next hike

Sunday, 2nd July 2017:

Rapallo

*** update ***

The firework show has been postponed ( http://www.festediluglio.it/2017/06/30/rinvio-spettacoli-pirotecnici/ ) due to the rough sea, sad but true! This means that our Sunday hike will be accompanied only by firecrackers, but none of those wonderful fireworks for which the Montallegro festival is famous. For those living in Liguria, you can catch the fireworks on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night.

**********

As usual, it’s that time of the year when Rapallo gets ready to celebrate the anniversary of the apparition of Mary (on the Montallegro hills) with paintings on the ground and a colorful array of fireworks in the sky, both at day and at night. Shall we renew our tradition of hiking on a trail leading to the Montallegro shrine?

Since it shouldn’t be too hot and we haven’t treaded it for 6 years, I suggest hiking along a loop from Rapallo to Montallegro and back, following the pilgrim path on the way up and the diamond trail on the way down. This will allow us to see the midday fireworks while we’re going up and have our (more or less) secluded beach at the end of the hike (Pozzetto, on the borders between Rapallo and Zoagli).

Veterans of this group might remember this as one of five deadliest hikes in our history: the diamond-marked trail was in such bad conditions 6 years ago, that we had to fight our way through the brambles. Nowadays, I believe the path can be walked safely, since a few websites report it as being clean and even suitable for children of 7 years.

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 S.Ambrogio shrine, which offers an impressive lookout point as well as fountain.

You may read more about the festival on:

http://www.festediluglio.it/
or
http://www.levantenews.it/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/LUGLIO-2.jpg

As for the hike, it has 650 metres of elevation gain, it should take 3,5 hours and I would say it has E (medium) difficulty (given the trouble we had 6 years ago). For more info, you can refer to:
http://www.portofinotrek.com/trek/it/da-rapallo/46-rapallo-sant-ambrogio-montallegro-rapallo.html
or
http://www.xinformare.org/xinformare_percorsi/schede.php?name=rap_ambrogio_mont

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

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

On Sunday, July 2nd, let’s meet at the main entrance of Rapallo train station at 11:05. We’ll then walk to the opposite side of the station, since the trail starts from there.

Suggested trains are:

— if you travel eastwards

REG 24499 – 10:05 Genova Brignole – 10:53 Rapallo

(or the treno del mare from Milano)

— if you travel westwards

REG 11368 – 09:50 La Spezia Centrale – 10:41 Rapallo

— if you travel southwards (*)(**)
IC 1533 – 08:10 Milano Centrale – 10:19 Rapallo
or
REG 1731 (treno mare) – 8:26 Milano Lambrate – 11:04 Rapallo

Return will be from Rapallo, feel free to choose any train from 6pm to midnight: if you wish to stay for the firework show, it’s at 11pm

*********************************
(*) If you catch the IC train, there’s the Special 3×2 offer, provided you buy the ticket before 23:59 of Friday

(**) 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 Saturday.

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

Advertisements

next hike

Sunday, 18th June 2017:

Levanto

As the Montallegro festival (2 weeks from now) makes it impossible to alternate hiking weekends, let’s have a second consecutive hike&swim, and take a break next week. Besides, the summer heat calls for some more swimming! and, when swimming is the goal, is there any better place than Framura?

The idea is to meetup, shortly after 11am, at the train station of Levanto: from there we’ll either take the pedestrian tunnel or the panoramic path that crosses the Francesca resort (if the resort doesn’t complain) and leads to Bonassola.

Once we’re in Bonassola, we can check out what they are doing (according to their website, special celebrations will be held for the Corpus Domini) before moving on to the village of Montaretto (where supposedly the gattafin festival takes place this weekend. For those who didn’t know it yet, the gattafin are herb-filled fried ravioli, that can only be found in the Levanto region: since we’ll arrive before the party begins, will we succeed in convincing them to make some gattafin for us? ).

