TRAILS OF FINALE 45 itineraries for hiking and running in Borgio Verezzi, Finale Ligure and Noli

Page 1


(photo Pietro Bagnara)

Marco Tomassini

Marco Tomassini


45 itineraries for hiking and running in Borgio Verezzi, Finale Ligure and Noli

45 itineraries for hiking and running


E 27,50


ISBN  978-88-98609-00-0


Arco, secret spot. Climber Florian Riegler, photo Marco Spataro



Finale offers a rich variety of routes and walks for expert excursionists as well as for holidaymakers who seek the challenge of getting to know surroundings different from those of the sea. By venturing beyond the coastline between the narrow valleys which go up as far as the pre-Alpine ridge, you can come into contact with uncontaminated nature where the influence of man, who managed to conquer this steep, mountainous terrain for survival, is still present. Finale’s history begins millions of years ago and is written in its special rock, Finale Stone, with its enormous calcified sedimentary deposit emerged from the sea. Over thousands of years the water has carved out of this rock a landscape rich in high lands, valleys, vertiginous rock faces, hills and caves. Today the Finale area has some very rich and natural surroundings of biodiversity. The species of trees and flowers, some local, vary between the coast and inland. Nearer to the sea we find thick woods of holly oaks and Aleppo pines while bushes of Mediterranean scrub (strawberry trees, juniper, broom and aromatic herbs) perfume the sunny slopes. Going up higher, chestnuts and ash trees fill the cooler, damper valleys. To this rich botanical collection can be added the equally varied fauna. With this guide we shall be able to discover all this and more.




Marco “Thomas” Tomassini (1971) started climbing and frequenting the Finale area during the 1980s. His passion for mountains and rock brought him first to speleology and then to climbing. He started to bolt routes especially in the Finale area. Between 1993 and1996 he became an S.S.I. instructor (Italian Speleological Society) a UISP sports climbing instructor and an assistant instructor for the Italian Alpine Club. Finale and its rock faces became his favourite climbing and bolting scene. Here, over a period of almost 20 years, he has equipped, alone or with others, more than 500 routes. In July 2007 he published, with Le Mani, his first guide book “Finale by Thomas” …a kind of “professional” CV. In 2010 his second guide on the Finale area comes out, “Finale… non solo mare”, edited by the same publishing house, describing sleeping facilities in the area. His constant and continuous bolting activity is recognised by the company Salewa which includes him amongst their local “Salewa People”. In 2011 after careful and maddening work of mapping and recording the reliefs of the rock faces of the Finale area, “Finale Climbing” editors Versante Sud, was published. “Trails of Finale” is his fourth guide book, born from a new passion, the search for and discovery of trekking itineraries in the Finale area.

First edition: October 2013 ISBN: 978-88-98609-00-0 Copyright © 2013 VERSANTE SUD Milano via Longhi, 10, phone 027490163 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers. Cover

Laura Besseghini running on the Mànie Plateau; Noli, the Island of Bergeggi and the eastern coastline in the background (photo Marco Tomassini)


Marco Tomassini and Francesca Vallarino


Marco Tomassini - except for the photo on page 113 by Jörg Abendroth


Chiara Benedetto © OpenStreetMap contributors Creative Commons, license CC-BY-SA 3.0

English translation Editing

Alexandra Ercolani


Iacopo Leardini, Chiara Benedetto

Printed by

Monotipia Cremonese s.n.c. (CR)

Chiara Benedetto

Note Trekking and trail running are potentially dangerous sports in which participation is entirely at your own risk. All the information in this guide has been updated based upon information at the time of publication, however it is vital to evaluate every situation yourself before placing yourself in a life threatening situation or to seek the advice of experienced and qualified individuals.

