By mountain bike going over mountains and valleys

Next to the walking route, it is possible to complete the Levanto – Pontremoli stretch in either direction on a mountain bike.

For convenience, we’ll describe the route heading uphill from the medieval loggia of Levanto, where the canal port used to be located. On the map created by the Italian Alpine Club and curated by Luca Galuppini, a member of the La Spezia Section, the recommended route for those who want to undertake this journey through time on a bicycle, from the sea to the mountains, is indicated The CAI cartography, created by Luca Galuppini, is comprehensive from Levanto to Pontremoli.

The route has several variations compared to the one followed by hikers, mainly due to the presence of trails that are not suitable for mountain biking. These are typically mule tracks that, by their nature, can only be used by pedestrians, both for safety reasons and because of the track’s characteristics. In creating a route that doesn’t present particular difficulties, equipped with the appropriate signage established by the Ligurian Hiking Network (REL) for mountain biking, we have taken into account the suggestions of the municipal administrations and the experts who are well acquainted with the characteristics of the various sections.

Starting, as mentioned earlier, from the loggia in the heart of medieval Levanto, you take Via Guani and continue on Via Garibaldi, which you follow all the way until you exit through the San Martino arch. From there, continue straight until you reach the drivable bridge over the Ghiararo stream, then turn left towards the civil hospital and continue uphill to the San Gottardo roundabout. A short distance away, at the end of modern condominiums, you’ll find the old Piè dell’Erta mule track reserved for pedestrians; for mountain bikes, the provincial road leading toward the Carrodano highway exit will be used, ascending smoothly to Montale. Just before Montale, turning right, it’s advisable to make a stop to visit the complex of the church of San Siro. Resuming the road towards Carrodano, continue for about a kilometer, then, at the beginning of a long overpass, take the road that climbs to the right towards Foce di Dosso. Keep going uphill to Foce di Bardellone, with its priceless view of the Levanto valley with its many hillside villages Upon reaching Foce di Vignana, you’ll intersect with the trail of the Via dei Monti, reserved for pedestrians, which you’ll bypass by continuing for another stretch to the large plateau known as Foce di Bardellone. The view is beautiful and allows you to admire Levanto on one side and the Val di Vara on the other.

If you have some extra time, it’s recommended to reach the slight elevation of Monte Bardellone to see the few remains of the castle of the Celasco nobles, who were the rulers of this territory until the arrival of the Genoese. To get there, simply follow the dirt road that leads above the village of Faggiona in the municipality of Pignone and Monte Redescavo, then turn right at the ruins of the small abandoned village of Zolasco or Celasco. In a few minutes, you’ll arrive at a small plateau with a building on the right, and from here, you should continue on foot, following the dirt road that takes you almost to the top of Monte Bardellone.

Following the road on the left when you arrive at Foce will take you to Cà Vagine, a convenient stopping point where the dirt road initially ascends gently towards Cassana and then descends into the Val di Vara. Aside from a short section near the remains of Castellaro Ligure where the hiking and mountain biking paths diverge, the two routes run together for a long time, only splitting after the location of Chiesa di Cassana, to follow two different directions and reunite near the Via Aurelia Once this major road is reached, both routes continue on to Brugnato via Borghetto di Vara and the ancient church of l’Accola.

After crossing the bridge over the Vara River, the mountain bike path continues straight towards the town center, veering off at the junction for Bozzolo, the only municipal hamlet. A little further on, you’ll pass a convenient footbridge over the Chicciola stream, a tributary of the Vara River, entering the historic center of Brugnato From the roundabout located at the highway exit to the town, the mountain bike route corresponds to the walking route.

After Brugnato, the mountain biking route of the Via dei Monti follows the provincial road to Rocchetta di Vara, then deviates towards Pieve di Zignago. From there, continue on the road to Suvero and the Casoni, climbing a steep slope to the Castellaro area and from there, following the same trekking route, down into the Rossano valley. From Piagna, the Pradalinara pass can be reached by following the paved road to Arzelato, then turning off after about a kilometer onto a dirt road that descends to Torrano and Cavezzana. The subsequent stretch to Pontremoli is on asphalt, faithfully following the trekking route.