scala grande

Path n. 536 to Monesteroli: stairway to heaven.

Posted on 15 August 2017, in Blog

Path 536 (ex 4/d) to Monesteroli of Tramonti is one of the most amazing and spectacular mule track built by the rural-engineers of the Cinque Terre, to reach the vineyards supported by dry stone walls, planted just a few meters off the cliff.
This route, that you may walk in about 50 minutes with a difference of 415 meters, is a branch of path n. 504, which rises from Pegazzano (northern part of La Spezia), passing through Biassa to the San Antonio pass at the high of 508 meters above the sea level where it crosses the Alta Via of the Cinque Terre.

From the church of San Antonio steeply descends along the slope of Tramonti passing through the square where the famous Menhir rises and then on the heights of Pian di Veo. There, on a landing paved of sandstone, the n.504 mule track winds up and a steep staircase forks into n. 536, crossing a thick oak woods.

The Menhir of Tramonti also know as the "Devil's stone" is the work of the ancient Ligurians and it has a now-lost sacred valence. Facing the Menhir, "Christianized" with an iron cross, are the remains of the "posa" where passing farmers set down the loads they carried on their shoulders for a moment's rest. (more…)

Monterosso malpasso

Path n. 509 : Monterosso–Soviore

Posted on 23 March 2017, in Blog

The path n. 509 leading in about 1 hour and 15 minutes from the historic village of Monterosso to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Soviore is one of the oldest paths of the Eastern part of Liguria, as it was first used by the Etruscans and then by the Romans to reach, by the seaport of Montrerosso, the mysterious center of civilization of Monte Albereto, which stood beyond the Mount Soviore.

Throughout the Middle Age this trail had a great importance: in fact in 996 Emperor Otto III stopped at the Sanctuary of Soviore while travelling to Rome for his coronation.

The trail starts at the oratory of the Confraternity of Bianchi in the historical center of Monterosso, and as soon as you start walking you have to climb a steep staircase in the middle of vegetable gardens dominated by the cultivation of the "legendary" Monterosso Lemon and continuing you will go through the typical terraced olive groves of Cinque Terre. (more…)

Uva secca

The Cinque Terre’s sweet wine: from Rinforzato to Sciacchetrà

Posted on 20 January 2017, in Blog

In all of its 800 years of history, the wine production of the Cinque Terre has always been famous for the dessert wine, which over the years has assumed different names.
In the thirteenth century, it was born as Vernaccia, in the XVI is quoted as Vino Amabile (sweet wine), name that is conserved until the eighteenth century; later in the nineteenth century the name of Amabile becomes increasingly rare in favor of the title Rinforzato.
The last name that appears and is still used nowadays  is the term Sciacchetrà, which in the second half of the twentieth century replaced  the term of  Rinforzato.

To better understand the name changes in that period, from Amabile to Rinforzato and from Rinforzato to Sciacchetrà we must pay more attention to the wine-making techniques used  in Cinque Terre in the nineteenth century.
In fact, as can be understood  by the names given, it passes by a term which is more associated with taste and quality (Amabile) to names that refer to the wine-making procedures. (more…)

Monterosso 1

From Monterosso to Vernazza via sanctuaries

Posted on 21 November 2016, in Blog

This route for moderately experienced hikers, starts from Piazza Garibaldi, located in the heart of the old town of Monterosso, from where we head towards Fegina, along the beautiful waterfront of the village which is the most populated of the Cinque Terre.

From Fegina, trough SVA uphill path, you may reach the headland of Punta Mesco that closes the Gulf of the Cinque Terre and from where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of all five villages.
Then take the path n. 591 with various ups and downs that leads to Colle di Gritta which stands at 330 meters above sea level and then along a stretch of paved road indicating Monterosso. On the left of the road you get to take the path n. 509 to the beautiful medieval shrine of Our Lady of Soviore, considered one of the oldest places of worship in Liguria, as stated already in a document dating back to 1244. (more…)

Uva 5 Terre

Harvest 2016: excellent quality!

Posted on 13 October 2016, in Blog

This year the harvest of  "Il Vigneto”  has been excellent in terms of quality, whereas production was lower compared to 2015.

Thanks to the three months of sunny weather with no rain and humidity, since the end of June through September, the grapes reached the perfect ripeness. In fact, this year we were able to pick up and put to dry a good amount of grapes destined to Sciacchetrà.

