11° Stage: Levanto – Volastra 21,500km – Time: 5h30 – Difficulty: high
We start from Piazza del Popolo, turning in “Via Guani” on the left side of Loggia Municipale and walk to the end, then turn on the right into “Via Martiri della Libertà”, we pass under the railway, we reach district “Albero d’Oro”, we cross a stream and turning on the right and continue along a long stretch in “Località Case Sparse Ridarolo”, we turn right, cross the bridge (fountain), we are in “località Case sparse Pié di Legnaro”. We go on asphalt and after the Fire Department we arrive at a crossroads: we go straight to Fontona, we go on and before the sight “Angela Bed and Breakfast” we take on the right the (path No. 12 for Fontona). After crossing an old bridge, we enter the woods on a cobblestone path, reach the main road turn right uphill then we move on the left to take up the path, we walk alongside a vineyard and the trail becomes an ancient path. We go over a concrete staircase, arrived to Fontona on the paved road, near some garages turn left, then after a curve we arrive at the junction: here turn left and find the indication: Madonna del Soccorso. The path becomes a cemented path then gravel path, at the first junction we follow jet the indication Madonna del Soccorso turning right, then continue on the trail (road-sign: n°12) in the direction of Colle Gritta. The trail becomes a dirt road through the woods until we get to a iron barrier open and near on the right the Ristorante Bar “Monterosso Alto. We are in “Colle Gritta” then we cross the main road to La Spezia, climb a staircase that cuts through the bend and continue on the asphalt to reach after about 2 km the Sanctuary of Soviore (hospitality). We follow the signs Vernazza and we proceed in the grounds of the Sanctuary walking again on asphalt, after a while we reach the sign of the “Carabinieri of Monterosso” (*) and immediately after a little pole on the right indicates the beginning of the (road-sign: No. 582 ex 8b) to “Madonna di Reggio. The trail is challenging: it takes place in the hillside with breathtaking views, alternating ascents and descents to reach the main road through an exit on a hairpin. We proceed downhill on asphalt, going all over the various twists and turns, then on the right we go down on a partially paved path that goes off the square in front of the Sanctuary of Madonna di Reggio, (hospitality) above Vernazza. We go back on the main road, continue on down and after two turns on our left it begins a rocky, narrow flight of steps with (road-sign: No. 581 ex 8a), the trail passes through several vineyards closed by little gates, but open for transit, and it is characteristic for the luxuriant vegetation, we go out on a paved farm road, turn left on uphill, past a farm house and go down on the right walking a path with indication “San Bernardino”, the forest is dense and wild, alternating vineyards and woods, we cross two rivers and over the last stream, turn left uphill immediately after on the muddy path turn right and walk up a dry wall, which requires a lot of attention, in this section of the journey there are many passages like this, sometimes we go through the courtyards of houses, where we can have some water, which lacks all the way up. Arriving at the main road we cross it, we take the little path uphill and then immediately turn left on the trail with (road-sign: No. 507 ex 7) (to get to the front of the church of San Bernardino go straight) and continue uphill until we reach the paved road on a bend. We go through a series of bends and we reach a junction, we turn right and follow the (signs to La Spezia); the road is paved, but very little traffic, and after several km we will reach Volastra. If we want to follow a slightly longer path but very panoramic, after about 2 km from La Spezia (road sign: No. 587 ex 7a) we leave the asphalt on the right and take the path (road-sign: No 586 ex 6d), which initially causes us to lose altitude because it goes down, but after 200m turn left and among the woods, vineyards, backyards of homes leads us safely on the churchyard of the Sanctuary of Volastra.
Attention! Between Madonna di Reggio and San Brenardino the trail and the paved road are interrupted by landslides
The variant (*) is recommended when the paths of the Sanctuaries can be closed: before undertaking the walk to inquire himself/herself/themselves near ” Il Parco Nazionale delle 5 Terre” tel.+390187762600 www.parconazionale5terre.it
Variant (*) Path N° 598 ex 1 among the path N° 582 ex 8b and the “Sella La Croce” – km 11,500
It arrives at the sign of “Carabinieri of Monterosso”, it continues rights on the road for 200 meters, it reaches the crossroad “Colle Il Termine”. It turns to the right and immediately later to the left near a sign of “Stop” begins a dirt road uphill initially wide (road sign: two white and red lines AV5T1) with two cement blocks that impede the transit to cars. It walks in good part on the watershed among coastal and the hinterland; after about 2km it reaches “Foce Drignana”, it proceeds uphill on road asphalted for 400m, it takes the path AV5T1 it in descent; then it goes up again and later around 4 km, it reaches “Passo della Cigoletta”. It reaches in light slope “Sella Marverde” then it descends rapidly for 1,5 km; after a light slope and a descent it reaches “Sella La Croce” point of encounter with the path (road sign: No. 501 ex ns.01) coming from Volastra. The route is not recommended with rain or fog.
Soviore (Monterosso): Sanctuary “N.S. di Soviore” (R) – loc. Soviore, 2 – notice is necessary – Credential obligatory – apply Mother Gina – tel. +0390187817385/+0390187817470 fax +0390187817097 firstname.lastname@example.org – to be provided with sleeping bag – the price for pilgrims equipped with credential is 15€ – dinner 12€.
Madonna Di Reggio (Vernazza): “Hospitality in the rectory of the Sanctuary” (R) – notice is necessary – Credential obligatory – apply Mr. Alberto – tel.+390187812273 mob. +393460892624 – 25 beds – be provided with sleeping bag – bathoom with shower – to request the sheets – kitchen use – for dinner reservations – minimum bid 10€.
Distances and reference marks:
Levanto – Ponticello per Fontona km 2,800
Ponticello per Fontona – Fontona km 0,500
Fontona – Colle Gritta km 1,700
Colle Gritta – Santuario di Soviore km 2,000
Santuario di Soviore – Sentiero 8b km 1,200
Sentiero 8b – Madonna di Reggio km 2,700
Madonna di Reggio . San Bernardino km 4,900
San Bernardino – Sentiero 7a km 2,700
Sentiero 7a – Volastra km 3,000
Totale km 21,500
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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