The wonder trekking in the Ligurian Alps Park
The starting point is Rifugio Franco Allavena, the highest refuge in Liguria, located at 1,545 metres above sea level at Colle Melosa, where you can already breathe mountain air!
From here you reach Sella d’Agnaira by car on a dirt road. As you descend, you can see the steep valley below the road and the outline of the Sea Alps in the distance. Walk at a fast pace on a narrow path with an open view.
All this is characterised by a constant factor: unspoilt nature that communicates continuous emotions. Walk for about four hours until you reach your destination, the Scarassan pass, and from there, by bus, you can reach Pigna, where you can finally indulge in a good glass of local wine to recover some energy.
Pigna is one of those villages where time seems to stand still: a small square between the houses is enlivened by a group of children playing football, while the rest of the village is steep and breathtaking views towards the village of Castelvittorio or towards the mountains are offered on all sides. Who would ever imagine that the sea is only 18 km away!
The locals stroll slowly and even somewhat laboriously up and down the narrow stone streets and the atmosphere is truly like a film set! The tables, meanwhile, are enriched with the typical Pigna ravioli: small pansoti with a very thin sheet of dough that melts in the mouth… a real delicacy! The next morning the alarm clock goes off early.
The morning of the second day is dedicated to visits to Apricale and Dolceacqua: two villages with a charm that leaves one speechless. After all… is there any place in these valleys that is not capable of making one fall in love? The sun on the main square of Apricale warms and at the same time illuminates the façades of the houses and the church, while in Dolceacqua it seems as if we are inside a Monet painting, with the unmistakable bridge and the castle towering above.
In the meantime, it’s lunchtime and if you love special tastes, you can’t help but taste the area’s best-known wine: Rossese di Dolceacqua! A red wine with typical Mediterranean fruity notes. Excellent with traditional Ligurian dishes, from white meats to seasonal vegetables such as artichokes. And while the morning is spent in total relaxation, in the afternoon it’s back to hiking! Airole can be reached by a little-known path from Fanghetto, on the border with neighbouring Piedmont. Airole is a small village in Liguria, but one that stands out for its beauty.
Did you know that it has been awarded the Orange Flag, the prestigious Italian Touring Club environmental tourism quality certificate? After another excursion in the vicinity of this Ligurian locality, amidst waterfalls and woods, the next day we set out to discover the vineyard belts and dry stone walls typical of this area. “A trincea”: this is the name of the famous Ligurian system of creating dry stone walls to recover the tradition of wine growing on rocks.
There are many inhabitants of the area who, day after day, and stone after stone, maintain the perfect architecture of these walls enclosing the vineyards dedicated to the production of Roccese wine, typical of this area.