Ponzano Superiore

Ponzano Superiore

This section to the Mediterranean Sea will be challenging us. We cannot just follow the Fiume Magra as pilgrims did some decades ago. Reason for this change is the narrow canyon which used to be shared by the Magra River and a road used by pilgrims and some traffic. Inbetween, we also find the Strada Statale 62, the Cisa highway and railway tracks in this canyon, uncomfortable circumstances for a relaxed hike.
fortificated Bibola village

fortificated Bibola village

The Via Francigena as a consequence now bypasses this bottleneck across the Apennine mountains on the left side of the river, where we pass by the Monte Porro (580 m.o.s.) first, then also by the Monte Grosso (663 m.o.s.), before we return down to the broader valley behind the canyon. When passing the Monte Porro, we will encounter a picturesque, fortificated village on a hill, named Bibola. Later on, we will pass a village named Ponzano Superiore, that's where we will see the Mediterranean Sea for the first time, or its bay of La Spezia, to be specific. Later on, to our left again, we will see quarries where the famous Carrara Marble comes from.

Ponzano and Gulf of La Spezia

Ponzano and Gulf of La Spezia

After this panoramic hike across the hills, on a trail developped by the Italian Alpine Club, we will get to Sarzana, one of the most eastern communities of the Liguria region, which we briefly touch here. Sarzana has an interesting history, like many places here, and some of us may be happy to finish todays hike now. For those who continue, in the flat lands : Avenza is slightly less than 20 km away from here.

Note(s)

The «Via Francigena» is one of the 3 main christian pilgrimage trails of the Middle Ages, the main axis leading from Canterbury to Rome. This documentation currently covers the most frequented section from Lausanne to Rome.