|Difficulty||Medium - High|
|Signs||+ + +|
|13m - 776m | 960m | 2121m|
Given the length of the path, we preferred to reach Montallegro by cable car (a very nice 10 minutes trip from Rapallo), but, wanting that, it'll possibile to walk directly from Rapallo by calculating an extra hour's walk (2.5 kms more). Throughout the journey there are only two sources of water: one behind the sanctuary of Montallegro and the other about a half walk, passing the Manico del Lume.
The trail starts behind the Sanctuary of N.S. of Montallegro over Rapallo (612 mt. Above sea level) with the path to your left. You will notice that this section is marked by several trail, you must follow the red rhombus and the two red XX . It is impossible to go wrong, just go straight ahead ignoring the deviations encountered on the right leading to the Fontanabuona valley.
This is a beautiful trail, paved initially, which alternates passages in the forest to more open spaces that allow you to enjoy a beautiful view of Rapallo. After about 45 minutes pleasant walk on the plain a slight descent heralds the arrival of Crocetta Pass (599 m. Above sea level) where you will find a cute small chapel.
Crossing the road it'll be possibile to continue on a stony path to the right indicating the direction to the Margherita refuge.
Now the path is a climb that develops into a panoramic scene from the small village of San Maurizio Monti widens then to Rapallo and Portofino promontory. Meanwhile, ahead of you reach the refuge that appears with a final climb uphill. After about25 minutes from Crocetta pass, you are now on Monte Pegge (774 mt. Asl), which offers breathtaking views on the gulf and where you can enjoy del beautiful retreat made available by the Alpini Rapallo ONLUS (in compliance with the behavior suggested).
Continue to the left crossing the small meadow, to follow the gently sloping path which, after passing through the ferns, allows you to enter the wood where there are some hazelnut trees. The village that you can see below you is Montepegli, a small fraction of Rapallo.
After few meters you can see the ttrail sign .
Leaving the wood, the path advances on a sometimes narrow track that walks among brambles, which between the end of August and September offer tasty blackberries (so tasty :)
Continuing, the trail becomes more evident and more scenic but has some particolarmenti narrow passages and others that develop between bushes and tall grass.
When you reach a more barren area, characterized by rocks, you can see the Gulf of Tigullio on your left and the Fontanabuona valley on your right. From here, still following the red rhombus, start the climb to the summit which becomes more and more tiring, but which will be rewarded by an indescribable 360° view over the entire gulf.
You are on the Manico del Lume (801 meters above sea level), where you arrive after about 2h 40 minutes walking from Montallegro; it is the ideal point to tale a rest before start walking again maybe for get lunch break surrounded by numerous peaks, which you can identify thanks to the CAI panel that indicates all their names.
To descend from the top and continue the itinerary you must face some passages on the rock that await you behind the large cross. Thanks to the help of the chains they are not particularly difficult, but require a minimum of prudence. An empty triangle is guiding you now in the descent that takes place on slabs of stone (in the case of humidity may become very slippery) and after a short passage in the woods brings you to Passo Serra; on the left, the path descends to Chignero (the small town you see below you); you must continue straight ahead ignoring the junction on the right for Spinarola - Uscio (marked by XX) always following the empty triangle.
Another 20 minutes walk and you will reach the slopes of Monte Bello (657mt. Above sea level), a highly panoramic point, characterized by rocks. Here pay attention to the signpost () because the path is not very clear; however you have to go down south and after a few meters turn right to continue towards Caravaggio. At the crossroads, ignore the detour that leads to Colle Caprile and continue straight. The path, flat and well maintained, crosses the western side of the mountain and passing over Recco reaches Passo del Gallo (478 m asl). It is a very large space with the remains of walls from an old stone building, a couple of tables with wooden benches, as well as some hunting posts.
At the fork, ignore the deviation of the right that leads to Colle Caprile and continue straight. The trail is flat and well maintained, runs through the western side of the mountain, passing over Recco reaches Passo del Gallo (478 mt. Above sea level). A large space that houses the remains of a stone building and a table with wooden benches, as well as some locations for hunting.
A few steps and at the crossroads you will find an indicator pole, you keep the leftmost path, marked with that goes up and with the last uphill stretch that in about 25 minutes leads behind the Sanctuary of Caravaggio, on the summit of Monte Orsena (615mt . slm). After a well-deserved break to admire Rapallo from above, descend the climb in front of the Sanctuary that crosses the helicopter landing base, and continue keeping to the left.
The path does not present any kind of difficulty and always goes straight down until it crosses, after about 30 minutes, another variant to climb to Monte Bello from San Pietro di Novella.
At the crossroads, there are two possibilities to go down to Rapallo: on the left you arrive in the hamlet of San Pietro di Novella, taking the path on the right you arrive at the hamlet of S. Maria del Campo; we chose the latter marked with the sigh . The route is now all downhill and has some slightly irregular passages in the wood due to the presence of stones moved by the wild boars, up to the first houses in the locality of Savagna.
From here the mule track crosses the asphalted road several times that in some point you have to travel for a few meters to return to the path, however always clear, which descends until it passes over the motorway and, keeping to the left, pass in front of the Ruins of San Tomaso, the remains of a monastery dating back to around 1100. From here a last staircase leads to the driveway that leads to the main road. To reach the center of Rapallo, always turn left (3 km), alternatively, after about 200 meters, you can find the bus stop.
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