Marco Tomassini

Trails of

FINALE 45 itineraries for hiking and running in Borgio Verezzi, Finale Ligure and Noli





It was during the 70s and the 80s that my grandfather would take me “gigin”, that’s what he used to call the little trips which filled my childhood afternoons; short walks around Genoa Sestri Ponente, an area where I was born and lived for more than twenty years. The few memories I have of that period still remind me of several things…my blue bag with the white strap full of cards I used for drawing; syringes, plasters, cotton wool and other objects which should make up a first aid kit; my grandfather’s devotion in teaching me my multiplication tables, which thanks to him I still know off by heart. The “mountains” surrounding Sestri Ponente are no higher than six hundred metres, and during those years my dream was never higher than the neighbouring hill. I imagined that once I was grown up and independent, I would be able to reach the summit of those “little mountains” along unlikely paths invented in my mind. Neither my grandfather nor I could have ever

imagined that one day I would have moved elsewhere to write about trips and climbs, but no doubt he would have been as proud of me, as I am happy. When I was 15 years old every chance was good to climb up Monte Gazzo’s 421 metres. This was the mountain closest to my house, and each time I tried to reach the summit along different paths, every time more difficult. But my passion was not only walking…the little caves I visited, always on my own, and the short rock faces which I tried to climb up wearing my smooth gym shoes and the help of twenty metres of cordelette which I jealously guarded, were my favourite adventures. I remember years of “pocket money” saved up to buy my first gear and the excitement during the afternoons, while my friends looked for girlfriends, I would walk into those rare climbing shops to spend my few coins to buy some carabiners. Years later, when I finally understood that

mountains were my future, I made the most of every chance to write a diary of my excursions. I still keep those hand-written notebooks which meticulously describe, sometimes even obsessively, all those important moments. Throughout the period I went with the Gianni Ribaldone Speleological Group of Genoa Sestri Ponente, I would carry with me, even in the caves, a book and a thermometer and I would scrupulously write down the temperature every time we stopped. It took twenty years though to understand that writing guidebooks and photography would become a very important part of my life, not only a passion but also a job…a wonderful job. To describe what I enjoy doing is my passion, but at the same time I get pleasure from the chance to transfer my knowledge to others; I like the idea of helping as much as I can, and that is why I try, every day to the best of my ability, by writing and speaking to tourists who come to Finale from all over. There are so many things to say about Finale Ligure, and that is why I can’t, and don’t want to

ever stop writing, and answering with pleasure all the emails I get every week from climbing and trekking enthusiasts. I hope that this guide book of Finale’s paths is precise and complete and can be used to discover Finale’s wild surroundings, full of short glimpses, panoramic views and many other curious and interesting aspects. I thank you in advance for having walked along the paths of “my” Finale area wishing you great excursions with the certainty that among your children there is another new writer… Marco Thomas Tomassini

Sunset over the beach at Finalpia



Index and map

Index and map Map Acknowledgements Introduction

7 8 10

Symbols and signposts Bibliography and cartography Phone numbers and useful addresses

Borgio Verezzi 01 Nature Path 02 Culture Path 03 Mulino Fenicio Circuit - Torre di Bastìa 04 Arene Candide Circuit 05 Caprazoppa Circuit

16 18 22 28 32 36

Varigotti - Le Mànie 33 Varigotti and its historic centres 34 Territorio Indiano Circuit 35 Punta Crena Circuit 36 San Lorenzo Circuit 37 Varigotti - Noli

166 168 172 176 180 184

Noli 38 The Amico Path 39 Circuit of the Buongiardino 40 Noli Circuit - Bric dei Crovi 41 Bishop’s Palace Circuit 42 Roman Road 43 Bric dei Monti Circuit - Prati de Landrassa 44 Local road Voze - Tosse 45 Rocche Bianche - Colla di San Giacomo

190 192 196 200 204 208 212 216 220

Calice Ligure - Rialto 40 06 Barbottina Circuit 42 07 The path of the pillar 46 08 Calice (Eze) - Osteria Vecchia (Ca’ Del Din) 50 09 Rialto Circuit - Silver Mines of the Marquisate 54 10 Rialto (Cheirano) - Osteria Vecchia (Ca’ del Din) 60 11 Munta e China 64 12 Via dei Feudi Carretteschi 68 13 Rialto Circuit (Berea) - Carbuta (Canto) - Calice 74 Finalborgo - Perti 14 Finalborgo - Varigotti 15 Via del Purchin 16 The Principe Circuit 17 Bric Pianarella Circuit 18 Perti - Carbuta - Feglino Circuit 19 Via della Regina

