorkeling paradise of Framura?

The idea is to hike along a loop, from Framura to Montaretto and back. Meeting point will be at 11am, at the train station of Framura: from there we’ll do some beach hopping, walking along the beaches of Torsei and Arena (via the seafront promenade) before crossing the atmospheric hamlet of Anzo. This will allow us to visit one of 5 hamlets that made Framura one of the most beautiful villages in Italy (see http://borghipiubelliditalia.it/project/framura/ and https://www.buzzfeed.com/marietelling/49-italian-villages-that-should-be-on-your-bucket-list )

From the medieval genovese watchtower, the hike will begin, as we’ll follow the green-azure coastal trail until we reach the historical village of Montaretto. Incidentally, the gattafin festival is taking place this weekend. As usual, it’s a mystery whether we’ll actually be able to taste the gattafin (i.e the herb-filled fried ravioli, that can only be found in the Levanto region), since we’ll arrive before the party begins. Nevertheless, the place is always worth a stop… and maybe we can try to convince the organizers to make some for us!

The way back to Framura will be along trail 660. As we never tried it, it’s hard to anticipate anything except that it’s supposedly easy and leads straight to the Framura lava-stone beach of Porto Pidocchio.

Total hiking time is approx 3 hours, vertical gain is around 300 metres. You may read more about it on http://www.comune.bonassola.sp.it/c011005/zf/index.php/servizi-aggiuntivi/index/index/idtesto/34 (in Italian)
http://framura.eu/en/foot/ (in English)
http://www.sentierialevante.it/mobile/map2/descr.html?cod_sent=660&dpx=15 (trail 660)

By 3:30pm we’ll likely be in Framura, where we can either swim in the snorkeling paradise of Porto Pidocchio or have a swim&beer at the beach of Torsei, just below the train station.

In case we fail to get gattafin in Montaretto, I believe there’s also the S.Erasmo festival in Santa Margherita Ligure (it was supposed to be last week, but I see now that it got postponed). Should we be hungry, we can stop there, on the way back home: I believe they’ll offer to everyone the so called fisherman biscuit (a sort of tasty bruschetta, with tomato and anchovy) at 6-7pm.

——————————-

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

On Saturday, 16th June, let’s meet at Framura train station at 11:00 am.

Recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards

Reg 33875 + 24459: 09:22 Genova Piazza Principe (09:31 Genova Brignole) 11:00 Framura

——–

* if you travel westwards

REG 24452: La Spezia Centrale 10:15 Framura 10:53

——–

* if you travel southwards:

Reg 33875 + 24459: 07:25 Milano Centrale ( 07:32 Milano Lambrate 07:38 Milano Rogoredo) 11:00 Framura

———-

Return will be from Framura station, around 5-6pm.

——————————–

For those who are catching IC trains:
(***) there’s the Special 2×1 offer, provided you buy the ticket before 23:59 of Thursday

(**) If you’re younger than 30, 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 Thursday

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

next hike

Sunday, 27th May 2018

S.Margherita Ligure

Is anyone up for a short but (slightly) demanding hike? Since 4 years have passed, since the last (and only) time we hiked to Cala degli Inglesi, I would return there this Sunday… and, with the water being around 20 degrees, possibly have a short swim?

The idea is to hike from bay to bay: we’ll start from the emerald bay of Paraggi (which we’ll probably reach via bus, although walking is also possible) and head up to the Vessinaro pond, before descending to Cala degli Inglesi, a secluded bay that lies somewhere between Portofino and S.Fruttuoso and hides some secrets (according to the guide, a Canadian ship sank here some 50 years ago, in its waters there’s not just fish but sometimes even dolphins). One word of warning: the way down is labelled as “EE” (i.e. for “expert excursionists”). As far as I remember, it’s not so dangerous or exposed: the first half is even considered as easy/medium, but extra care needs to be taken in the last part of the trail (which is secured with chains and rather steep, you can get an idea from the photos on http://www.cralgalliera.altervista.org/calainglesi010.pdf ).

You may read more about the hike on (scary English warning!):
https://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/gb/trail-map/17-portofino-cala-degli-inglesi.html
(we would start from Paraggi)
https://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/gb/from-santa-margherita-ligure/62-santa-margherita-nozarego-olmi-portofino-paraggi-cappelletta-delle-gave-smargherita-ligure.html
(the way back, it’s half of the trail indicated on the map)

Overall, the whole hiking loop takes around 3 hours, has 400 mt of vertical gain and is rated as T/E (easy/medium) and EE (hard, along the trail to Cala degli Inglesi)

Return will be from S.Margherita Ligure. We’ll probably arrive there around 5pm. So, in case you’re interested in some focaccia (the focaccia festival is taking place in nearby Recco, till 6:30pm), you’ll likely still be in time for it!

