Diego Rossi, aka Jack in the Green is an environmental and hiking guide in the Ligurian Alps. In this article Jack leads us to the discovery of some trails around the Ecovillage. Waiting to put the backpack on our shoulders, we let ourselves be guided by his words. We walk among olive groves and holm oaks, through the shady undergrowth. We meet old stone houses, we cross centuries-old bridges immersed in the Mediterranean maquis and visit ancient villages perched on the sides of the mountains. And that’s only the first part!
Tour of Ventimiglia Villages: Torri-San Antonio-San Lorenzo-Porta Canarda-Ventimiglia
From the village of Torri, head along the right edge of the Bevera river, passing through the villages of San Pancrazio and Calvo. The route hanges between trails and roads, both dirt and paved.
Once in the village of Sant’Antonio, head for a pass near the Latte Valley, just south of Villatella, leave the Bevera Valley behind, taking the paved road that climbs towards San Lorenzo. From the church, take an alley where there is an old public oven and then go down a dirt trail until it meets a road that leads to Calandri.
This small town, overlooking the sea and adorned with cottages and flower cultivations, stands out for the presence of the ravines of Castel d’Appio, phenomenon created by the erosion of water running over the clay rocks.
Continuing to the southeast, we come to Ville, near the magnificent Porta Canarda, built by the Genoese in the 12 th -century, equipped with a bastion and watchtower. A plaque indicates the historical figures that passed by, such as Machiavelli, Charles V, and Pope Innocent, while on the opposite side an engraved lion warns possible invaders.
From here continue for almost a kilometer along the ancient Via Iulia Augusta, continuing along Via Forte San Paolo until you reach the walls of Ventimiglia Alta, the old town with its various historic monuments.
Length: 4 hours, 30 minutes, not including breaks. Elevation change: 350 meters. Difficulty: medium.
Ideal Period: Autumn/Winter. Return from Ventimiglia using the bus service.
*You can extend the route a couple of kilometers by passing through the town of Latte and return to Ventimiglia via Via Iulia Augusta and Sentiero Liguria.
Rock, Water and Olives: the Torri-Collabassa loop
From the car park, head toward Torri Superiore. Follow the paved road until a dirt trail forks off to the right (follow the green-white blazes). The trail goes through olive groves, mostly in ascent, until it reaches an electricity transmission tower. From there it descends to the Bevera river, crossing a wild environment with many holly trees. At the banks of the Bevera, cross a bridge that dates to the Napoleonic era and climb up the hill to reach the first houses of Collabassa.
Continue to follow the green-and-white poles as you climb through the village. Upon reaching the highest houses in the village, begin to follow the red-and-white trail markings and follow the trail that leads to Torri, tracing a ring around the ridge of the hill.
Leave the houses and the junction at Mt. Pozzo and follow the paved road until it becomes a dirt road, then a path shortly thereafter. The trail goes down to the bottom of the valley, alternating between segments under dense undergrowth and open parts with views of the valley.
At the end of the path we cross a bridge over the Bevera and from there we return to Torri.
Initial Elevation: 66m. Maximum Elevation: 500m. Elevation change: 380m. Ideal Period: Autumn Duration: about 4 hours. Distance: 10km. Difficulty: medium
*This scenic tour, well marked (with red-white and green-white blazes), follows the Bevera river, climbs up the Bevera-Roia ridge, passes by agricultural land, abandoned houses, and sometimes wild environments.
The wild Bevera: Torri-Avaudorin-Bossarè
Here we get a feel for the Bevera river’s wild side, exploring abandoned farmhouses, passing through woods of holly and hornbeam, and crossing bridges of Napoleonic origin. It is possible to extend this journey by a hour, taking the Serra Burburant variant (marked in yellow and red), which offers splendid views of the valley.
The first part of the route (about 40 minutes) is the same as the last route, described above. Instead of going down into the valley directly, follow the trail that goes through holly forest and after about 300 meters, descend steeply onto a nice ridge with views of Collabassa.
Once near the river, continue northwards following the green-and-white signs, passing by stone ruins until reaching the spectacular Avaudorin bridge, built in the late-18 th century and still in good condition. Do not cross the bridge, but continue along the left bank of the Bevera, following the green-white markings for Bossarè.
The trail mostly goes through hornbeam and holly woods and at times gives hikers the chance to see wildlife such as boars or foxes. Some rare species have been confirmed in the area, such as the ocellated lizard and various species of owls. The area has been designated a Site of Community Interest (SCI), noted for its environmental and geological features.
At the end of the stretch through the woods, we come to Cianassu. Here it is possible to either continue to Bossarè, or to take the Burbarant loop route. The way is marked in yellow-and-red and begins just before a stone house. After crossing the Cianassu Bridge, follow the route as it climbs up to the left and then turns right past a house before entering the scrub. Just before reaching Serra Burbarant, there is a fantastic view, then when you reach a fork in the road, go down to the left under the limestone walls of Monte Caviglia. When you reach the bridge Ponte della Streccia, on the left, one trail goes back to Bossarè while on the right another leads to Olivetta.
The path to Olivetta begins on a road in ascent and then continues on a mostly flat trail. From here it only takes a few minutes to climb up to Olivetta, a town renowned for belonging to the Occitan linguistic minority.
From the town of Pilon a path runs along the Tron river, which goes down to the hamlet of San Michele, where it is possible to get the train to Bevera, and from Bevera the bus to Torri.
Return by Train: Olivetta-S.Michele(16.46) Bevera(17.06) or Olivetta S. Michele( 17.06) arrival Bevera( 17.17) Duration: 5h (+1h if with Burbarant variant) Elevation change: 600 mt/800 mt with variant. Recommended period: Spring