78 80 86 92 96 100 104

Orco - Feglino 20 The Frati Circuit 21 Circuit of the Cascine di Orco Feglino 22 Ciappi Circuit 23 Monte Cucco canyon circuit - Ciappo delle Conche 24 Ponte Cornei - Church of San Lorenzino 25 Strapatente Circuit 26 The Circuit of the Strapatente altar

108 110 116 120 124 128 132 136

Finalpia - Calvisio - Verzi di Finale 140 27 Finalmarina - Calvisio 142 28 Circuit of Monte di Pia - Verzi di Finale 146 29 Circuit of Camporotondo 150 30 Circuit of the Rocca di Corno 154 31 Circuit of the Roman Bridges 158 32 Circuit of the Roman Bridges - Prati de Landrassa 162 6

12 14 15







Pietra Ligure

Tovo San Giacomo


Calice Ligure

Berea 13

Bardino Nuovo Bardino Vecchio

11 Rialto


Bric Pianarella

SP 27



Monte Caprazoppa



29 Calvisio


SP 8


Ponte Cornei 24

12 19 15 Finalborgo Finale Ligure 4-514 16 27



Borgio Verezzi



A 10

Feglino Ca’ de Cia 21

Orco 25


45 Vezzi Portio

Via Aurelia

Capo Noli

39-40 41 42 38

35-37 33-34 Punta Crena Varigotti


44 Voze





Special thanks to Francesca Vallarino without whom this guide book would not exist The author also thanks: Alessandra Fiorenza Alessandro (Ale) Brunetti and his dogs Nina and Pippi Alessandro Massa Alessandro Vernassa (Speleological Group Gianni Ribaldone-Genova Sestri Ponente) Alessio Scotto Andrea Zappalà Anna (Playmobil) Maria Marras and Ezio Cosso Astrid Hahn Carla, Fabio and Camilla Di Salvo Carlo Sfriso Cinzia Fracassi Italian Alpine Club, Finale Ligure section Davide Bruzzone Davide Muzza Elena Carpignano Elisa Montaldo Enrico Alberici Fabrizio Lena Flaviano Carpenè Fosca Scotto di Perta Francesca Magillo (Degree in Environmental science) Francesca Panzera Giuliano Brunetto (A.S.D. Polisportiva Rialtese) Alpini group of Finale Ligure F. Pertica Henry De Santis The local councils of Borgio Verezzi, Calice Ligure, Feglino, Finale Ligure, Noli, Rialto e Vezzi-Portio Ilaria Vanni Isabella Parodi

Ivan Terranova and Amanda Girardi with their dogs Nico, Saami and Jack Kirsti Lehtimaki and her dog Panu Laura Calcagno and her dog Vashj The guides of Grotte di Borgio Verezzi Lodovico Spiota Luciana Folco Magdolna Szivak Manola Cappelli Maria Bianconcini Massimo Gualberti Mauro (robociccio) Cova and Riina Kruusement Mauro Borra Michele Salvatore and l’Associazione Amici di San Lorenzo Micol (Micky) Schiaroli Mikael Treppo Pacho Baratta Pia, Roland, Katja, Anja, Enya e Joël Sutterlüty and their dog Cindy Pietro, Sonia and their donkeys Viola and Paco Pino Testa Riccardo (Ricky) Negro Roberta Gatti Roberto Novikov Sabrina Zunino and her dog Niai Dakota Niai Runningwolf Silverio Proserpio, Francesca Valle and their dog Fifty Simona (maga) Mordeglia Stefania Muzza and her dog Fiona Walter Nesti

Heading up the west face of Caprazoppa, in the background Borgio Verezzi and the coastline with the Gallinara Island g




