Friday, January 30, 2015

Walking Portovenere promotory - Anello del Monte Castellana

For those of you like me who like a good circular walk with stunning coastal views and the added bonus a retaurant/bar half way at Campiglia then this is a walk for you. When we did it with our dog Sam it took us about three and a half hours with stops for photos and a couple of rests for water or snacks.
The walk starts from a viewing point overlooking the coast at the end of the "Strada dei Marmi" under Monte Castellana. You arrive here from La Spezia following the road sign for Portovenere. Just before Portovenere at Le Grazie there is a turning to the right signposted Palestra di Roccia del Muzzerone and Monte Castellana. Turn right here going up the hill and eventually you arrive at a junction where the road divides keep going keeping right (straight on up hill) and after about 100m you arrive at the viewing point.
Portovenere Promotory
Park the car at the viewing point and take a moment to enjoy the view. Here there is a map on a board and some picnic tables.Take the coastal path by the tables up through some bushes. Ignore the gravel track to the right which you will come down later. 
The coastal path has some stunning views of the Portovenere promotory.
Coastal path
You will eventually reach a road where if you continue to the left along the road/paths you will eventually reach Campiglia here you can stop to take in the little church or have lunch if peckish or take a coffee at the bar.(or you can continue to the right see below after Campiglia)
Once you have finished looking around Campiglia you can retrace your steps to where you joined the road from the coast walk. Here at the layby to the left there is a metalled road signposted to a military zone and a footpath. Follow this road. It will after a while pass through some open gates with footpath markings on the barriers at the side of the road. Continuing along the road and eventually on the left is a foot path which goes off into the woods and uphill to a refuge overlooking the gulf of La Spezia. Here are some picnic tables if you have brought picnic lunch. The path continues behind the refuge going down hill passing some old stone quarries and communication masts.The path/track bears round to the right continuing with views to the left of the Gulf of La Spezia.
The track continues down through a wooded area eventually coming to a clearing with coastal views again. Here the track continues to the left . Here you can sit on the wall and take in the view. The walk continues down hill for another 20 minutes or so zig zagginng its way down until you get to the car park. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Walking on the wild side.

If you like walking like we do you will find plenty of walks right out the front door in the woods.

This morning taking advantage of the continuing sunny weather we decided to go for a circular walk (9.5km) through woods and Olive groves,to Casano  di Ortonovo and back. We started along the track at the back of the house where you could get distracted and start picking asparagus but determinedly we headed on and up into the hills.

To sounds of chain saws (always a little distracting) we enjoyed an uphill walk in the spring sunshine past primroses and violets.

Sam who came with us was always a little too far ahead so we ended up putting him on the lead as he tends to rush off looking for people to say hello to if he hears voices...sounds carry in the hills so he can end up disappearing. The walk eventually descended down into the valley and to a little stream where Sam enjoyed cooling off and quenching his thirst despite us carrying his own water bottle for him!

After a short while we arrived at Casano di Ortonovo a small hamlet with a church at the head of the valley.

Unfortunately the church was not open but at the end of the street we came to a path which headed up the hill through olive groves towards the house.

 Even though we were nearing journey's end we sat in the sun and had our sandwiches amongst the olive trees.Round trip about 2.5 to 3 hours.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Unexpected Pleasures - Guest Comments

We hear a lot these days about the importance of Guest reviews via the various internet booking portals. All the major booking portals have them , Venere/Expedia and Trip those who booked with them the chance for a comment on their return and those who are thinking of booking a means of evaluating their potential hosts.

All those who work in the tourist industry work  hard to ensure guests have a great time and we are always grateful for a great review and a little hurt if we receive a negative one.

Recently we received a couple of emails from informing us we had received awards both for the Quality of Service Offered and Cleanliness and are amongst the top 5000 out of over 135000 properties.

We would like to thank both their clients for the award and hope to be able to continue to offer a great vacation to those to choose to stay with us.