The Way of the Redeemer: cycle path on Saccarello - Alta Via del Sale

The Way of the Redeemer
cycle path on Mount Saccarello

THE ITINERARY

Cycle route has a good difference in height (from 1,263 m of the starting point to 2,200 m of Monte Saccarello), covering for a good part the territory included in the Regional Park of the Ligurian Alps.

THE PATH

Starting from Mendatica we reach the locality of San Bernardo di Mendatica (altitude 1,263 m). After passing San Bernardo, follow the path that leads to Colle di Garezzo, entering the Park area. From here you can follow two routes: you can climb to Monte Frontè and pass the homonymous pass (altitude 2,090 m) to continue for a stretch along the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri, until reaching the Statue of the Redeemer, on the mountain Saccarello.
A variation to the main route allows instead to reach the locality of Monesi di Triora.
Alternatively, from Monte Saccarello, you can go down towards the Collardente, in French territory. From this point you can continue in France, along a variation up to the Municipality of La Brigue, or, on Italian territory, descend towards the village of Realdo.

Another solution gives the possibility to continue and, through Verdeggia (fraction of Triora), to return to Passo della Guardia (altitude 1.461 m); alternatively, from the Colle di Garezzo a lower altitude is maintained and you can directly reach the Passo della Guardia with a shorter and less demanding route. From Passo della Guardia continue towards Passo del Pellegrino (altitude 1,388 m), Passo di Gorda (altitude 1,252 m), Monte Trono (altitude 1,182 m) up to the town of Triora.
Along the way there are the Rifugio Sanremo (unguarded) on Mount Saccarello (the highest in Liguria) and a bed & breakfast in the village of Verdeggia, in addition to the facilities in Triora and Mendatica.
Other local itineraries can be intercepted from the route, including:

  • Alta Via dei Monti Liguri
  • Giro delle cascate dell’Arroscia e Colle del Garezzo (da Mendatica)
  • Itinerario escursionistico n. 9 del Comune di Triora: Cetta – Colla Belenda – Carmo Gerbontina
  • Itinerario escursionistico n. 1 del Comune di Triora: Triora – Passo della Guardia – Passo Garlenda – Monte Saccarello
  • Itinerario escursionistico n. 2 del Comune di Triora: Triora – Passo della Guardia – Passo di Collardente – Monte Saccarello
  • La Strada della cucina bianca – Civiltà delle malghe (Itinerario tematico)

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Triora
    Site inhabited by the Ligurians even before the Roman colonization, is a municipality of considerable size (still the largest of the Province of Imperia): Triora belonged to the Eleventh century to the Marca Aleramica, following the Arduinica and then became a important feud of the Counts of Ventimiglia. The notary deeds of 1261 tell us how the village became part of the Republic of Genoa, whose territory was long a part resisting strenuously to the numerous annexation attempts of which it was object, but thanks to large walls and five fortresses Triora confirmed its reputation as impregnable rock.
    After the sunset of the Republic of Genoa and the Napoleonic adventure, Triora passed to the Kingdom of Sardinia and, in March 1860, to the Kingdom of Italy. Since the 80s, tourism has become its new vocation; first the establishment of the Regional Natural Park of the Ligurian Alps, then the setting up of the Regional Ethnographic and Witchcraft Museum and a careful recovery of the historic center with the restoration of some important buildings and historic houses (Palazzo Borelli, Palazzo Capponi, Palazzo Stella), they favored the influx of Italian and foreign tourists.
    A destination for both a more openly sporting tourism and cultural-folklore routes, the Municipality is now ranked among the most beautiful villages in Italy and has been awarded the Orange Flag by the Italian Touring Club and can offer the visitor many possibilities ranging from walks in the woods, trekking to mountain biking along the paths of the Ligurian Alps Park, to visits and walks of great interest in the concentric village of Triora. Among the many possible routes of visit we point out the wonderful Collegiata dell’Assunta, an imposing church of the distant Roman-Gothic origin still preserves the ogival portal inserted in the façade that dominates the square and the Regional Ethnographic and Witchcraft Museum (corso Italia, 1) where, in addition to the tools and objects related to ancient pastoral and peasant customs, visitors will be able to observe and leaf through books, documents and environmental recollections related to witchcraft and the obscure and intricate events related to the famous witch trials of Triora of the years 1587- 1589. To visit also the fortified village with slate portals, arches, narrow passages and fortress houses, the Arma del Grà di Marmo Archaeological Park, the Oratory of S. Giovanni Battista, the church of Santa Caterina, the church of S. Bernardino, the church of S.Agostino, the prehistoric cave of Monte Frontè. Triora is also included among the City of bread, for the traditional production of this product.
  • Mendatica
    Arranged on the side of Mount Fronté, from the height of its 778 meters of altitude, the Ligurian Valley of Arroscia, whose most important center is the town of Pieve di Teco. The municipal territory of Mendatica also extends over part of the contiguous Val Tanarello, with the hamlets of San Bernardo, Monesi di Mendatica, Valcona and Le Salse. Some of these villages were frequented during the summer, but almost exclusively by shepherds.
    The territory is part of the Regional Natural Park of the Ligurian Alps. To see the ancient village, the Parish Church of the SS Nazario and Celso, where there is a statue depicting the Madonna, by the famous Ligurian sculptor Anton Maria Maragliano. The Church of S. Margherita, the Sanctuary of the Madonna dei Colombi and the Ethnographic Museum.
  • Saccarello Mount
    Saccarello Mount is the highest point of the Ligurian territory, located on the border with France. The majestic Statue of the Redeemer was erected on its antic.
  • The Redeemer
    Built at 2,164 meters above sea level, on the ancient Monte Saccarello, the large bronze statue of Christ the Redeemer is part of a group of sculptures placed in the early twentieth century on the highest mountains of each Italian region . In 1900, in fact, Pope Leo XIII, during the Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s, declared he wanted to dedicate the twentieth century to the Redeemer. Many Italian regions, adhering to the initiative, undertook to set up statues, crosses or monuments that represented it on their highest peaks. The western Ligurian created this impressive sculpture that, with the means of the time and with the help of the French, was placed on that hill offering an incomparable view.
  • La Frazione di Verdeggia
    Frazione di Triora (Imperia) located at 1,100 meters above sea level, in Alta Valle Argentina, Verdeggia is a typical village perched on the mountain slope; together with Realdo it is the only brigasca linguistic island of Liguria.
  • The Arroscia Cascades
    The Cascades are not far from Mendatica, where the torrent Arroscia forms a spectacular series of waterfalls at the head of a valley covered by dense woods. Passing near the Romanesque church of Santa Margherita, which houses inside frescoes of the fifteenth and sixteenth century, a beautiful trail leads in little more than an hour to the waterfalls, already identifiable from afar in the lush vegetation.

GEOGRAPHICAL AREA INTERESTED

The area covered by the itinerary is a portion of a cross-border area between Liguria and France; it mainly develops between the municipalities of Mendatica and Triora and is mostly located in the Park area.

Total length: 30 km. The departure is scheduled from the town of Mendatica, in the Valle Arroscia, (altitude 778 m); while arriving in the historic center of Triora (altitude 780 m), in Valle Argentina.

Difficulty and distance: The itinerary, which can be used during the summer period, does not present particular difficulty in traveling; it takes about six hours and is suitable for an average trained user.

Right Menu Icon
Back