A self-guided hike from the Po valley along the Via del Sale (Salt Road) across the Ligurian Apennines to the Mediterranean - the Italian Riviera at Camogli.
Grade: Medium-hard or medium
Following the "Via del Sale" (Salt Road) from "Little Tuscany" or Oltrepo Pavese, this route travels across the foothills of the majestic Apennine chain in its westward extension from Pisa. This is bucolic Italy, fiercely proud of local traditions and in particular local food and wine. The first two days walking in this region is through vineyards and woods, to get you in trim for the next four days of high ridge walking, scene of Hannibal's march on Rome in 218 BC. From the historic valley town of Varzi on Night 3, you will climb swiftly above the 1000m mark and will stay there for much of the next four days, before tumbling down to the sea at the picturesque fishing port/resort of Camogli, about 30km west of the Cinque Terre and, we think, far more authentic and Italian.
This is a route for the seasoned walker - the views are tremendous but the days are quite long, unless you take our shortening options. Shorter (5-7 night) options are available, but we recommend spending an extra night at the start (take in historic Pavia with its ancient university, or the lovely monastery at Certosa di Pavia). Walked by On Foot staff: Simon and Mary
Journalist write -ups: Aaron Millar did it - see his photos here. and Dixe Wills wrote it up for the Guardian (March 2015) - see here, including lovely pictures of wild horses!.
Standard route: 8 nights as per "itinerary"
7 nights: Miss one night in Camogli at the end, or miss night 2 and Day 2 walk (transfer to start of Day 3)
6 nights: miss nights 2 and 8, miss Day 2 walk (transfer to start of Day 3)
5 nights: Stay Varzi, Capanne di Cosola, Due Ponti, Calcinara, Camogli, walk Day 4 onwards