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Saturday, 30th November 2019

Recco

Shall we take advantage of the (short) break from bad weather and have our traditional end-of-year hike to Mt.Manico del Lume? The idea, of course, is to have a relaxing walk along the panoramic 2G trail between Recco and Rapallo, then add an adventurous twist towards the end, with chains and a short climb leading us to the top of Mt Manico del Lume, where a memorable 360 degree view awaits us, as well as the chance of adding our 2019 signature to its guestbook.

But first things first: the plan is to catch the 11:15 bus from Recco to Salto/Avegno and take a look at the church of S.Antonio, before starting our walk. The trail from Salto to Passo della Spinarola is brand new, we never tried it but it shouldn’t be too complicated, if we’re to trust http://www.agenziadisviluppogalgenovese.com/news/359/file/GP_descrizione_sentieri_nofoto.pdf (trail #16): it has 300 metres elevation gain and goes across olive and chestnut groves. From Passo Spinarola, we’ll take the almost flat 2G trail (where 2G doesn’t – luckily – refer to internet connectivity, but to the 2 Gulfs of Portofino Park, which may be admired from the trail). Once we’re at the foot of Mt Bello, we’ll pretty much do what we did one year ago: we’ll continue along the narrow path to Passo Serra, where can either head down to Rapallo, via Chignero and Sant’Andrea di Foggia, or, if we feel like it (hopefully, we will!), have a bonus hike to Mt Manico del Lume. For the uninitiated, Mt Manico del Lume is a mountain shaped like the layers of melted wax at the base of a candle (hence the name), with an extraordinary viewpoint at its top, which can be reached via a fun, albeit challenging, narrow trail secured with chains.

Hike is rated as T/E (easy/medium), with 400 metres elevation gain, however it becomes EE (hard), should we find the time and will to do the Manico del Lume bonus hike.

You may read more about the hike on:
https://montiliguri.weebly.com/caprile-lume.html
http://www.mappeliguria.com/TRK-GE-116-SpinarolaManicoLume.php

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

On Saturday, let’s meet at the entrance of Recco train station around 10:55am. From there, we’ll take the 11:15 bus to Avegno/Salto.

Suggested trains are:

* for those travelling from Genova *

Regionale 24529
Genova Piazza Principe 10:11 Genova Brignole 10:20 Recco 10:55

* for those travelling westwards *

Regionale 11368
La Spezia 09:50 Recco 10:52

* for those travelling southwards *

IC 1533
Milano Centrale 08:10 S.Margherita Ligure 10:14

followed by Regionale 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/

Return will be from Rapallo, after 6:30pm.

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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. You can have a discount 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.
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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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Saturday, 26th October 2019

Chiavari

As this Saturday is the last day with daylight saving time, shall we use the extra hour of light to venture far away, in the Aveto valley, where wild horses run free and the unique landscape gave the region the nickname of “Ligurian Switzerland”? The idea is to hike to Mt Ramaceto, four years later. Back then, we were unlucky as the lookout points were shrouded in the fog; let’s see if this time we’ll find a bigger reward at its most famous and panoramic landmark: the chapel of Mt Ramaceto. The view from there is said to be incredible, as it encompasses the highest peaks of the Apennine mountains and a great deal of the Ligurian coast.

Regardless of the outcome, the walk itself is enjoyable, with old forests of beeches and scenic ridges. For starting point, we can choose either Parazzuolo or Passo della Forcella. The finish point will definitely be passo della Forcella. Be warned, if you’re coming from outside Liguria: the bus back is at 17:19, so this hike could end up being a race against the time for you. That said, be assured that 4 years ago everyone coming from Lombardia made it safely back (while half of Ligurian hikers got stuck for 2 hours at Passo della Forcella, waiting for the 19:18 bus)

The trail features 500 metres of elevation gain (the starting point is 850 metres above sea level, while Mt Ramaceto is 1345 mt high), takes about 4 hours and is rated as “E” (medium).

You may read more about it on
http://www.trekkinginliguria.it/Escursione_Ramaceto.html
or
http://www.rifugioventarola.it/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/ventarola_g.pdf

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How to get to Passo della Forcella:

On Saturday 26th, let’s meet around 11:15am at the entrance of Chiavari station.