After Montaretto we’ll reconnect to trail #1 and walk on until Framura. Trail is rated as T/E (easy/medium) and should feature enough water taps to quench everyone’s thirst; it is well described on http://www.comune.bonassola.sp.it/c011005/zf/index.php/servizi-aggiuntivi/index/index/idtesto/34

Total hiking time is approx 3,5 hours, vertical gain is around 300 metres.

By 4pm 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..

——————————-

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

On Sunday, 18th June, 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 1533 (***) (**): Genova Piazza Principe 9:47 (Genova Brignole 9:56) Levanto 10:58

——–

* if you travel westwards

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

——–

* if you travel southwards:

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

———-

Return will be from Framura station, around 6pm.

——————————–

For those who are catching IC trains:
(***) just this Sunday, there will be the Special 2×1 offer, provided you buy the ticket before 23:59 of Friday

(**) 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 Saturday.

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

next hike

Sunday, 11th June 2017:

Moneglia

Now that both the weather and the sea are pleasantly warm, who’s up for returning to the emerald waters of the secluded craggy coast of Valletta (Moneglia)?

Reaching Valletta is not straightforward, as it involves a T/E (easy/medium) hike, with 350 metres of elevation gain. It takes around 2,5 hours for the complete loop from the town of Moneglia and back. Plus one hour of bonus hike, should we want to reach the cross and votive stone of Mt Comunaglia (and we should, since we never made it up there, and they barely require a bonus hike with 50 metres of vertical gain)

You may read more about the hike on:
http://www.vannacalzature.it/Itinerari_paesaggistici/Valletta_terra.htm
http://www.vannacalzature.it/Itinerari_paesaggistici/Cresta_Comunaglia-Monte_Comunaglia.htm

While the trail is relatively easy, getting to swim is trickier, as it involves either performing a dive from a certain height or doing some climbing (nothing arduous, you just need to be a bit careful on the rocks)

As for the way back to Moneglia, since we should have plenty of time I suggest taking the safer path under the shade of the woods, rather than outrunning the cars(!) like last time.
It should be feasible to catch any train from Moneglia, starting from the 5:30pm Treno del Mare.

Since one of issues we’ve had with this hike in the past is thirst, please remember to bring enough water with you! Also, goggles or a snorkeling mask might come in handy, as we noticed that not just the humans, but also jellyfish and urchins love Valletta.

———————————-

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

Let’s meet at 11:50 on Sunday, at the entrance of Moneglia train station.

If you travel eastwards, we recommend:

REG1731* (treno del mare): Genova Piazza Principe 10:24 (Genova Brignole 10:32) Sestri Levante 11:28
+
REG24461: Sestri Levante 11:41 – Moneglia 11:50

* if the train is too crowded and you’re leaving from Genova Brignole, you may also take train 11367, which departs from Brignole at 10:45 and arrives at Sestri Levante just before the next train to Moneglia

If you travel westwards:

Regionale 24490

REG24452: 10:15 La Spezia Centrale – 11:05 Moneglia

If you travel southwards:

REG1731: Milano Lambrate 8:26 – Sestri Levante 11:28
+
REG24461: Sestri Levante 11:41 – Moneglia 11:50

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

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

next hike

Sunday, 28th May 2017:

Recco

It may not be as appealing as the secret fried fish festival of Santa Margherita Ligure (rumours have it that this will be held on the last Saturday of July), nevertheless the focaccia festival in Recco still holds its charm, as it allows visiting hikers to eat two types of focaccia in one day, as well as catch two gulfs with one hike.

First of all there’s the focaccia: free portions of plain and onion focaccia will be distributed in the morning, before leaving space for the more famous and cheese-filled focaccia di Recco, which will be served throughout the afternoon, starting from 2:30pm.

The idea then is to grab some focaccia in the morning, 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, and offers plenty of inviting meadows; however, because of that, some sunscreen is recommended! (moreover as we’ll likely have our lunch break by one of these meadows)

Just before reaching Ruta, there should be a trail taking us straight back to Recco: there’s not much info about that path, but somehow I’m optimistic that it will be in good conditions.

