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Crossroads of history

Status Open
Area Levante

Gola di S. Elena: a medley of roads and stories. A communication hub that has witnessed the passage of Ligurian Sabates, Romans, medieval shepherds, Napoleonic troops, partisans ... all of whom have left an indelible mark.

From Gola di S. Elena, there are several possibilities for those who want to walk, thanks to the Sabates and the Romans who outlined their main thoroughfares in this area (Herculea, Aurelia, Iulia Augusta). Following the paved road heading north for about 200 meters, you come across the Sentiero Botanico (Botanical Trail) that leads to M. S. Elena, home to a fort dating back to the Iron Age.

Surrounded by the scent of the Mediterranean scrub and browsing through the descriptive panels that illustrate the scrub’s main trees and bushes, you soon find a flat dirt road. Turning left, you reach M. Rocchetto and what used to be the S. Elena Fort, destroyed in 1921 by the explosion of the powder magazine. From here the view is amazing, it runs over the whole Ligurian arc! The greenery around you is a hint that this is also a paragliding launch spot.

Rejuvenated and intoxicated by the breath-taking view, you can now go back towards M. S. Elena following the Sentiero Botanico seaward side through a holm oak and chestnut tree mixed forest, interspersed with old “fasce” (terraces sustained by drywalls, typically used in Ligurian agriculture), a testimony to the work of man. Once you get near a farmhouse, turn right onto a trail that climbs up into the woods. You will then come down on to the dirt road you were walking on on the way there, nearby a stone that recalls the partisan sacrifice.

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How to & Rules

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Stay on track

Follow the signs: trekking routes are those marked with hiking trail signs.

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Be well equipped

Think about the duration and type of hike: what could you need? Waterproof clothing? Sun protection? Water? Appropriate footwear? For example, if you are thinking of visiting the caves or hiking to the top of a mountain, it might be a smart idea to dress in layers… even in summer!

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Check the weather forecast

Pay special attention to AllertaLiguria website and do not set off on your adventure if there should be any weather alerts.

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Plan your hike

Find out the characteristics of your itinerary (length, elevation gain, difficulty… ).

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Respect nature and the territory

Respect nature and the territory

Connect with nature, don’t litter nor be too loud and, as a general rule, respect the territory around you. Nature will thank you and so will we.

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Fire risk

Fire risk

During times of drought avoid lighting fires, choose suitable trails avoiding those in the pine forest and favouring those with alternative routes for going back.

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Emergency numbers

Emergency numbers

Remember: 1515 for forest fires, 112 for medical emergencies. No matter what, always make sure someone knows where you are headed.

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Be careful

Be careful

If it should be a more demanding experience than expected, don't hesitate to retrace your steps.

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