Exploring is the first goal of my tours, getting to know the territory, its climbs, villages, narrow streets and those with a dead end. There are so many crossroads along the way that I often think it will never be possible for me to take them all. But every opportunity is good to take new paths, choose new directions, let yourself be taken to unexplored places.
Day one: Piacenza – Bobbio – Sotto Serra (117 Km – 1,520 Elevation – Sunny)
It was the second time that I left Piacenza to go into the Trebbia Valley. A valley that leaves its visitors speechless because of its gorges and its surrounding mountains. This time we decided to start along the Val Trebbia cycle path which, unlike the precise friendly signs, soon became nearly impossible to run across with a touring bike, maybe with an MBT would make. After a bit of gravel on the river, the cycle path collapsed partly due to the rains of the week before, we decided to get back on the road, following the remaining part of the route from Travo to Bobbio on the Trebbia state road, a busy but fairly safe road especially because we rode it on Friday, not really the favourite day of motorbikes. Before Bobbio, we went on a detour that allowed us to enjoy a smaller road and reach the town right from the ancient Gobbo bridge. From Bobbio onwards, the most spectacular part of the route began, with the various gorges that draw the winding course of the river with its characteristic turquoise color.
Shortly before the Ravaiola, a detour was necessary because the Lenzino bridge collapsed a few weeks earlier due to heavy rains. We started climbing in the direction of the Brallo Pass and then down again towards the river. The road was great on the way up, but full of site-works on the way down due to the refurbishment of the road surface. It gave us the opportunity to take a look at the Trebbia valley from above and once again understand its monumentality. Back on the Trebbia state road just before Ottone we could keep climbing it on a gentle and winding road until our first stop in Sotto Serra where we stayed for the night and even if it was a very small village we managed to find a nice host in Ponte Trebbia BnB and a traditional Osteria for dinner.
Day two: Sotto Serra – Barbagelata – Passo Scoglina – Passo Forcella – Moneglia (95 Km – 1,020 Elevation – Cold & Foggy and then Sunny)
The next morning we woke up in a cold and wet valley. The route we had planned from Val Trebbia to Val d’Aveto initially took us on a road that wasn’t more than a path, so we changed direction and decided to go down towards Montebruno and from there go up to Barbagelata on a road that led us to the Scoglina Pass further down. The landscapes were really autumnal, from the trees with their colours tending to red, to the low clouds that covered part of the valley. The name of the village at the top, Barbagelata, has an evocative and funny name “frozen beard”, it is a village with an important history, having been linked to partisan history. After passing the hills from Barbagelata we reached Passo Scoglina, which divides the two valleys that both lead to Chiavari, from there we continued towards Forcella Pass through a very long and beautiful descent from where we had a nice glance at the valley that allowed us to glimpse even a tiny slice of the sea at the bottom. After Borzonasca and a quick break, the valley began to open and we could already smell the air of the sea. We followed the river on a cycle path that took us to Lavagna, where we finally saw the sea. Following SS1 Aurelia, we headed to Sestri Levante, from there even if the arrival in Moneglia was close and seemed easy, it was not. The route on the sea with long tunnels is forbidden to bicycles, the alternative is going for the high roads over the promontory. In order not to follow the Bracco road, which I had already rode a few weeks before, we have chosen another way, not easy, but beautiful, the one that leads from Casarza to Masso and then, along a steep descent, finally to Moneglia. There we thought we have arrived, but instead, the dilemma began, how to reach the Smeraldo campsite? A real challenge for those who arrive by bicycle as the only possible access is through the tunnels prohibited to bicycles. After several attempts, we gave up and passed the first two galleries, we could finally enjoy our stay in a bungalow located just right of the seafront.
Day three: Moneglia – Recco – Genova – Savona (119 km – 1,340 Elevation – Raining day)
Where to go, it was time to trust the weather forecast, initially, we thought to go towards La Spezia, but it seemed more likely to find a bit of sun towards Genoa, so we changed our plan following the main road SS1 Aurelia. After a quick breakfast and accompanied by the sound of thunders we were on our way. SS1 Aurelia gave us the opportunity to see the unfolding of the Ligurian coast with its gulfs and promontories. The hardest part was the initial climb that led us from Moneglia to the main road, whilst the rest of the route was continuous ups and downs until Genova. We passed thought Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure and then to Ruta di Camogli, to stop in Recco for a snack, the inevitable “Focaccia di Recco”. Getting into Genoa was a bit stressful, with big roads and complicated crossroads, luckily we crossed the city with very little traffic, but it is a route that does not put you at ease. Leaving Genoa was another long and risky ride, the city stretch for more than 20km towards Arenzano, but there something new took us by surprise. A new cycle lane from Arenzano to Varazze, build in the old railway. A relaxing path, with tunnels. Unfortunately crossing Cogoleto was complicated, the cycle lane got mixed with the walking-path, it is always complicated to share the road with pedestrians, however, the destination for the day wasn’t too far and after a couple of ups and downs, we reached Savona. I cannot say we got to see all Liguria, but it was a good start in my idea of riding Liguria all along!
TOTAL BUDGET 3 DAYS ALL-INCLUSIVE: 156 euro