With a touch of pride I can now start writing the introduction to this guide book…a guide that I have wanted to write for years but never written due to lack of time, lack of a project and lack of opportunity. Finally, now that someone else has done the more difficult part, I can easily - but with just as much pleasure - write the introduction! I don’t know Thomas very well, but we both moved over to Finale from Genoa, attracted by the area’s appeal, enchanted by the magic of these small but imposing mountains which have everything: nature, landscape, history, challenge…we both feel the “moral obligation” to let people get to know and appreciate this precious territory, which is a lot more than a busy beach during summer. And this is the reason behind writing a guide to its paths! What will you find in this guide? All the info you will need to easily plan an excursion, enjoy the visit, feel free to stop off, observe, ask yourself questions, examine in depth and contemplate. Simply because an excursion on foot, compared to other more “fashionable” outdoor sports, allows complete freedom: it does not force you to use special gear, nor does it require continuous concentration. Only the longing to go and see for yourself. Therefore we welcome you to the land where all rocks are set in shells, coral and silver veins and the paths have the perfume of thyme, and wild rosemary: where the water trickles through caves and comes out sweetly from the sea creating fossil beaches: where ancient Ligurians observed the coast from fortresses perched up high, and the woods silently hide archaeological sites dating from every era; where Megalithic and mysterious appeasing carvings co-exist with the tiny churches overlooking the valleys; where Romans, marquises and queens passed by, while farmers worked the land, stone after stone…In all seasons, in the evergreen Mediterranean scrub, on the rocks kissed by the sun or in the shade of the woods through the fog along the ridges, among colourful spring blossom and autumnal leaves, or when winter is in the air, clear and still, maybe even with snow under your feet while you look out to the sea… 100 books would never be enough to describe it: in the meantime start off with this one and go ahead! Francesca Magillo Naturalist and Environmental Excursion Guide


Own production of SPORTSWEAR and fashionable clothing Produzione propria abbigliamento SPORT e moda Own production of SPORTSWEAR and fashionable clothing Produzione propria abbigliamento SPORT e moda

Running partner: Running partner:


Symbols and signposts

Symbols and signposts Starting point: indicates the point where the itinerary starts, its altitude and its GPS coordinates.

Main surface: the main type of surface along the itinerary is indicated (dirt, paved, cement, asphalt).

Highest point reached: indicates the highest point reached and its altitude.

Mobile phone reception: an indication is given regarding the level of mobile phone reception to be found along any particular itinerary: intermittent or no signal, poor, good and excellent.

Vertical height gain (uphill and downhill): calculates the vertical height gain from the start to the end. Length in Km: if it is important for excursions to recommend an average time taken, for trail running instead the distance is given roughly in km, from the starting point to the end. Time taken: the time taken to walk along the itinerary refers to a medium level hiker, including stops. These are calculated from the start to the finish. The downhill sections usually require two thirds of the uphill time, sometimes even half the time. The indicative time taken should be halved when referring to trail-running.


Difficulties of the itineraries described: T, tourist: easy, on wide mule tracks, ideal for everyone E, excursionists: along a well sign posted path EE, for expert excursionists: the signposts are less evident, possible screes, moraines or areas covered in snow and possible exposed sections F, simple alpine: sections on rocks or glaciers. Recommended period: a rough estimate of the period. The itineraries are subject to weather conditions, to the presence or not of snow, parameters which depend on each season and each year and by each individual’s ability. Availability of water: indicates the opportunity of finding areas to fill up with drinking water along the itinerary. Signposts: indicates the presence of signposts, information boards, posts and stone cairns.


Altitude profile: the itineraries are equipped with an indicative altitude profile, calculated by using maps and GPS tracks where the type of surface which you meet along the itinerary is marked. Asphalt or cement. Dirt: can be a path (wide or narrow), a mule track or able to be driven by jeep. Paved: old paths, old mule tracks with steps. Dirt/paved/cement: itineraries which wind along paved or cement surfaces alternating with sections of dirt, where it is impossible to determine the exact points of one or the other.