From there, we’ll take the 11:35 bus to Passo della Forcella. As we’ll be a bit short with 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 5:19pm bus from Passo della Forcella. Alternatively, there’s also the 7:18pm bus (although that would mean arriving in Chiavari pretty late)

For more details about the bus, please refer to:
https://www.atpesercizio.it/Orari201910231505/orari_TC/11_a_r_fer_fes.pdf

As for Chiavari, recommended trains are:

* if you travel eastwards, I would go with either

Reg 33827 – 09:27 Genova Piazza Principe (Genova Brignole 09:35) 10:28 Chiavari
or
IC 35533 – 09:48 Genova Piazza Principe (9:57 Genova Brignole) 10:29 Chiavari (*)

If you wish to sleep more/risk a bit, it should also be fairly safe to catch:
Reg 24529 – 10:11 Genova Piazza Principe (Genova Brignole 10:20) 11:18 Chiavari

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

* if you travel southwards:
IC 35533 Milano Centrale 08:10 – Chiavari 10:29 (*)

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

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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. You can have a discount 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.
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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)

next hike

Saturday, 5th October 2019

Levanto

Temperature is still warm enough, so let’s have one more coastal hike&swim, before heading to the Ligurian inland. As you probably already know, taking place this weekend is the last big firework show of the year: it comes courtesy of the Madonna del Rosario festival, which is held in Bonassola every October on the first Saturday. The festival ( https://nuovaprolocobonassola.business.site/posts/4503411583702105098?hl=it ) 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. My only doubt is whether they’ll do the candles, since the sea won’t be too calm, according to the weather forecast.

As for the hike, 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 Montaretto and south to the Hop of the Hare lookout point. Should the weather forecast predict a calmer sea, we can also consider taking a short detour to the green/red beach of Sca, so as to improve the swimming experience.

Total hiking time is approx 3 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.

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

On Saturday, 5th October, 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 10:31
+
REG 24459: Sestri Levante 10:41 Levanto 11:14

or

IC 1533 (*): Genova Piazza Principe 9:47 (Genova Brignole 9:56) Levanto 10:58

——–

* if you travel westwards

REG 21188: La Spezia Centrale 10:25 Levanto 10:55

——–

* if you travel southwards:

IC 1533 (*) 08:10 Milano Centrale – 10:58 Levanto

REG 2181: Milano Centrale 7:25 (Milano Lambrate 7:32) Sestri Levante 10:31
+
REG 24459: Sestri Levante 10:41 Levanto 11:14

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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 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. You can have a discount 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.
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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)

next hike

Saturday, 21st September 2019

Sestri Levante

The weather forecast may not look promising on Sunday, but on Saturday we should still be able to enjoy a fine sunny day: shall we then have a hike and swim that leads to the emerald waters of the secluded craggy coast of Valletta (Moneglia)? This time I would propose starting the hike from the town that is home to the “bombosculptures” and to the most elaborate painted façade ever seen: Casarza Ligure. From there, we’ll hike up to Mt Moneglia via a couple of abbeys and churches and down to Moneglia, where we may end the day with a refreshing swim at Valletta.

Hike is rated as E (medium), has a vertical gain of 500 mt and should take 3 hours. Among highlights, there’s a Benedictine monastery, the chapel of S.Rocco (the lookout point of the hike) and the so called bombosculptures, i.e. 150 gods and heroes, from Greek and Arthurian mythology, that were created by a local geologist (who, unfortunately, passed away last year): he solely used gas tanks and pieces of metallic trash to assemble them.

You may read more about the hike on:
https://www.comune.casarza-ligure.ge.it/it/page/escursioni-e-passeggiate

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

Let’s meet at Sestri Levante at 10:40am, then catch one of frequent buses to Casarza Ligure.

Recommended trains are

– if you’re travelling eastwards:

REG 2181 – Genova Piazza Principe 09:14 (Genova Brignole 09:23) Sestri Levante 10:31
or
IC 35353 (*) – Genova Piazza Principe 09:47 (Genova Brignole 09:56) Sestri Levante 10:36

– if you’re travelling westwards:

REG 11368 – La Spezia Centrale 09:50 Sestri Levante 10:25

– if you’re travelling southwards:

REG 2181: Milano Centrale 07:25 – Sestri Levante 10:31

Return will be from Moneglia, perhaps around 6pm (*)

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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.

You can have a discount 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.
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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)

next hike

Sunday, 1st September 2019

Deiva Marina

The summer vacations may be gone for many of us but, before leaving them behind, we can partly defeat the post-holiday blues by having a relaxing hike&swim along the trails of Mt Serro. Who’s up for hiking from Deiva Marina to Framura?

