Trekking around Levanto: the labyrinth revealed

2 itineraries in the valley of Levanto
The first stretch is the same for both itineraries.
Starting from the hotel we take direction to the train station , we go on straight.
After football field, by the church we turn right toward Monterosso.
After 200 m, in the locality of San Rocco del Piano we begin to climb a handy mule track (C.A.I. trail #575), proceeding on a slight hill for 15 minutes.
Having reached the hamlet of Ridarolo, we cross the village, keeping St. John the Baptist Church to our right and we follow the road until we reach the large crossroads where the small Church of St. Bartholomew stands. Behind this building there is a drinking water fountain.
Here we come across trail #570 that crosses all the “villas” with a horizontal path half way up the hill and there we can choose to change itineraries as we please.
We have three options:
a) trail #575 up to the hillock of Bardellone
b) trail #570 heading North-West towards Pastine-Montale
c) trail #570 heading South-West towards Gallona-Legnaro
We choose option B to Pastine
The trail, on a slight downhill slope, goes past a pine and then a chestnut grove and finally, after going over a small bridge, it climbs back up through olive groves livened up by the orange netting for olive harvesting.
We reach Pastine. From St. Maria Assunta Chapel we turn right and after passing the arcades we head left.
A short downhill slope leads on to a tarmac road, after about 300 mt. we leave the road and go down a steep concrete lane that leads us to Lerici.
Once in front of the Chapel of St. Anthony of Padua, we turn right through the houses and, keeping right, we go down until we pass an old stone mill.
Climbing back up the Fico Valley we continue right up to Montale. We enter the inhabited area and then come out near Pieve di San Siro.
Its 18th century façade hides a beautiful motif of Romanesque design: stopping there to admire its interior is a must.
Having left the Church square we cross the main road and after a few metres, we go down to the left at the height of a house.

We walk back through olive groves until we come to a small tabernacle.
A small bridge allows us to cross the Dosso river and then with the ruins of an old mill to our left, we begin the ascent towards the village of Dossonitself.
We can stop to take a look at a relief of the Annunciation sculpted on slate at the entrance of the Oratory dedicated to St. John the Evangelist.
After leaving the village, we take again to the trail, we arrive at Groppo and go back on to the main road.
We go past the turning for Lavaggiorosso or we can visit the village and the St. Sebastian Parish.
Once we have arrived at Lizza our eyes embrace the entire range of surrounding hills.
We go deeper into the steep arched passageways that wind back into the churchyard of Santa Maria Assunta Chapel.
Our journey is not over yet. We still have to go up towards the ruins of a windmill and reach the old caves where the famous red marble of Levanto was once extracted.

Back on the main road we take a right at the heightof the first curve.
As we gain altitude we enter, on our left, trail #671  In the area called Crocetta, with viewof an old cave.
The vegetation is bare and thin and as we follow the trail through Monte delle Streghe (Witch Mountain) leading to a gorgeous view of the sea, we begin to realize the devastation caused by fires of a recent past.
Back on the winding lane through cistus, thyme and junipers, in front of us only sea, and past the main road we carry on, until we reach the promenade and the beach.