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May 2021, text under review.
We leave Ghersi and reach Pietralavezzara in a few minutes, a village where the precious "Green Marble" was extracted and exported all over Europe from the 16th century to the 1960s. After passing the church, we turn right downhill into Via Paveto. it soon becomes a dirt road that leads to Paveto. Here, once we reach the church, we turn left taking the crossroads that leads to Costagiutta. We now begin to climb, taking a dirt road and quickly gaining altitude, we reach the ridge where where we rejoin the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri “on foot” trail. We are at about 635 meters above sea level. We follow the dirt road mainly downhill to Passo dei Giovi where we find water, a grocery store and two coffee shops.
We turn left on the SP35 at Passo dei Giovi and ride it for a few tens of meters and then turn right uphill towards Santuario della Vittoria on SP47. From here we have two alternatives: either we continue to follow the gpx track with some very stony and muddy sections in case of rain or we proceed on asphalt to the Sanctuary of Vittoria then descending to Stabbio and continuing to Casella where we will resume the GPX track.
Proceeding instead along the path of the GPX track, just before reaching the Sanctuary of Vittoria we turn right downhill in a narrow road that soon becomes single track up to Crocetta d’Orero. We always remain at low altitudes and with moderate differences in height, crossing chestnut groves and grassy coastlines that offer pleasant panoramas. Having found the asphalt again at Crocetta d'Orero, we continue to descend to Casella and then reach Montoggio.
We leave Montoggio along the Pentemina river and follow its bends in the homonymous valley. We begin to take some altitude on the side of Monte di Pezza, we reach the 800 meters a.s.l. of Pentema magnificent village with its ancient houses leaning against each other along the slope and also known for its natural size Christmas Nativity. We continue to climb, this time on the slope of Monte Prelà, from whose ridges the rivers Scrivia and Trebbia are born.
While the views are becoming more and more fascinating, we reach Donnetta in the Upper Val Trebbia, where we cross the SP 15 for 1 km, we turn right downhill to abandon it less than 200 meters later, turning left on an easy and wide path with a excellent ground. We pass a small chapel, continue on the dirt road until we reach the asphalt. Here we turn left downhill pedaling first on the SP 62 and then on the SS45 along the course of the Trebbia River.
We pass a short tunnel to carry out shortly after a sharp turn (U-turn) on the right on a paved road but with a rather uneven ground. After overcoming an ascent of about 400 meters we reach Barbagelata.
We leave Barbagelata on asphalt and slightly descend along the Aveto stream until we reach the Passo della Scoglina, a crossroads between the Val d'Aveto, Val Trebbia and Val Fontanabuona. We take the SP 56 and continue to descend, always alongside the Aveto, while on the left the Monte degli Scagni, Monte della Croce and Monte del Salto parade.
We cross some inhabited places among which Priosa (km 9), to the center of a green plateau and historically defined as the "Ligurian Switzerland", Cabanne, which boasts an autochthonous breed of cow (the cabannina). Here you cross the bridge, moving on the opposite side of the Aveto along the SP 586 and continuing slightly downhill to Rezzoaglio (shops, ATMs and other services) at an altitude of 720 meters above sea level. We keep to the right at the crossroads starting to climb and following the SS 654 towards Santo Stefano d'Aveto and then abandoning it for a smaller road on the right that leads to Lago delle Lame.
We have now reached the Aveto Regional Natural Park, inside the Upper Agoraie and Moggetto nature reserve, which takes its name from the group of lakes that we meet along the way. In addition to the Lago delle Lame, you also pass next to the Agoraie di Fondo lake, the Riondo lake and the Abeti lake. From here, the last 2 km lead, in the middle of a magnificent beech forest to the Passo delle Lame (1300 m) end of this stage. Here we find the unattended Bivouac Baita Monte degli Abeti. This is a very basic but nice accommodation facility. For its use, you must book and request information for the collection of the key at email@example.com or call the Alta Via Info H24 +39.3188.8.131.527, a service that is always active, including holidays also in English and French.