A very long stage but with reduced height differences (only a few, gradual climbs, never demanding).
The walk is enhanced by the very panoramic ridge, between the top of Monte Carmo (1,012 m) and Monte Spina.
The signs are sometimes discontinuous and, in some parts, it is easy to get confused due to the many traces created by the passing cattle.
After the town of Scoffera, the path is sometimes covered with ferns and tall grass, which at times hide the path. At the Sella della Grassina, you pass some huts, where you can meet semi-wild dogs without a leash: pay attention.
The only water point is in Scoffera.
We take the road which, on red terrain, slowly goes up (about 100 m height difference) towards the suggestive carving of the Sisa Gorge, just below Monte Cornua. On the path, we go around Monte Alpesisa from the north, admiring the Val Noci Lake from above. Once on a slight slope at the Colle Est di Monte Lago, we continue on the wooded ridge to the Porta del Fuoco, from which we continue to climb briefly (approx. 150 m height difference) to the top of Monte Carmo (1,012 m).
A long stretch along the ridge awaits us: very enjoyable and smooth, up to Monte Spina, which we go around from the north before rapidly descending to the Passo della Scoffera (674 m), where the most tired can break the stage.
We resume the AVML path, starting the long, slow climb (approximately 400 m height difference) towards Monte Lavagnola. After a first stretch along the hillside, the comfortable climb develops entirely along the, often open, watershed. We pass Monte Castelluzzo (750 m), then the road pass of Passo La Colla (845 m), and continue until we go around Monte Lavagnola from the north, gaining the homonymous hill (1,080 m). We continue on the ridge, overcome Monte Montaldo (1,136 m), and just lose altitude up to the Portello Pass, where we find an ancient stone church, dedicated to the Madonna della Neve. On an asphalted road, we quickly reach the Sella della Giassina.
From the pass, we take a small road that goes up the watershed, for the last part of the stage. The path goes barely up (approximately 150 m height difference), almost without us noticing it. After a couple of kilometers, we move on to a path, climb a little more and cover the last stretch in ups and downs, until we take the asphalted road that quickly leads us to Barbagelata.
The Fontanabuona Valley, behind the Portofino promontory, has always been a land of emigration and boasts illustrious descendants in the Americas: the parents of Christopher Columbus, the mother of Frank Sinatra and also Sister Blandina, the "nun of the Far West" were born here. In the New World, Sister Blandina fought in defense of the Native Americans and tried to show the right way to none other than the bandit Billy the Kid.
The valley was historically renowned for its textile production and in particular for the damask silks of Lorsica, where each family had a loom and made the highest quality fabrics. Unfortunately, the town depopulated after World War II and today the ancient craftsmanship is being lost.
In the area there are numerous quarries (now largely closed) of precious slate, the stone used everywhere for roofs, stairs and churchyards: grand walls of it can be admired.
The town of Lavagna is so called because of the abundant presence of this mineral, whose ancient name was "lavagna" (blackboard), exactly like those of our classrooms (made of slate plates), on which it is written with chalk.
The canestrelli di Torriglia (u canestrellettu) are a typical dessert of the Trebbia Valley.
They are shortcrust biscuits in the shape of flowers, ideal for tea. They have an ancient origin, as evidenced by the effigy of seven canestrelli on a medieval coin, the golden genovino, coined by the Republic of Genoa in the 12th century.
There are documents from 1576 in which these coins were called "the Canestrelli di Torriglia", indicating the stolen goods of a robbery.
Rifugio Scoffera, near Passo Scoffera. Tel. +39 010 907411 - +39 366 567 9406 - +39 338 938 1906
Rifugio Barbagelata, in the homonymous locality; unattended, it is necessary to ask for the keys. It has 12 beds, but it does not have a kitchen. Tel. +39 0185 95019
B&b Case Poggio, presso Frazione Roccatagliata in località Poggio. Tel. 3496372913
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus from the city of Genova.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.