In my last post I told you about the Abby at Tiglieto.  Following our visit there Elena, Michela and I took a ring hike through the adjacent Beigua Regional Park. Beigua is the largest park in Liguria and covers a variety of terrain from high mountains to streams to woodlands.  We saw just the teeniest corner, but it was enough of a taste to make us want to return for more.  Elena’s guidebook suggested it would take us two hours to complete our walk, but it took us four!  I guess that’s what happens when two of the three hikers are toting cameras.

We crossed a number of bridges on our hike, some more rickety than others.  One had enough missing boards to be downright worrisome, but most were in fine repair.   The curvy, hilly roads in the park are a mecca for bicyclists and motorcyclists, of which we saw many on the occasions when our path crossed the road.  Here, in no particular order, are a few photos taken on our hike.

Roman bridge

Beigua's Grand Canyon

An old oven

Old shrine

On the way home we stopped in the pretty town of Campo Ligure which features a castle built by Genova’s Spinola family in 1309 (closed by the time we arrived), a spacious central piazza with a 14th century palazzo (also Spinola) and a medieval bridge which has been much restored.

Here are some photos of that brief visit.  An amusing event while we were there: a pair of old gents on a bench in the piazza kept staring at Michela as she took pictures – I couldn’t figure out why.  It turned out they just wanted to be sure she knew about the medieval bridge and would go there to take photos.  In fact, the man in the yellow pants followed us to make sure we did just that!

The highly touted  bridge was built over the River Stura in the 9th century and rebuilt several times from the 18th century onwards:

In spite of the rebuilds it still has a pleasingly romanesque shape.

The old center of the town is laced with narrow medieval alleys:

The castle sits atop the hill behind the town:

I’m not sure what purpose this chimney serves, or why it is so deliciously turned.  If you know, please tell me:

This nonna and her tow-headed grandson were having excellent fun diverting the water from the lion’s mouth to make their own fountain:

Campo Ligure is a perfect example of what makes Italy such a delightful country to explore.  Without be ‘important’ it offers a brief and interesting history lesson, as well as many beautiful little corners to discover.