This itinerary is known as Via dell'ardesia because the women carrying slate, called "Camalle" or "Lavagnine" walked them up and down, transporting the slate slabs from the quarries to the sea. Landscapes of rare beauty are added to the historical interest.
It is advisable to start with a good quantity of water useful for the entire excursion because along the way there are no sources of drinking water.
It is not recommended to travel it in the wet which can make the slates slippery.
The starting point is in the historic center of Lavagna , at the Basilica of Santo Stefano (Piazza Guglielmo Marconi): on this stretch there is no signpost, there are occasionally red arrows (sometimes faded) that indicate the path but, generally, it is difficult to go wrong.
Take the alley on the right of the church to skirt the boundary wall of the monumental cemetery, intersecting Via Cogorno, an asphalted road that you follow for about 200 meters and then continue on the left path that continues along the graveyard.
After the driveway entrance to the cemetery, walk on the paved road for about 400 meters until you reach the Chapel of the N.S. della Neve where the path that climbs to the left (Via Neve) begins and runs for about 1 km, crossing Via Cogorno several times, until you reach a hairpin bend with the sign indicating "Cogorno".
Here you have to take the road on the left for about fifty meters and immediately go up to the right and meet again the mule track that climbs between the bands planted with olive trees and impressive dry stone walls and passing by Chiappe arrives at San Bartolomeo, a small group of houses from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Gulf of Tigullio.
Now cross the driveway passing behind the white chapel and go up until you intersect Via Belvedere .
Always going up, you pass the turning for Via Campanile and after about 20 meters, take the path on the right, going between the houses.
You continue to climb along part of Via Costigliolo up to a bend where you turn left Via Giuseppe Raffo a path that still bears the traces of the ancient peasant civilization with its ingenious dry stone walls and the "ciappe" with holes where the wooden poles that supported the vineyard were inserted. This leads to a very open and highly panoramic point which overlooks Lavagna, Chiavari but also the whole Western Tigullio gulf.
Once you reach Via Renda , an asphalted road, follow it for a few meters to the left to take, after a beautiful stone house, a ladder, to the right where the Gruppo Alpini di Cogorno < / em> placed a plaque in memory of the women carrying slate.
Now you go into the woods to cross a very beautiful stretch on a beautiful path paved with large slate stones that leads to a first quarry, currently in a state of neglect, and leads, about an hour and a half after departure, to the Monte San Giacomo (536 m. s.l.m.) with its characteristic church. Here there are wooden benches where you can catch your breath.
Here some wooden panels indicate the different possible directions, our itinerary continues towards " Anello San Giacomo " following the signpost , after about 500 meters you will find a second open-air quarry and then exit the wood and arrive at a very panoramic point with a 360° view.
The gaze sweeps across the Gulf and it is impossible to leave this splendid panorama without taking countless photos. A few meters later you meet another location where you can stop and admire the sea again but also the beautiful mountains behind, which can be easily recognized thanks to the directions indicated on a circular construction made with slate slabs.
Continue towards the east, and after a series of ups and downs, you will reach the 701 meters of Monte Rocchette and, subsequently, in Colla crossroads of paths where it was installed also a table with wooden benches.
From here on it is all downhill, the path is now well marked by and it's really hard to be wrong.
Initially the path made of slate steps (particularly slippery in wet conditions) descends quite steeply through chestnut woods and past ancient stone cottages, evidence of the time in which it was inhabited. As you move away from the summit the descent becomes gentler and the landscape changes, now you walk among the bands and the olive trees, meeting more and more houses.
After passing the locality of Crocetta, you arrive at the very panoramic Santa Giulia, a hamlet of Lavagna, where the beautiful parish is located.
Continue to descend always following the same signpost and after just over 2 km you will arrive in Via Tedisio, at the corner of Corso Mazzini, where this itinerary ends. From here it is very easy to reach the railway station or the church of S. Stefano, the starting point.
- From 4h to 5h
- Length Km
- 10 - 15