Bibliography and cartography

Bibliography and cartography Bibliography (in alphabetic order) Alta Via dei Monti Liguri Centro Studi Unioncamere Liguri, Studio Cartografico Italiano 1983 Alte vie della Liguria by Andrea Parodi, Andrea Parodi Editore 2003 Castelli e fortezze di Liguria by M. Minola e B. Ronco, Servizi Editoriali 2006 Finale by Thomas di Marco Tomassini, ed. Le Mani 2007 Finale climbing by Marco Tomassini, ed. Versante sud 2011 Finale fra cielo e terra by Gianni Calcagno, ed. Le Mani 1998 Finale… non solo mare by Marco Tomassini, ed. Le Mani 2010 Finale sacra di Antonella Granero e Ferdinando Molteni, Elio Ferraris Editore 1998 Il Castelliere di Caprazoppa (Borgio Verezzi, Savona) by Oscar Giuggiola, in Quaderni del Civico Museo del Finale 1-1982 I Menhir di Torre Bastìa by Mario Codebò, in Notiziario C.A.I. Bolzaneto 1993 I monumenti del Finale by Nino Lamboglia e Giovanni Andrea Silla, ed. Istituto Internazionale di studi Liguri 1978 Incisioni rupestri e megalitismo in Liguria di Ausilio Priuli e Italo Pucci, ed. Priuli & Verlucca 1994 La Strada Beretta, 1666 Una via per l’Imperatrice di Giuseppe Testa, ed. Centro Storico del Finale 2002 Le nostre grotte della S.S.I. (Società Speleologica Italiana) e Roberto Bixio, Sagep editrice 1987 Le strade di ieri di Giuseppe Testa, ed. De’ Giusti 2007 Rialto, storia e cultura contadina nell’alta Val Pora della Polisportiva Rialtese, ed. Tipografia Litografia Ligure 1997 Sant’Antonino: un insediamento fortificato nella Liguria bizantina by T. Mannoni, G. Murialdo e D. Arobba, ed. Istituto Internazionale di Studi Liguri, 2001 Storia del Finale by G. A. Silla, ed. Tipografia Priamar, Savona 1965 Varigotti e la Chiesa di San Lorenzo: un antico porto della Liguria di Ponente di Giovanni Murialdo e Carlo Gagliardi, Istituto Internazionale di studi liguri 2005 Varigotti una volta, Arturo Borbonese 2004 Cartography (alphabetic order) ALP cartoguide 2 Finalese 1:25.000 Vivalda Editori - Ingenia Carta turistica ed escursionistica della Provincia di Savona - Finalese 1:25.000


Ufficio di Informazione ed Accoglienza Turistica di Borgio Verezzi (stagionale) Via Matteotti, 173 17022 Borgio Verezzi (SV) Tel.: + 39 019610412 Fax: + 39 019610412

Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico Finale Ligure (SASL) 118

Ufficio di Informazione ed Accoglienza Turistica di Finalborgo (stagionale) Piazza Porta Testa 17024 Finale Ligure (SV) Tel.: + 39 019680954 + 39 019680518 Fax: + 39 0196815789

Police 113

Ufficio di Informazione ed Accoglienza Turistica di Finale Ligure Via San Pietro, 14 17024 Finale Ligure (SV) Tel.: + 39 019681019 Fax + 39 019681804 Ufficio di Informazione ed Accoglienza Turistica di Varigotti (stagionale) Via Aurelia, 79 17024 Varigotti (SV) Tel.: + 39 019698013 Fax + 39 0196988842 Ufficio di Informazione ed Accoglienza Turistica di Noli Corso Italia, 8 17026 Noli (SV) Tel.: + 39 0197499003 Fax: + 39 0197499300 For more info on the local bus lines contact: Switchboard PL: + 39 01922011 Ticket Office TPL: + 39 0192201231 (Savona, beside the railway station) Free phone number for info on the timetable is: 800 012727 (weekdays Monday to Friday from 8a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Carabinieri 112

Fire Brigade 115 Emergency: medical and ambulance 118 Polizia stradale + 39 019681501 Polizia urbana + 39 019691380 019690833 Fax + 39 019680476

+ 39

Phone numbers and useful addresses

Phone numbers and useful addresses

Doctor on call 800556688 Pharmacy: Farmacia Del Borgo (Finalborgo) Tel. + 39 019690623 Farmacia Della Marina (Finalmarina) Tel. + 39 019692670 Hospital Santa Corona (Pietra Ligure) Tel. + 39 01962301 Hospital San Paolo (Savona) Tel. + 39 01984041 If you wish to contact the author Marco (Thomas) Tomassini, e-mail:

Salewa Mountain Shop Finalborgo Via Nicotera, 6 17024 Finalborgo (SV) Tel. + 39 0196816230 Soccorso A.C.I. + 39 803116


