Italy Via della Costa

Day 5: San Remo to Tarrazzo

Today I suffered for my breakfast choice, found a packed church at 11am on a Monday, got wet feet despite no rain, walked through 5 hill top villages and missed Lene by 200m. All in all, a pleasant days walking in primarily cloudy conditions, no rain, 32km and 1080m ascent.

I had taken a croissant for breakfast. What I didn’t realise before I took a bite, was that it was full of apricot jam, and I mean full. It felt like it was a whole jar full of jam they had been put into the croissant! Wow, did it sit heavy in my stomach for the rest of the day.

Lene joined me to walk the first 2-3kms, continuing along the cycle path (that used to be the railway line). There wasn’t a lot to see – the coast, a few cafe’s and not many other walkers. I walked through a couple of tunnels before reaching Arma di Taggia, the maritime part of Taggia, which is situated 2-3 kms, north. It was market day, a mixture of food, clothes and household goods on sale, and a number of people out shopping for clothes or household goods. Most of the stallholders were from the Indian sub-continent, not many Italians.

I followed the main road north to Taggia, a beautiful old village, rated as one of Italy’s most beautiful. The village is well-preserved with an historical center, narrow alleyways and many squares. I was surprised that the village seemed so empty. Surely they hadn’t all gone to visit the market? As I passed the Sant’Egidio church, which is the village’s main landmark, the outer doors were open, so I decided to have a look in. It was Monday morning at 11am and to my total surprise, the church was packed with extremely well dressed Italians. I beat a hasty retreat.

I crossed a medieval bridge and started my ascent under the autostrada, with great views of Taggia, when looking back.

The next stop was the village of Castellaro, yet another historical village perched at 260m, and dominated, as so many villages by the church. I stopped off for a cola to try and settle my rumbling stomach, before continuing east.

The next village was 10km away, and passing a flock of goats and a small chapel, the walk had glorious views of the hilly landscape and coast, the next two villages Lingueglietta and Civezza and not so glorious views of the ever present autostrada.

Unfortunately, part of the path down to Lingueglietta was flooded, with a stream running down over the stone surface. It was very slippery. I had no choice but to walk through it, with resulting wet feet.

Lingueglietta, also on the list of Italy’s most beautiful villages, with stunning 360 degree views and two churches despite it having a population of less than 100.

From here it was downhill into the valley and back uphill towards the next historical village. Civezza dates back to the 11th century and was inhabited by noblemen exiled from Venice, protected by 5 towers (I only saw one of them). It was a long village, with a a single narrow alleyway connecting the two churches at each end of the village.

I was only a few kilometers from todays destination – yet another hilltop village Tarrazzo, only a short climb and a couple of kilometers downhill, away. Without me knowing, Lene had walked up the hill from Tarrazzo to meet me, but had ended up 200m from where I started my descent. So we missed each other.

We checked into a small B&B and a fantastic view towards Imperia and the coast. As the car was running low on fuel, we drove into Imperia, tanked fuel and looked for a place to eat. We didn’t really find much, so decided to buy some bread, cheese, ham and a bottle of wine, and enjoy the view from our room.

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