The routes joining South Piedmont and Liguria have been used in the past by soldiers, pilgrims and traders making their way to the sea through the Apennines with wheat or wine for sale in the city of Genoa or other towns along the coast. Olive oil, salt, spices and silk were taken in the opposite direction, from the coast inland, often transported by the selfsame merchants. Many of these pathways have been trodden for a couple of thousand of years – ever since the Roman conquest of Italy, in fact- along tracks that were always the fastest, or most hidden, or most convenient routes possible.
The views from the various hill tops and mountain crests along the way are invariably spectacular. Walkers are often immersed in landscapes from a time past, conveying a peace of mind and rhythms of work from centuries ago. This ever-changing landscape is at once entirely new and ancient in the extreme.
You will have the chance to journey through tiny villages clinging to the tops of steep-sided hills, local inns serving splendidly rustic fare, breath-taking views, the silence and hard toil of times past and the sea wind that arrives right to the very tops of the mountains.
This is also a splendid way to glean knowledge of local history: each of these different areas has a story to tell, made up of a kaleidoscope of historical events together with local legend inscribed into the stones of ancient towers and castles or woven into the sculptures of tiny medieval churches.
Add to this the experience of two of Italy’s finest food and wine regions and you complete the picture. There is so much on offer, for all tastes and pockets: inns and local ‘trattorias’, country hotels, bed and breakfasts and country guest houses – these routes are ideal for tourists searching for an authentic experience of the country they’re visiting, far away from the clichés of mass tourism.
Don’t miss this opportunity to discover the hillscapes of the Langa, Roero and Monferrato, situated within the provinces of Asti, Alessandria and Cuneo, together with the ‘entroterra’ mountainous area of inland Liguria – the part of the Italian Riviera which offers the most spectacular landscape, uniting the blue of the sea together with the intense green of the some of the peninsula’s most beautiful mountains. These areas of the provinces of Savona, Genova and La Spezia, which also contain the romantic Gulf of Poets and Nature Reserve of the Cinque Terre, just cannot be missed.