An open-air gym, and the Butterfly Path

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casella gita genova sentiero farfalle altureMy desire to recharge and disconnect from the daily routine is huge. I only have half a day of holiday but, fortunately, I live in Liguria, one of the regions in which it takes little to always feel slightly on holiday.

Given the wonderful spring day I decided to walk a trail in the Parco della Mura above Genoa.

This corner of history between the green hills and blue sea includes a good part of the city walls constructed around 1630 and some of the fortifications which made up part of the city’s old defences.

The area, Righi, gives you a view over the whole city. It takes your breath away and can be easily reached from the city centre both by bus or with the funicular from Zecca.

The area, Righi, gives you a view over the whole city. It takes your breath away and can be easily reached from the city centre.

casella gita genova sentiero farfalle altureI park easily in the main square, grab my sunglasses, a rucksack over my shoulder, walking boots, sun cream (you never know) and off we go! My destination today will be Forte Diamante, the most northern of the Genoese walls.

During my trip, as well as a unique view which reminds me of the shades on an artist’s palette, and the view of the historic Casella train route, I meet many smiling people who are all very different: a girl who was jogging with her dog who, between me and you, was having more fun chasing butterflies (I found myself on the Sentiero delle Farfalle, the “Butterfly Path”!), a group of tight-knit cyclists who, between one laugh and another, continued along a rather impracticable path (I didn’t envy their endurance), sprightly old men of a not so tender age who, armed with walking sticks and high-tech clothing, were walking at a good pace (I reckon they had a flask of red wine in their bag, but that’s another story…).

Among the smell of greenery I reach Forte Diamante which emerges majestically and awe-inspiringly from far away. It seems like I’ve dived into the past, the only ‘sound’ that surrounds and accompanies me is birdsong. After one last ten-degree push I reach the fortress. A sense of lightness and freedom fills my heart and soul, I feel like a queen!

Time flies and, despite my desire to stay here even longer, I need to go back to work. The knowledge that there is an open-air gym a stone’s throw from home fills me with energy for the rest of the day. I’m certain that the next time I’ll bring my dog with me. Who knows if she’ll play with the butterflies too? :-)

A curious Genoese fascinated by all that is authentic, good and unusual. I’m constantly looking to discover and…

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