A beautiful 5 mile costal walk from the centre of Alassio to the middle of Albenga. The path’s highest point is 81m and the total ascent is 130m. The views along the way are spectacular. Most of the journey follows the ancient roman via Julia Augusta.
The route rises from the centre of Alassio to the tiny San Croce Church along a small road without a pavement. After the San Croce church the path is car free until you descend into Albenga.
Alassio to San Croce church
The trail starts in the middle of Alassio at the train station.
Alassio is the classiest Italian Riviera tourist spot. The shopping is excellent catering for the relatively wealthy visitors. The town began it’s development as a tourist destination in 1872. It was the railway arriving along the Italian Riviera which opened up the town in particular to the British.
The path that leads up to San Croce is really the only time you’ll need the map on this route. Even this part of the walk is pretty easy to follow once you have found the Via Solva. Look out for the sign to Via Julia Augusta and pass under the railway. The early part of this road is a little bit busy and so without a pavement you need to be careful. It rises steadily but not steeply. As the route flattens out at the 2 km mark the via Solva continues with a sharp bend. Turn right at this point.
The houses thin out and the small San Croce comes into view.
San Croce Chapel to Albenga along the via Julia Augusta
The 11th century church of San Croce marks the start of what is left of the ancient via Julia Augusta. This route was commissioned by the Emperor Augusta to connect the Po Valley with France and Spain along the Riviera coast and was opened in 12BC.
Along the route are many roman archaeological sites demonstrating the importance of the via Julia Augusta.
From here the path is fully signposted and extremely easy to follow. Just enjoy the views as you walk along.
As you descend to the flat Albengan plain the three towers of the old town stand out.
Albenga has a completely different atmosphere to Alassio. It is much more a working town. However, it does have an historical part and that is where we went to look for a nice lunch.
Le 5e25 restaurant
We were very lucky. After wandering the streets of the old town we found a little restaurant that was not actually open, but they invited us in anyway. Both the food and the atmosphere were enchanting. We had exactly what the staff were eating on our arrival. It was delicious, a real gourmet vegetable soup and a brilliant pesto pasta dish. The people were lovely and took us into the kitchen to watch them make bread. If you go to Albenga please visit Le 5e25 and enjoy a meal cooked and served by people who adore food and care that it is served with kindness.
Following our terrific meal we walked directly south to the station and returned to Alassio by train. A thoroughly exquisite morning and afternoon excursion featuring the Alassio to Albenga walk and a great meal at lunchtime.
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