Trail running on the MĂ nie Plateau


Borgio Verezzi

Borgio Verezzi


Currently Borgio Verezzi, the western border of the Finale area, is a result of the merging, a long time ago, of two settlements: Burgum Albinganeum (Borgio), owned by the Vescovo Conte of Albenga and Veretium (Verezzi), a settlement situated half way across the slopes where the inhabitants of the coast took shelter during the incursions of the Saracen and Turkish pirates. Today Borgio Verezzi is divided into three different centres: the new centre of Borgio was established during the 60’s

-70’s along the coast at Bottassano’s estuary: the old historic centre of Borgio, perched at the base of the west face of Monte Caprazoppa and higher up, half way along the slope, Verezzi’s four historic centres (Poggio, Piazza, Roccaro and Crosa). Borgio Verezzi has been included since 2008 in the association of “The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy” and it is also famous for its caves, considered among the most “colourful” in Italy and for the Theatre Festival which is held in Verezzi during

August hosting some previews of national theatrical productions. The itineraries present in the area of Borgio Verezzi unwind mainly along ancient mule tracks which linked the village on the sea to the settlements up on Caprazoppa and over the hillside to reach Finale’s historic centre. The environment and the vegetation which make up these itineraries is typical of Mediterranean scrub together with large terraces, some, mainly olive groves, which are still cultivated today but others abandoned for years. The Commune of Borgio Verezzi, takes care of

its territory, and has renovated and marked the majority of these itineraries along which it is also possible to find information boards on the typical flora and fauna as well as man’s activity here. To find out more:

On Verezzi’s plateau




Borgio Verezzi > Nature Path

Borgio Verezzi

01 Borgio Verezzi (borgata Crosa), 240 m GPS N44 10.187 E8 18.621 288 m 290 m 290 m 6,1 km 2 hours


Difficulties All year round Possible to fill up along the way and in the shops in town Signposts Main type of road surface: dirt + paved and asphalt Mobile phone reception: excellent

Nature Path Access Take the Finale Ligure exit from the motorway and after 800 m there is a stop sign where you turn right up towards Calizzano. After 1,3 km you come to Gorra’s main square (Piazza San Bartolomeo) where you do a “U” turn to go back in the direction of the motorway but after 50 metres take the second road on the right up (Via Bracciale) towards Verezzi. Keep going for 2 km as far as a junction near a right hand bend where you turn left and park in the spaces indicated (borgata Crosa car park N 44 10.187 E 8 18.621). The car park is just before the village of Crosa and is divided into free parking (white lines), residents’ parking (yellow lines) and fee-paying parking (blue lines). There is a parking metre nearby which only takes coins. Shortly before this car park there is another parking area back towards Gorra on the right hand side of the road after going briefly uphill. The unpaved area is on the left. Main features Beautiful and panoramic itinerary, it crosses three of the four Verezze historic centres going right down to Borgio’s historic centre, reaching the splendid main square with the church of San Pietro. The itinerary, which is predominantly on paving stones, tackles a remarkable vertical height gain: from sea level to the highest point near the large stone cross. The itinerary is divided into stages (like the Nature Path) marked by wooden signs which illustrate the main characteristics found along the route. In a few sections the itinerary overlaps with the culture path Train + Bus Bus number 84, stop Verezzi borgata Crosa. Get off at the train station Borgio Verezzi, walk along Via XXV Aprile for 100 metres in an easterly direction and reach the civil protection building (Protezione Civile) on the right and the newsagents and bookshop on the left (where it is also possible to buy bus tickets). 280







Going down towards Verezzi borgata Piazza

0 km







Finale Ligure

Verezzi tables and benches stone steps and rope handrail Verezzi borgata Crosa car park

stone cross Mulino Fenicio

water fountain water fountain P.zza Sant’Agostino stone walls paved stone Borgio Verezzi

water basin


table and benches

Parco dell’acquedotto

water fountain

water fountain

water fountain

Pietra Ligure



Borgio Verezzi > Nature Path

“Sentiero Cultura” (marked SC). Description After you have parked your car at borgata Crosa, just before heading up the cobblestone road which climbs up between the houses, turn right along Via alla Crosa which goes down towards borgata Piazza (marked SN). Once you have crossed the asphalt road continue downhill till you find yourself in the main square, Piazza Sant’Agostino. Walk across the square, turn right onto Via Roccaro which, after going under an arcade, unwinds through the houses. Near the little chapel of the Immacolata Concezione, hidden behind a large oleander plant, head downhill to the left along Via Borgio, and near the last house, turn left into Via Pria Grossa which heads down alternating between dirt roads and cobblestone roads among fields (marked SN, SC and two red triangles). The cobblestone road turns into a beautiful paved stone road and winds among uncultivated areas and olive groves. The paved stone road then goes down to the right and turns into Via Vaizella, straight after you

