Itinerary of the Sanctuaries and Churches
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The itinerary sets off in Monterosso, going uphill along trail 509 to the Sanctuary of Soviore. In the first part of the trail flight of steps alternate to stretches of dirt track, among scattered houses and Mediterranean scrub. After a short stretch of concrete-paved road, a turn to the left leads uphill until the intersection with the provincial road SP 38 to Monterosso.
The trail continues climbing up through a dense wood of holm oaks and chestnut trees until it reaches the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Soviore. Leaving the church to the left, the itinerary continues on trail 591, of which the first meters up to the intersection with SP 38 are unpaved. The trail then shares a stretch with the provincial road SP 38 until the place called il Termine, where a fork to the right leads off road along trail 582 to Reggio. The trail winds eastbound along the valleys between Monterosso and Vernazza, at an altitude spanning between 350 and 500 meters above sea level. The Mediterranean scrub is dense and the trail is, at times, difficult in the proximity of the place called Linaro. It is a single track trail, fairly level and characterized by breathtaking panoramas. Before arriving at the Sanctuary of Reggio it shares a stretch with the provincial road SP 63 Drignana – Vernazza, and offers a panoramic view over the village of Vernazza. Walking downhill on the provincial road, past the Sanctuary, a fork to the left near a bend leads off road along trail 581 toward San Bernardino. The first stretch uphill goes across vineyards and olive groves, and passes by a few hamlets. Then, from the place called Piculla, it continues almost flat into a wood, wading through the stream Vernazzola in a few points. The longest stretch of trail 581 passes over the hamlet of Murro Superiore, where the woody landscape is replaced by cultivated terraces and vineyards, then after another stretch through the woods it reaches the hamlet of Seroa and, past the intersection with the provincial road SP 61, ends in San Bernardino. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of San Bernardino offers the opportunity for a visit enriched by a beautiful sight. From San Bernardino the itinerary continues heading north-east along trail 507 toward Cigoletta. A difficult stretch of dirt track climbs uphill crossing twice the provincial roads SP 61 and SP 51 until it reaches the place called Fornacchi. After a few meters of paved floor the trail continues as a wide dirt track climbing up to the fork in Cigoletta, where it meets the AV5T, with which shares a short stretch. After passing by the intersection with trail 587 to Corniglia, from mount Marvede the itinerary takes trail 506 that descends to the village of Volastra. Dropping through woods of chestnut trees and holm oaks, the trail presents a few difficulties in the descent. A 10 minutes detour on trail 506 leads to Volastra and its Sanctuary, while the itinerary continues along trail 530 toward Telegrafo. A 7 km easy walk on a dirt road (open to vehicles) leads, via the intersection with trail SVA – 593, to the Sanctuary of Montenero, where the itinerary ends.
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The itinerary “Natura” sets off from Monterosso railway station, going westbound along the promenade of Fegina until it takes the stairway uphill part of trail 590-SVA, nearby the statue called “Il Gigante”, heading north-west, first on a stairway, then on stretch of paved road. Near the junction leading to Hotel Bellevue, still within the Mediterranean scrub, the trail keeps going uphill alternating flights of steps and dirt track, until the intersection with the SVA branch to Levanto and 591. A few meters before the intersection, following the track of 590-SVA, there are the ruins of the hermitage of Saint Anthony at Mesco, a remarkable observation point.
After the intersection the trail continues almost flat, first among strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo), then through a pinewood spoilt by the plant disease Matsucoccus. With some steep ups and downs the trail runs along the slope of Mount Focone (also known as Vè) reaching the hill pass of Colla Bagari where the vegetation that grows among the rocks includes different shrubs and herbs such as thyme. From here the trail ascends northbound through a wood of holm oaks and pine trees, and reaches an altitude of 450 meters a.s.l. before climbing steeply down toward Colla di Gritta where it meets the provincial road SP 38 to Cinque Terre – Pignone.
The trail shares a long stretch with the paved road SP 38 toward the Sanctuary of Soviore (482 meters a.s.l.). Nearby the church some ancient cypress can be observed.
The descent to the village of Monterosso starts from the Sanctuary’s forecourt along trail 509. The path soon gets steep as it climbs down through a wood of holm oaks. Some stretches of uneven dirt track alternate to stairs until reaching the paved road to Monterosso. After crossing the road the trail keeps descending among Mediterranean scrub and citrus groves, ending at the intersection with the paved road at the upper part of the village of Monterosso