Path n. 509 : Monterosso–Soviore

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.
Over there the sandstone paving is intact, especially at the point where the staircase is expanding to accommodate an altar topped by a large wrought iron cross. Once crossed the asphalt road, path n. 509 enters the woods, where there is a fountain at which the long processions of pilgrims going to the sanctuary, used to quench their thirst.
At the high of 414 meters above sea level the wayfarers find the Cappella del Ritrovamento (Chapel of the Finding), where according to legend a white dove drove a priest to discover a wooden statuette of the Blessed Virgin, hidden by the people of Albereto to subtract it from the Lombard invasion. The Sanctuary of Soviore was dedicated to the Virgin and nowadays, besides being a religious center it is partially converted into incoming tourism center. It rises at 470 meters above sea and it offers a splendid view of the promontory of Punta Mesco and the village of Monterosso.