That of nature with their woods, meadows and pastures of clear and fragile beauty and that of the built landscape, a wise balance between nature and the work of man.
But many locals and visitors alike still have to discover another face of our mountains, that of art: centuries of history have indeed left important evidence on our mountains, from prehistoric finds to dry stone walls created during the early agricultural periods, from the architecture of medieval and baroque churches and castles to those of stone bridges made by the Romans who occupied the area and even some bunkers and fortifications.
Castle in our Liguria Hinterland
Among the most beautiful works of art which one can find on our mountains are carved portals, paintings and prehistoric frescoes that prove how ancient these lands are.
According to my research, the authors of most of these works are unknown, but some finds are visible in the museum in the municipality of Rezzo.
In Liguria, using trails and dirt roads it is possible to move from one valley to the other of our regional and protected park, using ancient paths that were once used by the Romans for their trades and which now have been restored and offer magnificent 360° views of the Ligurian Alps and the sea.
By hiking on one of these well-marked trails (and many are the publications on this topic), it is possible to reach and visit caves, small lakes and waterfalls.
The Environmental Education Center of the Ligurian Alps often organizes workshops, lessons and field trips and many are the itineraries for those who love trekking and hiking in the mountains.
Our mountains are our green lungs where you can walk and immerse yourself in nature, like in the Testa d'Alpe Forest and in the valley of the Barbara stream, or visit villages rich in history, such as Rocchetta, Pigna and Triora, legendarily famous for its witches.
Our mountains in fact, so rich in history and culture, are obviously a place to enjoy nature but also a place to learn more about local folklore. Many are the legends surrounding this area and one is that of the Golden Butterfly which brings together ancestral mysteries, shamanic rites and extraordinary astronomical phenomena.
The popularity of this phenomenon continues to grow and many people, every year, decide to visit San Lorenzo Mount, during the summer solstice, to see it.
But what is it?
The light of the sun setting crosses a hole created by a four lozenge-shaped stones, projecting the image of a large golden butterfly on a nearby rock. The event lasts a few minutes, but leaves you breathless. According to the legend, it was an ancient place of worship for fertility, for the cycle of birth and death, a place of prehistoric symbolism and electromagnetic forces and no scientific explanation has been given yet.
The regional park which extends on our Ligurian mountains has over 800 kilometers of hiking trails along the Magra river, a stretch of the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri and numerous sub-mountain trails. For its extraordinary river development, it is loved by lovers of rowing, canoeing, canyoning, rafting and kayaking.
But the park is not just rivers and streams: in addition to the river area, the park includes promontories, coastal trails with impressive swimming spots and it’s an ideal starting point for many excursions on the sea.
Also ancient villages and castles are present throughout the territory from Sarzana to Ameglia, and many are the historical villages and Roman ruins along the way.
Coastal trails offer impressive swimming spots