A long but smooth stage, without difficulties and big differences in height, with beautiful landscapes and sea views.
The Colle di Cadibona represents a fundamental part of our itinerary: it officially marks the end of the Alps.
The signage is not always homogeneous and sometimes it is easy to get lost: keep an eye on the map and the GPS.
Sometimes the passage of mountain bikes makes the track rough, especially in case of mud.
Absent water points: bring a good supply.
We leave Colle di Melogno on an asphalted road. After we pass the locality of Ca 'del Mago, we take the path that follows the road from below, in the middle of the woods. The path is easy, but the many leaves covering it can sometimes hide the path. There are many deviations due to the downhill cycling routes.
We pass the Madonna della Neve locality and continue on a comfortable carriage road, with slight ups and downs in the woods, that we leave behind for a short climb that takes us to the Rifugio Pian dei Corsi. From there, on a level path, we skirt the former NATO base and reach Colle Cravarezza (908 m).
We are once again on a wide road, thanks to which we quickly gain the Colle di San Giacomo (798 m): from here we find the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri. We go around Monte Alto (954 m) from the south and, once on Colle La Tagliata, we walk on the wooded ridge that goes down to Colle del Termine (665 m).
Continuing on the AVML path, we go back to altitude (about 150 m height difference), and, overcoming some fallen trees, we reach the top of Monte Baraccone (819 m). We return to the road, first on the ridge, which goes down slowly (approximately 350 m drop) to Colle di Cadibona: we have completed the Alps, hurray!
The Colle di Cadibona pass (or Bocchetta di Altare, 436 m) connects the Savona coast and the Bormida Valley and is considered (since Roman times!) the junction between the mountain system of the Alps and that of the Apennines. It is the lowest pass of the entire Italian mountain system: within a radius of 10 km the peaks do not exceed 1000 m.
Due to its strategic position, it was of central importance for several armies. It was used already in 203 BC by the Carthaginians, during the retreat following the Second Punic War. The Napoleonic army, at the time of the Italian Campaign, widened the road that goes beyond the hill, where fortifications already existed and finally, in the second half of the 1800s forts were built on the hill, which constituted the defensive complex of the Tagliata, now abandoned.
After the opening of the Savona-Turin motorway and a tunnel on the state road, the pass has lost much of its importance. However, it is recommended for those who love to travel by motorbike due to the great variety of landscapes: it is incredible to see how quickly nature changes when you approach the sea from the mountain.
In the territory of the municipality of Altare, in the locality of Pellegrino, there is Matha Gitananda Ashram, the most important Hindu monastery in Europe, founded in 1992 by master Yogasri Svami Yogananda Giri.
It is open to all those who want to live an experience in a monastic community, based on the ethical and religious foundations of Hinduism. It is both for a spiritual search, for practicing yoga and meditation, and for carving out moments to dedicate to themselves, immersed in the nature and in the silence of the contemplative life.
The Apricot of Valleggia, with its typical thin skin and light orange color, has a much more intense aroma and flavor than the other varieties on the market.
It was produced in this area as early as the 19th century and reached its maximum production in the 1950s and 1960s: the orchards spanned hundreds of hectares of the Valleggia. Since the 70s the orchards have decreased dramatically to leave room for greenhouse nursery crops and for the development of private construction linked to tourism. However, In Quiliano, there are still orchards where it has begun the recovery and enhancement of this excellent apricot, which benefits from the Slow Food Presidium.
Rifugio Bocca d'Orso, 1 km before Colle di Cadibona. Tel. +39 331 587 4478
Trattoria Locanda San Rocco, in Altare (15 minutes from Colle di Cadibona). Tel. +39 019 58256
Rifugio Cadibona (Cadifugio), in Cadibona (about 2 km from the Colle, towards the east). Tel. +39 339 688 6169
Starting point reachable by car.
Departure point reachable by bus, starting from the city of Savona with a change in Finale Ligure.
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.