THE CASTELLARO DI VEREZZI The Castellaro di Verezzi with a few megalithic structures in the area (Menhir of Torre Bastia, Arma Crosa and Dolmen di Verezzi) shows the frequent and intense human activity from ancient times. The Castellaro is a fortified high ground settlement, dating back to the Iron Age (900-810 BC). Currently what remains of the settlement are the ruins of the defensive walls and fencing as well as many stone tools. will see a wooden signpost which points straight ahead (Nature Path) ignoring the trail on the left (Via de Sevure). Along a long flat section turn left and then after having crossed Rio Battorezza (dried up), at the junction turn right following the path marked SN. From here you shortly reach an asphalt road near a pond. Go downhill to the left and continue straight, flat, leaving a group of houses on the right. Just before the road starts downhill towards Borgio’s historic centre, to the left you will see the aqueduct’s public park, a pleasant break in the shade under the

A view over the historic centres of Crosa, Piazza and Roccaro



pine trees. Continue downhill behind the Church of San Pietro turning right among the houses of Via della Salute and then to the right along the tiled road which leads to the main square of Piazza San Pietro. From here, head down Via XX Settembre, coming out of the historic centre. Turn left along an asphalt road, and once you reach the junction which leads to Grotte di Borgio Verezzi, continue along Via Matteotti. At the end of this road, you will find a level crossing and the asphalt road which climbs up towards Verezzi (Via Nazario Sauro), turn onto it and follow Via della Cornice on the right. On the hair pin bend on the left continue straight following the wide dirt road which heads into the pine forest (marked SN and with a red circle). After going slightly uphill head up to the left along the holly oak wood and then into the garrigue along a panoramic section overlooking the sea. Near a pine tree along the path with a descriptive wooden sign post, continue to the right until you reach a panoramic point overlooking the crags of Caprazoppa equipped with tables and benches. From here continue up and down heading into the beautiful holly oak wood. Once you reach the doline, head up to the left (marked SN and a red rhombus) along the cobblestone road which will shortly lead you to the churchyard of San Martino (borgata Crosa). From here follow it to the left passing in front of the church and the oratory. At the end of this, turn behind it on the right and take a path (marked SN and with a red circle) which climbs up to the left heading into a holly

oak wood. Shortly afterwards turn left to visit the Mulino Fenicio and from here, on the flat, reach the large stone cross, a panoramic point overlooking the historic centre of Verazze. Continue on the flat and then slightly uphill and at the second junction (no signposts) turn left along a narrow, flat dirt track which leads you to the junction with Via du Castelle. From here, continuing straight down you reach another picnic area. Here, on the right, in a little valley covered in vegetation you will find the remains of the ancient castle Castellaro di Verezzi. Head down to the left along Via de Funtane which shortly leads you after a short steep section over steps and stone ladders equipped with handrail, back to the houses of Crosa and from here, along an asphalt road which then becomes cobblestones, it opens up beside an old washhouse, from where you turn right and reach the car park.

THE CAVES OF BORGIO VEREZZI This site is very interesting and of great tourist appeal, the caves are an example of karst activity (frequently found in the Finale area). The caves were formed with the slow erosion of the water on the rock. Three children were the first to discover an artificially created well widening a natural crack which was present in the bed of the river Battorezza. They reached a cave inside without realising how important their discovery actually was. It was only twenty years later that the speleologist Giovanni Dentella systematically started exploring the caves, allowing everyone to reach the many, spectacular concretions of calcium carbonate along an itinerary made especially for tourists. The itinerary unwinds for roughly 800 metres underground, crossing transparent water, great columns, fine drapes and slender stone pipes with colours which range from white to yellow to

red. The Borgo Verezzi caves’ chromatic colour variety makes these caves the most colourful in Italy. For info visit the website: