12 ° stage: Volastra – Sarzana 31,000km – Time: 8h30 – Difficulty: medium
We start from Volastra, from the Sanctuary’s square, we cross the main road and take the road to the Sanctuary, the first stretch is paved and uphill, then it becomes dirt and flat, the path continues in a lush forest to the west. When we reach a sharp bend we will see a red fire- pillar (this part is about 4 km) then turn left on the trail uphill: (road-sign: No. 501 ex 01) – that winds nearly straight, only when we reach the top there are twists and turns, the trail takes us to the crossroads in “Sella La Croce”, (at this point comes the path n° 598 ex 1 of the ridge) we continue straight crossing the wide path, then after a few meters we turn right downhill on uneven path and barely visible with (road-sign: 01) badly positioned; this trail runs along the methane pipeline route then continues through the woods in a more accessible and reaches Carpena on a concrete stairway. We continue straight on asphalt then passed the war memorial, we take on the right the cobblestone path (road-sign: 01) that leads us to the small “borgo Casté”, we go over on a slab-road. Trail 01 that runs mainly over long stairs into the woods, after Casté intersectes with the road Via Casté for 4 times, for this is very important to pay attention each time to find the ledder in cement starts downhill after crossing the road. Joints again in plane on the paved road up to the central of the methane pipeline, turns left and proceed for about 220m , then after the sign Agriturismo “Mamma Chica” again we take the path on the left that passes over a bridge old and slightly rising up through a ladder on the white road. Turn right and then left walking on the road to get to the “Hotel Nella” where the trail ends with (road-sign: 01) in locality Foce. We cross the “Via Aurelia”, turn right (fountain) and the immediately to the left, starts the “Alta Via del Golfo” (road-sign: AVG); we pass in front of the “monument to Mazzini”, we go up “Via Montalbano” and reaching a hairpin bend, go straight on dirt road, passing a building. We reach the main road again and crossing it, continue straight uphill on flight of steps. Just past a shrine of the Madonna holding the right we continue until we reach the churchyard of ”St. Stefano a Marinasco” (fountain) which offers extensive views over the gulf of La Spezia. On the right of the square it departs in descend a path with steps, reached the Crossit crossed the carriage “SP15 Val Durasca”, it turns to the left and after 250m it takes on the right the narrow road with slabs ( food shop). We arrive at a small stairs, walk uphill, we pass a yellow building on the left, then we go straight ahead and we are on “Via Costa Santa Lucia” “loc. Strà”; (fountain and restaurant and club ENDAS); at the junction we go straight uphill on cobbled road marked with military cairns, passing a red gate, we go left on dirt road, arrive on the pavement, cross it and continue on a dirt road, (turning on the right uphill we reach hospitaliy) past the “nursery school E. Ferro” continue straight and take the path keeping to the left and then reach again the asphalt near a pink building loc.Strà, continue down the hill and get into “Via Costa Santa Lucia”. Once we reach the hairpin turn left past a “stone ENEL”. The path is initially a little visible, then continue on stairs and on asphalt to reach “Via Montalbano”. We continue straight on the paved road in light slope for about 1 km ; then turn right in “Via Antoniana”, a steep drop, (road-sign n°7 Casa Arsa- Montepertico). Reached the end of the asphalt continue on cobbled paving which starts on the left side of the road, we arrive to the abandoned house “Casa Arsa”, is exceeded then turn right into a dense bush that makes it difficult to proceed for at least 30 m then the trail continues in light slope and soon after continues downhill on the wide path; joint to a fork proceed to the left reaching to the wider part, turn left into “Via Montepertico” initially dirt road then paved; we pass the road on the gallery and we enter turning right into Via del Forno. It exceeded the “Hospital” and we continue on the left sidewalk to arrive at the roundabout on the main road “Via Buonviaggio” being carefull to get trough that because there are no crosswalks. Then turn right and go past the “Shed Ansaldo” and on then just after we go down on the left the metal ladder to proceed in “Via Dorgia”. At the distributor, we turn left in “Via Favaro”, cross and walk along the sidewalk to the right for a few meters, then turn right in “Via Caselli” initially pedestrian then paved, and enter “Via della Pieve” and we reach the square of the Pieve di San Venerio. (fountain). On the left side of the church starts “Salita Castelvecchio” cemented, immediately after we turn left follow the river, at the junction we go left onto the dirt road and then climb cemented steps. We reach the paved road, turn left to reach “Piazza Mazzini”, turn right into the “Salita Spiaggio” initially on asphalt then on stairways and at the junction turn left and cross the village; turn right under the arch into “Via Sturlese”, cross “Piazza Castello” in the ancient village of San Venerio and continue straight on asphalt, then the hairpin bend take left on a ladder to get around it, continue until we reach “Via del Monte”. Turn right and continue for 2,5 km in part on the stairway going down. We reach the paved road, (*) turn right and reach the roundabout: we are in Termo di La Spezia. Continue straight on the main road, then at the “Punto Snai” cross it and continue to the right, just after we climb the ladder (road-sign: AVG), turn left and climb on asphalt in the “Via Sommavigo” to Arcola. Arrived at the hairpin continue straight on the paved road then on the path and arrived at the yellow house we enter again into “Via Sommavigo”; go to the top of the hill, the road continues shrinkiing up to reach in proximity of the Chiesa di Baccano, on the left side begins the path in light descent and in the wood, it continue in “Via Colombiera”, it overcomes the underpass and it comes immediately after to “Via L. Valentini SP19”; to reach the roundabout go straight ahead, continue straight and then turn right into “Via Porcareda”, arrived in front of the Carabinieri continue to the left, at the fork go left and pass under the railway. Turn right in “Via Giovato” along the railroad; arrived at the intersection continue to the right again in “Via Giovato” and reach taking the right the railways underpass that leads to the “Via Aurelia” in direction Sarzana. We pass a junction, always on the “SS1” cross the long bridge on the Magra river on the left side between the guardrail and the railing (the road is very busy and therefore dangerous). When we reach the first roundabout turn left and then right in “Via Brigate Partigiane Muccini” (hospitality) toward the city center; a long driveway leading into “Piazza San Giorgio”, continue in “Via Gramsci” and in “Piazza Matteotti”, turn right into “Via Mazzini” which coincided with the “Via Francigena”. We take on the left “Via Castracani” at the Cathedral Basilica di Santa Maria, we continue in “Via Paci” to arrive at the church of San Francesco in Sarzana. (hospitality)
Variant (*) Magra River 11,100km – When reach the paved road at the end of Via del Monte, turn left into “Via Termo”; skirt the railway on the right; pass the Vezzano railway station; we continue passing on the right in the pedestrian underpass of the railway; turn left in “Via Don Minzoni” after about 200m turn left again in the railway underpass; take to the right the road skirting the railway; reach the road parallel to the highway viaduct (Forcola); underpass the viaduct to arrive at the roundabout; cross it and go right toward Sarzana along the “road SP1”. We continue for 300m. underpassing the railway and immediately turn left to go up on the concrete flight of steps to arrive at the pedestrian crossing skirting the railway bridge that cross the Magra river. On the other side you can find a flight of steps which lead on the right bank of the Magra river. Turn left into “Via Casale” (road-sign: PF Santo Stefano) and at the Stop turn right along left the highway; we pass a little bridge just after the junction we continue left going into a cane field, arrived at the open space we continue straight (road-sign: red plate with Arrow) and we skirt on the left of the Motorway Service Area, then exceeded sports fields turn right along the long side of the football field. After we turn left and come to the fork take the path on the right (road-sign: PF Arcola) that runs along a olive grove. We come to a open space with a view of the river, the turn left into the cane field ,at the bottom near the highway turn right (road-sign: red plate with Arrow) and go straight with left the highway. We arrive on the paved road and turn right passing along a pond. We pass over the highway and continue up the main road, turn right on the little bridge and follow “Via Boettola”; turn left at the Stop and we take “Via Cisa SS72”, to continue to the right for a short stretch, to turn to the left in “Via Cisa Interna”, reached the round about it Always continues in “Via Cisa Interna” on the left sidewalk, to the second rounabout to continue rights, it passes the bridge andit continues in light descent, it passes “Porta Parma” and it continues in ” Via Bertoloni” in historical center of Sarzana, it comes in “Piazza Matteotti, it continues in “Via Mazzini” and it reaches the Collegiata of S. Maria Assunta.(hospitality)
Loc. Strà (La Spezia): Monastery “Benedettino S.ta Maria del Mare” (R) -Via Montalbano 135/B – notice is necessary – Credential obligatory – apply Mother Maria Teresa – tel.+390187711332/40 – 40 beds with blankets and sheets – 20€ including dinner and breakfast – lunch 10€ – single room 30€.
Sarzana: Parish “San Francesco d’ Assisi” (R) – Via A. Paci,8 – Tel 0187 620356 Don RenzoPaci, 8 – notice is necessary – Credential obligatory – apply Don Renzo, Mrs. Carla – phone +0390187 620 356 – 20 seats with mattress and blankets – to be provided with sleeping bag – bathroom with shower 2€ – offer 5€. — Istituto La Missione Via Carducci , 5 – notice is necessary – Credential obligatory – contact phone 0187802562 tel. +390187620240 +3901876112718 – 20 seats with camp bed – to be provided with sleeping bag – bathroom with shower – dinner end breakfast 5€ – overnight stay donation. — B&B Il Pappagallo– Via Brigate Muccini, 136 – notice is necessary – Credential obligatory – contact phone +039 0187625138 mob. +0393388396537 – for pilgrims equipped with a Credential €30 single bedroom, €50 double room including breakfast.
Distances and reference marks:
Volastra – Idrante Sentiero 01 km 5,000
Idrante Sent 01 – La Croce km 1,300
La Croce – Carpena km 1,400
Carpena – Castè km 0,810
Castè – La Foce km 2,100
La Foce – Via Antoniana km 3,800
Via Antoniana – Capannone Ansaldo km 3,300
Capannone Ansaldo – Pieve S.Venerio km 1,200
Pieve di San Venerio – Via Monte km 1,800
Via Monte – Il Termo km 2,200
Il Termo – Arcola km 2,700
Arcola – Zona Industriale km 0,890
Zona Industriale – Ponte Sul Magra km 2,000
Ponte sul Magra Via B.P. Muccini km 1,200
Via B.P. Muccini – Via Francigena Sarzana km 1, 300
road of Hospitality km 0,500
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The 12 proposed stages and described were been in the years by the authors that decline every responsibility around possible changes on the territory that can alter how much it has described