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

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

On Sunday, May 27th, let’s meet at 11:02 am at the entrance of S.Margherita Ligure/Portofino railway station (by the infamous taxi telephone).

Suggested trains are

if you travel eastwards

REG 33871: 10:27 Genova Piazza Principe ( 10:35 Genova Brignole ) 11:02 S.Margherita Ligure-Portofino

– if you travel westwards

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

– if you travel southwards:

REG 33871 – 8:17 Milano Greco Pirelli (08:26 Milano Lambrate) (08:44 Milano Rogoredo) 11:02 S.Margherita Ligure-Portofino

or

IC 35033: 8:10 Milano Centrale – 10:14 S.Margherita Ligure-Portofino (*)

Return will be from S.Margherita station

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

If you have 1 or more travel buddies, you can buy the “Insieme” special ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Saturday (if I’m not mistaken). It’s a “get 30% off if you’re at least 2 people” offer. In order to get the discount, remember to buy the ticket one day in advance.

If you’re younger than 30 or older than 60, you can again get 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 one day in advance.

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

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

next hike

Saturday, 12th May 2018

Recco

Hello everyone! Once again, it’s that time of the year when Camogli celebrates St.Fortunato, by offering a sizzling show on Saturday and fried fish on Sunday. Since the visually entertaining bits are all on Saturday, shall we have a hike in the area in the late morning/afternoon, then spend the evening in Camogli? For those who are yet uninitiated, the Saturday program features two big statues, made of wooden junk, that are brought to the shore and burnt at the stake. There will be a procession, with people carrying the ark of S.Fortunato across town… and plenty of fireworks (otherwise it wouldn’t be a Ligurian festival!).

As for the hike, I would pick the 2G trail from Recco to Rapallo. I read that they’re having free guided tours of Valle Christi: we could then end the hike in S.Maria del Campo, so as to visit the monastery ruins. As for the start of the hike, let’s meet at 11am at Recco train station: from Recco we’ll hike up to the Caravaggio ridge, where the 2G trail awaits us. The trail owes its name to the 2 gulfs, that can be seen while walking from the Caravaggio ridge down to Ruta. The path is quite panoramic, with the Paradise Gulf on the right, the Tigullio Gulf on the left and the Portofino Park in between. Just before reaching Ruta, there should be a trail leading to San Martino di Noceto and then on to Santa Maria del Campo: there’s not much info about that path, but somehow I’m optimistic that it will be in decent conditions (if not, there’s a backup trail from Ruta).

Hike is rated as T/E, with 500 metres of vertical gain. Hiking time should be 3 hours.

We’ll probably arrive at Santa Maria del Campo around 4:00pm. From there, we can either go to San Michele di Pagana for a swim or head to Camogli by bus, for the evening festival.

You may read more about the hike on:
http://www.agenziadisviluppogalgenovese.com/news/359/file/GP_descrizione_sentieri_confoto.pdf (trails 12+18)

and about the festival on:
http://www.camogliedintorni.it/Falò.html

Return will be from Rapallo, if you skip the festival, or from Camogli.
Needless to say, if you plan to watch the fireworks and the burning of the statues, you might want to stay until 11pm or midnight.

If you choose to stay overnight, take into account that there’s the “buy 1 and get 1 free” train offer also on Sunday (courtesy of Trenitalia and Mother’s Day)

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

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

On Saturday, May 12th, let’s meet at 11:07 am at the entrance of Recco railway station

Suggested trains are:

– if you’re travelling eastwards

REG 24529: 10:10 Genova Piazza Principe (10:20 Brignole) 10:55 Recco

or

REG 11367: 10:45 Genova Piazza Principe – 11:07 Recco

– if you’re travelling westwards

REG 11368 09:50 La Spezia Centrale – 10:52 Recco

– if you’re travelling southwards

REG 2175 + 2507 + 11367 Milano Centrale 8:30 (8:37 Lambrate 8:44 Rogoredo) 11:07 Recco (yes, it’s 3 trains, since they make you change twice at the two stations of Genova! )

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

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

next hike

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

——————————-

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!).

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

(**) 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).

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

next hike

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/

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

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.

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

(**) 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).

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