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San Rocco - Punta Chiappa

This path is certainly one of the classical trek routes for families and groups, because of tis beauties and fame, not only concerning the Portofino Promontory, but the whole Liguria Region, even though it doesn’t have its own trail sign.

However, the itinerary is easily identifiable and well signposted by the Park signs.

From the panoramic churchyard of San Rocco you face a fair part of the unstable western side of the Promontory. After diverting to the right, before the school, you go down along via San Nicolò into a shady holm-oak wood, w here not enough light can filter through the leaf fronds of the evergreen plants for the expansion of a thick undergrowth.

Although the descent is easy, the hillside is steep on the other hand and unstable rock layers and portions of soil can slip into the sea; for this reason the Park, together with the municipality of Camogli, have considerably consolidated the itinerary, using different mountain side strenghtening techniques.

You pass then the small residential complex of Pego: one of the four houses shows the structure of the old and poor farm houses of the past.

it is an odd fact that here the trees grow bent at the bottom because of the landslip movements and for this reason they have been cultivated to obtain raw materials for the construction of boat keels.

Beyond a nice olive grove you enter the Fosso dei Bruchi. Here you find a geological contact between two different kind of rocks that form the promontory, the conglomerate replaces the marly limestone.

The less fractured marly limestone rocks are the reason why the underwater rises to the surface
In this area springs in many spots in very near San Nicolò village and further on at the Moro watermill.

The small village of San Nicolò has a little ancient Romanic church and from its churchyard you can enjoy a good view of the underlying coastline and the Golfo Paradiso. From here you can also comfortably observe the activity of the historical “tonnarella” (tunny fishing net) starting from late spring.

Now we go through a place called Case del Mulino (watermill houses) or Mulino del Moro (Moor watermill). The area, once intensly cultivated, is now more residential with the striking courtyards of the small villas overlooking the sea fully adorned with garden ornaments and plants.

Beyond the Mulino spring the route runs parallel to the rocks, that are suitable for sunbathing and swimming in many spots, and takes you to the fisherman’s world.

Fishing nets hanging in the sun, every sort of tool, sheds and boats accompany the excursionist to Porto Pidocchio, where the steamboat docks; some b/w photos show the last important local fishermen and their wives.

You leave the bight of Porto Pidocchio and go back up, where you find a variant, walking through the pinewood and multi-coloured coastal rock vegetation, and you reach Punta Chiappa,a pictoresque conglomerate block extending into the sea.

There stands a small old guardhouse, built during the last World War to prevent unwelcome landings, as you can deduce from the German bunkers that stand further up on the rock face.

The icon of the Stella Maris mosaic is locally celebrated on the first Sunday of August. Late in the morning a boat procession arrives from Camogli and Mass is celebrated on the small altar, in the evening, after the sunset, some coloured lamps are laid on the water in front of the Punta.

Punta Chiappa is also a good spot for snorkeling.