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

We’ll probably return to Recco around 4:00pm, just in time for some focaccia di Recco and possibly a swim in the sea.

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

and about the festival on:
http://www.levantenews.it/index.php/2017/05/25/recco-la-festa-della-focaccia-diventa-anche-eco-festa/

————————

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

On Sunday, May 28th, let’s meet at 10:52 am at the entrance of Recco railway station.

Suggested trains are:

– if you’re travelling eastwards

REG 1731: 10:24 Genova Piazza Principe (10:32 Genova Brignole) 10:51 Recco (potentially crowded)

or

REG 24499: 10:05 Genova Brignole – 10:40 Recco (it will be more empty)

– if you’re travelling westwards

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

– if you’re travelling southwards

08:26 Milano Lambrate (08:44 Milano Rogoredo) 10:51 Recco (please note: it also stops at Greco Pirelli, but not at Centrale!)

Return will, again, be from Recco train station.

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

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

Next hike: From Spotorno to Varigotti (through Noli and grotta dei Falsari)

Saturday, May 27

Hi all!

This is one of my favorite hikes in Liguria! Will it be the first Hike & Swim of the season? Maybe it will! 🙂

Our walk will start from Spotorno. After an easy stretch across the hill dominated by the castle of Monte Ursino, we will reach Noli, one of the five ancient Marine Republics of Italy, where we’ll stroll through the picturesque alleys of the old town. Then, we will take the trail that leads to Capo Noli.

We will have a short detour, leading us to the grotta dei Falsari, the cavern of the Counterfeiters – also known as cave of Brigands – which is not actually a cavern, but rather a rocky hollow overlooking the sea with a spectacular semi-circular opening of 25 meters in diameter. This cave was created by the water and then shaped by the sea; today it stands 100 meters above sea level. This cavern will be our lunch spot.

After reaching Capo Noli (280 m), the highest point of our hike, we will head down to Varigotti, following a path over the cliffs. The bay below, the Bay of the Saracens, is considered one of the best places to have a swim in Liguria.

Then, we will descend through the promontory of Punta Crena down to Varigotti, a picturesque fishing village, the “surprise of the Riviera di Ponente”! All the villages look similar with the exception of Varigotti, no surprise that episodes of Diabolik and even Donald Duck were set in Varigotti. There, we can relax on the beach before taking the bus to Finale Ligure train station.

The total distance will be around 10 km, with a vertical gain of 280 m. The path is rated as easy.

Return will be from Finale Ligure (around 6 pm). I recommend buying also the return ticket to avoid any hassle, should we have to run to catch the train.

Meeting point: Spotorno-Noli train station at 11:30

Here are the trains to get there:

From Genova:

R 24562 Genova Brignole 9:55 – Genova Principe 10:03 – Spotorno-Noli 11:17

From Milano:

IC 1533 Milano Centrale 8:10 (*) – Genova Principe 9:44
R 24562 Genova Principe 10:03 – Spotorno-Noli 11:17

(*) Find a travel buddy, and get the 2×1 Saturday offer!!

From Sestri Levante:

R 11366 Sestri Levante 8:26 – Genova Brignole 9:15
R 24562 Genova Brignole 9:55 – Spotorno-Noli 11:17

From Levanto to Mt Bardellone, via Soviore

I’m not sure that it was still St Martin’s summer today: the fog that engulfed Soviore and Bardellone was so thick, that it might have been St Martin’s Halloween, with the saint playing tricks on us (with fog and plenty of trunks), but ultimately also treating us with a memorable sunset over Levanto.

As for the hike: the dampness and steep steps made the ascent to Soviore more challenging than expected: good for us that, once at the shrine, we could all relax, eat lunch… and do some stretching; the way from Mt Bardellone to Levanto was more of an obstacle course than a hiking trail; however, once we got to the church of S.Bartolomeo, things got easier; we could then enjoy the colorful landscape over the Levanto inland, as well as a fairy tale sunset.

A loop hike in Levanto, with fog, fallen trunks and a memorable sunset