Definitely a long stage on the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri, with an important overall difference in height.
The most beautiful moment of the day is the panoramic ridge towards Monte Taccone (1,113 m), from where we see a good part of the Alps.
The stage is quite long: we recommend the less experienced hikers to break it at Colle Gandolfi (taking advantage of the nearby Bivacco Bellani, very austere) or at Colla di Praglia. Even if both in Colla di Praglia and at Passo della Bocchetta there are no mountain lodges or hotels, you can take advantage of the free shuttle service provided by the structures of the Ospitabilità Alta Via dei Monti Liguri (+39 338 162 9347).
You cross areas populated by vipers: pay attention and, every now and then, hit the ground with the stick to warn them of your presence.
Water points absent: bring a good supply.
We take the military road (north of the structure) which, slightly downhill, quickly leads us to the Cappelletta di Masone. After a short stretch on an asphalted road, we take the path that takes us quickly to Passo del Turchino (591 m), under which the motorway tunnel passes. From the historic pass (the highest point of the Milan-Sanremo cycling race), we continue on the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri, which on a comfortable carriage road in the woods leads us, with ups and downs, to Passo del Veleno (660 m).
We continue on the path and start the climb (approximately 300 m height difference) towards Colle Gandolfi, walking along the Ligurian-Piedmontese border. The track is sometimes rocky and steep (if the ground is wet, it’s easy to slip). Having reached the wide pass of Colle Gandolfi (938 m), we admire the nearby port of Genoa from above. Just further south we find the summit of Monte Penello (999 m), which offers an incredible view, and the support of the small Bivacco Arnaldo Bellani (where those who are tired can break the stage). The nearby Punta Martin is the natural gym of Genoese rock climbers.
From Colle Gandolfi, we veer north on the wide dirt road and stay on the ridge, surrounding the top of Monte Foscallo (988 m) and Bric dell'Orologio (939 m). Afterward, on the hillside, we cross the eastern slope of Mount Sejeu (958 m) and arrive at Colla di Praglia (880 m).
We take the provincial road to Prato del Gatto, where we find the path. Leaving the woods, we start the climb (approximately 300 m height difference), initially on a dirt road, towards Monte Taccone. After passing the first ramp, we arrive near the Bric di Guana. Afterward, we cover a stretch on a panoramic ridge, and with a last climb, we reach the top of Monte Taccone (1,113 m). After a few ups and downs, we gradually lose altitude (approximately 300 m drop) and we cut the south-west slope of Monte Leco on a comfortable path, to finally take the carriage road that takes us promptly to the Bocchetta Pass.
From Monte Leco springs the Green Torrent which then, merging with the Riccò, takes the name of Polcevera, one of the waterways that cross Genoa and flow into the Ligurian Sea.
The bridge that spans the Polcevera in the Ligurian capital, commonly known as Ponte Morandi, has become infamous for its partial collapse, which took place in August 2018.
The Val Polcevera, where the stream flows, is renowned for the green Polcevera marble and its unique streaks. It has been extracted since the 17th century and it was used to embellish palaces and churches in the past - such as the Cathedral of San Lorenzo or the Palazzo Rosso (recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), both in Genoa.
The Sanctuary of the Madonna della Guardia, located on Mount Figogna, is a place of worship for the Genoese.
The sanctuary was built as a result of a miracle performed by the Madonna, who saved a shepherd (Benedetto) who fell from a tree and was dying. To thank the Madonna, the shepherd built a small chapel with the help of his family, at the end of the 15th century.
In a notarial document, dating back to 1530, some acquaintances of the pastor give testimony of the veracity of the miracle. Later the sacred building was enlarged: the present structure was completed in 1865, with the contribution of many faithful.
The Genoese courgette is suitable for numerous preparations: a funxettu, cut into slices and fried in a pan with oil, garlic, and oregano or grilled or fried with a batter of water and flour. Alone or together with other vegetables or meats or even stuffed with meat, marjoram, garlic, parmesan, eggs as well as its own pulp and then browned off in the oven.
Bivacco Arnaldo Bellani, on the top of Monte Penello; equipped with 2 benches and a stove (no beds). Always Open.
B&B Casa Torre, Pietralavezzara locality (about 1 hour walk from Passo della Bocchetta, you can however request the free shuttle service). Tel. +39 010 793216 - +39 338 6530455 - +39 338 162 9347
Starting point of the stage reachable by car (the road passes just below the Rifugio Geremia).
Departure point NOT reachable by bus.
The closest reachable location is Colle di Velva, starting from the city of Genoa by train to Voltri, where you can take the bus.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
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.