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The Benevento beeches forest

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.

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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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