- Status Open
- Area Val Bormida
An outstanding row of huge, monumental trees, some of which have fallen under the weight of the passing years, has become testimony to nature's evolutionary process. A hike through woods and springs, with the ultimate goal of getting to the fields of Colla San Giacomo.
The trail starts from the Sanctuary in the Eremita area. Zigzagging between the bush and the Scots pines, climb up and get to the east side of Bric della Madonna - Bric del Borro’s relief. For a good stretch, chestnut trees will dominate the woods, to then leave room for the beech forest once crossed the Bidella stream. The atmosphere is cool and shaded throughout.
Walk by the farmhouse Casa Benevento: the fasce underneath you (terraces sustained by drywalls, typically used in Ligurian agriculture) that were once growing potatoes, have now been taken over by the woods.
The trail turns into a dirt track and it’s suddenly surrounded by springs while on your left you can finally see the Benevento beeches. They are lined in a row of six, called “matricine”, referring to those trees that were spared from being cut down so that, with their fruits they could regrow the forest. The biggest one was made of trunks that were grown together. It was 34 meters tall and had a circumference of 7.7 meters: it took 5 men joint together to fully hug it. Now the giant lies on the ground, but it’s still very impressive.
Continuing along the trail, you will find some charcoal farmyards, where beech wood was once stacked to make charcoal. The road widens and it becomes flat. On your left a cool and fresh spring, definitely worth a pit stop!
You now come out into the open, grassy field of Colla San Giacomo. It’s equipped with picnic tables, has a small church with a makeshift shelter open 24/7, and there is yet another spring. On a clear day, you can even see the sea from above the church.