From Val Fontanabuona to Golfo Paradiso

Mount Caucaso, 1245 metres. Starting from Barbagelata, where a comfortable dirt road allows you to reach this peak overlooking Val Fontanabuona and the Gulf of Tigullio in just over an hour.

In early spring, we recommend a three-day pass where the highest peak is Mount Caucaso. In the morning, you start from the sea, from Rapallo, and cross the first ridge to enter Val Fontanabuona. From Cicagna (the home of Slate), you ascend to the Rifugio del Monte Caucaso, near the summit. The refuge, renovated in 2006, welcomes you with a plate of polenta, a glass of wine, and the inevitable homemade dessert. Upstairs, there is a beautiful alpine-style dormitory heated by a generous stove.

In that season, the first spring warmth causes the mountain rowans to stretch their buds, which transform into leaves rolled upwards.

It’s one of the most fascinating trees: during that period, those leaves resemble little hands joined together, reaching towards the sky, as if in prayer!

The beeches are still silent, but the undergrowth begins to be adorned with crocuses, bluebells, and anemones.

This stretch of the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri, overlooking Val Fontanabuona, is unique because you can feel the difference between the crisp ridge air and the warm currents rising from the sunny valley.

Once you reach Sant’Alberto di Bargagli, you definitely start to feel “the sea breeze,” even if you still can’t see it. Finally, at the Case Cornua pass, the valley of Sori opens up in front of you as it plunges into the sea, down there, at the end of the Golfo Paradiso.