Here’s how to make the most of a trip to an Italian hiking paradise
When most people think of summers in Italy, they think of “la dolce vita”, famous artworks, gelaterias, home-cooked food, and superb beach days (or at least I do). This summer I decided to defy the “summer day norm” and trek into the mountains—and it was without a doubt one of the best decisions I’ve made while studying abroad in Genoa.
The Parco delle Mura and Ring of Forts are just a hop, skip, and 10-minute funicular ride from the city center— as long as you leave from Piazza della Zecca and get off at Righi. There are eight forts, constructed in the 1600s, that one can trek to during a visit. Though the fort summits may seem hours apart from one another, it takes approximately 30 minutes to walk from fort to fort. The stone structures were built to protect Genoa and, therefore, there is a lot of history to consume on these trails alongside some great panoramic views.
It is most definitely possible to spend the whole day in the mountains and trek to every fort in the area but, I’d suggest picking 3 forts to check out. That way, you can take your time and enjoy the views. I’m biased based on my own adventure, but I’d highly suggest making Forte Puin and Forte Diamante the top of your priority list.
The journey from the funicular stop starts out on a paved road and within 30 minutes trekkers are on dirt paths going up and down mountainsides with insane sights in every direction of Genoa and surrounding cities. As a bonus, there are tons of butterflies on most roads, as well!
This is truly an adventurist’s paradise.
Located between Forte Sperone and Fratello Minore, a trip to Forte Puin includes sweeping views of the Italian countryside and a quaint atmosphere. The fort itself is now privately owned and entry to the edifice is blocked by gate, however the surrounding area is stellar. Everywhere you turn you see more beauty. This is truly an adventurist’s paradise.
Forte Diamante is the innermost and tallest of Genoa’s forts at 660 meters above sea level. In 1800, it was the home of Napoleon’s French troops whom were under siege by the Austrian-Piedmontese army. Though partially restored in 2005, the fort itself is still closed off to visitors. The trek up to the fort involves a bunch of switch-backs but it all pays off at the top with sights of endless rolling hills in every direction.
What’s even better is that you can see from one fort to another at the summit of each climb. There’s nothing like looking back and seeing how far you’ve come during your journey.
To treat yourself at the end of the day, I’d highly recommend taking advantage of one of the local eateries in Righi and then taking the funicular from to Carbonara. There, you can get and get a gelato in Casteletto just five minutes away from the stop. Price and quality-wise, you can’t go wrong there.
No matter where you are in Italy there are always some hidden gems like this one. So, go find them! You won’t regret it!