The woods of Mt Serro (i.e. the area between Deiva Marina and Framura) have the nice feature of offering trails of all kinds: it’s possible to wander through intricate forests, looking for traces of old civilization and mystic ponds with yellow flowers, and at the same time it’s possible to have a relaxing walk with plenty of lookout points, as well as a botanical garden.

Either way, the idea is to start off at Deiva Marina station at 11am. If it’s sunny, let’s walk along the classic azure-blue trail that connects Deiva Marina to Framura and have lunch break by the lookout point of Punta Apicchi. Hike takes around 2,5 hours, has 350 mt of vertical gain and is rated as T/E (easy/medium). This will allow us to have more swimming time at Porto Pidocchio. Should the weather be more cloudy than sunny, we can always extend the hike by taking the never treaded loop trail of Acqua Fredda and Cava Serin.

Will the sea be warm enough to have a swim? Definitely, so be sure to bring goggles, swimming suit and sunscreen!

You may read more about the hike on:
http://www.ambienteinliguria.it/eco3/DTS_PUBBLICAZIONI/20071018/rivieraspezzina.pdf
(hike #3.. we can actually make it shorter by taking the trail to Serra di Framura, instead of Costa)

Return will be from Framura, around 5pm.

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How to get to Deiva Marina, and how to come back alive:

On Sunday, September 1st, let’s meet at 11:00 am at the entrance of Deiva Marina railway station

Suggested trains are:

– if you’re travelling eastwards

REG 2181 + REG 24459
09:14 Genova Piazza Principe (9:23 Genova Brignole) 10:54 Deiva Marina (formally, it’s 2 trains, but it will likely be the same one, changing number at Sestri)

[if you fear becoming a sardine, take REG 11229 08:48 Genova Brignole – 10:13 Sestri Levante instead of REG 2181: it will be much emptier!]

– if you’re travelling westwards

REG 1612 – 10:03 La Spezia Centrale – 10:49 Deiva Marina

or

REG 24452 – 10:15 La Spezia Centrale – 10:59 Deiva Marina

– if you’re travelling southwards

REG 2181 + REG 24459 – 07:25 Milano Centrale (07:32 Milano Lambrate) – 10:54 Deiva Marina (formally, it’s 2 trains, but it will likely be the same one, changing number at Sestri)

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Given that Deiva Marina is served by slow trains only, I don’t know if it makes sense to use those IC train offers. Nevertheless, should you happen to come by IC train, there’s 30% off if you’re younger than 30, older than 60 or travelling with a buddy (for that, you need to book your ticket before midnight of Friday and select the “Cartafreccia young”, “cartafreccia senior”, “Insieme” fare)

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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)

next hike

Saturday, 3rd August 2019

Camogli

There’s more than just the Stella Maris this weekend: 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! The idea then is to get there, walking from Camogli to S.Margherita Ligure across Portofino Park. 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 hike up to Batterie and up to Guardia, then we’ll tread the scenic trail leading to Buca dei Corvi and Pietre Strette, before heading down to Santa Margherita via Busseto, 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)

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

On Saturday 3rd, let’s meet at 10:00am, 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 are travelling eastwards and don’t want to be packed like sardines:

Reg 11229 – 08:35 Genova Piazza Principe ( 08:48 Genova Brignole ) 09:32 Camogli-S. Fruttuoso

[if you wish to take the risk of becoming a sardine]:

REG 2181 – 09:14 Genova Piazza Principe ( 09:23 Genova Brignole ) 09:58 Camogli-S. Fruttuoso

»» if you are travelling westwards:

Reg 23718 – 9:24 Sestri Levante – 9:58 Camogli-S. Fruttuoso

»» if you are travelling southwards:

REG 2181
Milano Centrale 07:25
Camogli-S. Fruttuoso 09:58

Return will be from S.Margherita Ligure (for those coming from Milano, the 19:46(*) train is a good option).

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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.

If you’re missing a travel buddy, you can still get 30% off with your Cartafreccia card, courtesy of the Cartafreccia Estate offer valid throughout August (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:-) ). Again, remember to book the ticket before midnight (11:59pm) of Thursday

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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)

next hike

Saturday, 20th July 2019

La Spezia

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:
https://sentieridautore.it/2015/11/25/seguendo-minerva-a-portovenere/

and about Piscina Naturale on:
https://www.gazzettadellaspezia.it/cronaca/item/37793-portovenere,-ecco-le-date-della-piscina-naturale

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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)