The Alta Via dei Monti Liguri is a long-distance high-level trail covering the length of Liguria, from Ventimiglia in the west across the ridgetops to Ceparana on the Tuscan border above La Spezia in the east – a total distance of some 440km. The mountains, which form the connection between the Alps and the Apennines, aren’t high – rarely more than 1500m – meaning that the scenic route, which makes full use of the many passes between peaks, is relatively easy-going. The whole thing would take weeks to complete, but has been divided up into 43 stages of between two and four hours each, making it easy to dip in and out of. Trail support and maintenance is good, with rifugi dotted along the path and distinctive waymarks (red-white-red “AV” signs).
Unfortunately, access to most parts of the Alta Via from the main coastal towns can be tricky, and requires juggling with route itineraries and bus timetables. For information on the Alta Via, the Associazione Alta Via dei Monti Liguri produces a full-colour wall-map of the route, along with detailed English descriptions and timings of all 43 stages (plus hotels and restaurants along the way). Club Alpino Italiano offices in the major towns have information on rifugi, and the Federazione Italiano Escursionismo (FIE) publishes detailed guides to all the inland paths of Liguria.