During the first two days we proceeded to the collection and transportation of the grapes in the family cellar using the "mythical" monorails that allowed us to carry wicker baskets, called "corbe", filled with grapes, from the most distant terraces until the carriage road.
The third and fourth days were dedicated to the processing of the grapes in our family winery called  "Il Torchio",  whose stone walls carved into rocks, have been repeating the wine making process for about a century. (more…)

SAM_2743 (Medium)

The path n. 530 – From Volastra to Telegrafo

Posted on 3 May 2016, in Blog

In the network of paths of Cinque Terre, the stretch of the so-called path of the Sanctuaries has been included by using n. 530. It is mostly dirt road that from Volastra leads to the Telegrafo, passing by the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montenero.
The road was built in the 50s to connect La Spezia with the then isolated Cinque Terre and in the 70s after the construction of the coastal road, this old road was abandoned giving place to a relaxing location in the Mediterranean bush where the surroundings are mostly flat and access to vehicles is restricted to the owners of the land adjacent to the road.
From Volastra there is a short stretch of paved road up to the local cemetery, then on foot you may follow the dirt road that in two hours leads to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montenero and then in 40 minutes you may climb till the hill of the Telegraph which stands at 513 m. above sea level, where you may find a bar/restaurant. From here, you can follow onto the High Way of the Cinque Terre, that in approximately 3 hours leads to Portovenere, passing by the village of Campiglia in a stretch of uncontaminated nature with unique views. (more…)


Path n. 507 from San Bernardino to Vernazza

Posted on 11 December 2015, in Blog

From the village of San Bernardino, sanctuary of Corniglia, you may reach Vernazza through the beautiful path n. 507, all with sea view, in about 30-40 minutes.
San Bernardino, located at 385 meters above sea level, consists of a small inhabited that gathers around the sanctuary of Nostra Signora delle Grazie whose celebration is on September 8. San Bernardino is on the route that links all the sanctuaries of the Cinque Terre and it is accessible in about 40 minutes by car from La Spezia to Manarola following the road 370 and then from Manarola taking the road 51. The other possibility is to go by train to Vernazza and then climb to the village using the shuttle buses of the National Park. (more…)

Corbe su Manarola

Harvest 2015: the perfect season!

Posted on 2 October 2015, in Blog

This year the harvest has been the final act of a particularly favorable season for the vines, thanks to the exceptional temperatures reached during the summer associated with lack of rainfall which allowed a perfect ripening of the grapes, even in those areas not well exposed to sunlight.

So finally this year we were able to put to dry out in the sun on our terrace a good amount of grapes destined to the production of Sciacchetrà, given that in the last two years we were not able to produce even a bottle because of excessive rainfall that ruined the precious grapes. If the odds will be respected, in about three years (period necessary for its refinement) the 2015 Sciacchetrà  will be one of the best of the long wine history of the Cinque Terre. (more…)

Volastra 2

The path Volastra-Riomaggiore via Groppo-Costa Corniolo (n. 532C / n. 531)

Posted on 1 September 2015, in Blog

The path in question is the only way to reach directly Riomaggiore starting from Volastra, without going through Manarola, considering the prolonged closure of the stretch of the Blue Trail between Manarola and Riomaggiore, better known worldwide as the "Via dell’Amore".

The path starts right in Volastra, in the lower part of the village, where once stood the stables that gave rest to the horses of the pilgrims who were travelling along via Romea. In fact "Vicus Oleaster" (Volastra in latin language) was considered a staging post for changing horses since Roman times. (more…)

AFCRO (103)

Harvesting in the old times in Cinque Terre

Posted on 29 June 2015, in Blog

The harvest in Cinque Terre was an exhausting, but exhilarating phase. It represented the final step of the complex and laborious cultivation of the vine: a massive task due to the harshness of the territory.
People used to work all-year round and lived out of what they produced and using  the small amount of money coming from the sale of the wine. The villages spent  twenty days in feverish activity.                                           

Early in the morning the streets were filled with people of all ages. Men, women, young people and even older people with “corbe” (large wicker basket with four handles) and “paniere” (round wicker basket); they were all over the countryside, talking loudly, in a festive atmosphere. (more…)