VOLTRI – VILLA DUCHESSA DI GALLIERA – CREVARI
On foot: 2,30 h
Bus: 1, 96
Voltri is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the west of Genoa. It is he last city district before the border with Arenzano. Starting from the city centre, Voltri it can be easily reached by train or by bus (number 1) from the Porto Antico area (connection to route 4) or from the Pegli district (connection with route 11). The ancient Prà area, the home of Genoese pesto, lies between Pegli and Voltri. It was a seaside resort, now violated by modernity and the port. When you reach Voltri, you will recognise the huge paw of the rapacious bird that fades into Genoa to introduce the western Riviera with the promontories of Crevari, Arenzano, Bergeggi and Capo Noli.
From the Genova Voltri train station, keep going along Via Don Giovanni Verità (from here with bus number 101 you can reach the Sanctuary Nostra Signora di Acquasanta, a beautiful excursion in the thermal area of Genoa, the starting point of various trekking paths, read more). Cross the Leira river and enter Via Enrico Cialdini, in the old part of the neighbourhood. Turn right into Via al Santuario delle Grazie then take Vico Nicolò da Corte… Within five minutes you will be presented with the enchanting Villa Brignole Sale Duchessa di Galliera built in 1675, with its beautiful park climbing up along the Castellaro hill as far as the Grazie sanctuary.
You will be in Via Cialdini once again. Go down via Frascheri side by side with the church of Santi Nicolò ed Erasmo and then in the Bruzzone promenade on the Voltri beach. Voltri is one of the most popular beaches in western Genoa together with those of Pegli and Vesima (go to the page dedicated to Genoese beaches).
The promenade ends in the big square above the seaside, piazza Camozzini, the final stop of the number 1 bus. Now take Via Romana di Voltri and climb up to the Crevari borough either on foot or on the number 96 bus. Suddenly you will be able to see the bell tower of the S. Eugenio parish overlooking the sea. Here, if you still have energy and strength in your legs, get off the bus and step after step climb up along Via Canepa. You will leave the religious building behind you and reach the old bathhouses, from which the steep path called Via a Piazzagrande begins amongst olive trees, the sea’s intense blue, the small houses like in a crèche, the small gardens and the tidy fields. On the contrary, if you have wisely chosen to spare your energies or you have stopped in enchantment to admire the horizon from the bus window, then get off at the final stop and take the narrow Via Pissapaola to reach Via a Piazzagrande. You will have avoided the first part of the climb, the steepest one.
At number 52, in front of the junction with the small balcony in bloom and the cardinal points painted on the wall, keep left between steps and windows… You will seize the soul in a small portion of moon which has fallen down from the sky, where wasted time does not exist, as it is lying lazily on the facades of the old rural houses.
And I like to think that this is the end of my city, in Crevari’s ‘large square’, the last corner of Genoa, forever guarded by the golden gaze of cats.
[Voltri e Villa Duchessa di Galliera, photo by Diego Arbore]
Translated by Daniele Canepa