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The Alta Via dei Monti Liguri

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The Alta Via dei Monti Liguri is a long-distance high-level trail covering the length of Liguria, from Ventimiglia in the west all across the ridge-tops to Ceparana on the Tuscan border above La Spezia in the east – a total distance of some 440km. The mountains, which form the connection between the Alps and the Apennines, aren’t high – rarely more than 1500m – meaning that the scenic route, which makes full use of the many passes between peaks, is correspondingly easy going. The whole thing would take weeks to complete in full, but has been divided up into 43 stages of between 2 and 4 hours each, making it easy to dip in and out of. Trail support and maintenance is good, with rifugi dotted along the path and distinctive waymarks (red-white-red “AV” signs).

Unfortunately, access from the main coastal towns to most other parts of the Alta Via can be tricky, and requires juggling with route itineraries and bus timetables. A sample walk starts from point 26 – Crocetta d’Orero, on the Genoa–Casella train line: heading east from Crocetta, an easy route covers 7.8km to point 27, Colle di Creto (2hr 30min, and served by Genoa buses), with a diversion along the way to a lovely flower-strewn path in and around the deserted hamlet of Ciatti.

For information on the Alta Via, your best bet is the Associazione Alta Via dei Monti Liguri, which produces a full-colour wall-map of the route, along with detailed English descriptions and timings of all 43 stages (plus hotels and restaurants along the way). Books and an eight-pamphlet guide to the trail are on sale in bookshops. The same information is at wparks.it. Club Alpino Italiano offices in the major towns have information on rifugi, and the Federazione Italiano Escursionismo (FIE) publishes detailed guides to all the inland paths of Liguria.

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