A long but easy and very pleasant stage, among beautiful beech and chestnut woods, close to the Ligurian-Emilian regional border.
The day is enhanced by an aerial passage on an easy rocky ridge, near the Rocca della Scaletta, and by the panoramic ridge of Monte Zatta (1,355 m), which overlooks the Riviera di Levante.
In the first part, the path can be covered with leaves and it is not always easy to spot it on the ground: pay attention to the signs on the trees.
The rocky ridge after Rocca della Scaletta is steep and sometimes slippery: pay attention during the descent.
On an easy path, we go up (about 100 m height difference) in the woods towards the Sella di Monte Nero, where we return to the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri and enter the Emilian territory for the first time. We then go down (approximately 150 m drop) towards the Passo dell'Incisa (1,463 m). From here, after a slight initial descent, we continue along the hillside cutting the eastern slope of Monte Nero, immersed in the beech and chestnut woods, up to the Passo dei Porcelletti.
From the pass, instead of going downhill towards the west, we keep the AVML track which continues on the ridge southwards along the regional border. We reach Rocca della Scaletta (1,439 m) and the panorama opens up - the view is very suggestive. A long descent begins (approx. 450 m drop): we continue on the rocky ridge (some sections are slippery, be careful) and, after a steep section, we reach Passo della Scaletta (1,258 m).
We go back into the woods moving to the eastern side of the watershed: we continue to slowly lose altitude, up to Passo dei Ghiffi, where we take the asphalted road to the left. Following the road southwards, we arrive at Passo del Bocco, the historic border pass between Liguria and Emilia-Romagna, where the Val di Taro ends (those who are tired can break the stage here).
We continue briefly on the road, then take a carriage road on the right, which soon gives way to the path. The climb begins (about 350 m height difference), gradually more decisive, without however being difficult. Once you reach the Poggio Buenos Aires, along the ridge, there are beautiful views towards the coast. Finally, we reach the top of Monte Zatta di Ponente (1,355 m), which also offers panoramic views on the sea and on the ever-closer Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.
We walk on level ground along the entire edge of Monte Zatta. Having passed the top of Monte Zatta di Levante, we return to the woods and begin the descent (approximately 500 m drop), always along the ridge. We arrive easily at the provincial road, we take it to the right and, immediately after, we take the path on the right (a little overgrown by vegetation, not very easy to identify) which goes around the Poggio della Marchesina from the south, to quickly arrive at Colla Craiolo.
In the first half of the 16th century, the bandit Vincenzo Zenoglio, also known as "il Crovo", raged in the Sturla Valley, for years terrifying the communities of the Chiavari hinterland, remaining for a long time surrounded by a legendary aura.
His best-known action was the attack, in the area of the Passo Centocroci, on the convoy of Cosimo I de 'Medici, of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, traveling to Genoa with his court. Following the episode, in 1543 he was killed by some assassins on the orders of the local squire Gian Luigi Fieschi (who had probably protected him previously), forced by the "reason of state" to protect the relations between the Republic of Genoa and the wealthy Florence, as he could not compromise the alliance relations.
On the edge of the marshy plateau of Pratomollo, there is a real geological jewel of the Ligurian Apennines: Pietra Borghese (Pria Burghéisa), an imposing rocky mass with a decidedly unique shape that over the centuries has been at the center of many legends.
It was once believed to be a meteorite: in-depth studies have instead revealed that it is an outcrop of Lherzolite, coming from over 30 km deep, a remnant of the crust of the ancient Ligurian Ocean. Radiometric analysis indicates that, with its 2 billion years, Pietra Borghese is among the oldest rocks in Italy.
Among other things, the rock is magnetic and therefore drives compasses crazy: due to its particular structure it also attracts lightning and resonates in a characteristic way, if struck by a hammer. These peculiarities have helped to fuel the popular imagination.
Staying on the subject of rocks, inside the Rifugio del Passo del Bocco, it is possible to admire a monolith that bears a clearly visible engraving on one of the faces, probably an anthropomorphic figure, found near the Passo del Ghiffi.
Among the most famous and appreciated, the Val Taro porcini mushroom boasts a superior quality and constitutes an important economic resource of the territory.
There are countless ways to cook it, from appetizers to main courses: in oil, grilled, cut raw into thin slices, with flakes of Parmigiano-Reggiano, in sauce with tagliatelle, tortelli or gnocchi ... uber alles, fried mushrooms, breaded in cornmeal: a real attempt on any good intention.
Rifugio Del Bocco, in Passo del Bocco. Tel. +39 0185 342065
Rifugio Colla del Faggio, in Colla Craiolo. Tel. +39 0187 843003 - +39 348 227 0555
Starting point NOT reachable by car.
The nearest location reachable by car is Belvedere.
Departure point NOT reachable by bus.
The nearest town that can be reached by bus is Belvedere, starting from the town of Chiavari.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
The nearest town reachable by train is Chiavari, starting from the city of Genoa.
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.