There are less famous and well-known areas of Liguria. Places that have maintained their most authentic and characteristic side over time.
And that is why it is really worth a visit. How? But by e-bike of course!
This is exactly what we are about to do today: an e-bike tour that will lead us to discover the history, nature and panoramas of two wonderful villages in Liguria: Bonassola and Framura!
The description of the Framura tour
As with all our tours, this time too the appointment is in Levanto in via Galli 17. Timetable? Sometime in the afternoon, from 13.30 to 17.30 depending on the month, in order to have a whole afternoon before dark available.
The departure is immediately uphill. In fact, let's take the panoramic state road that leads from Levanto to Framura, going around Monte Rossola. Fortunately, the ascent is not at all demanding: the climb is in fact gentle and our electric bikes help us pedal effortlessly.
Thus we arrive at a first panoramic point, where we can admire the coast and the lush vegetation that surrounds us. In addition to the typical Mediterranean maquis, three species of trees dominate these areas: the chestnut, the holm oak and the maritime pine tree. All used and exploited in the past by the locals as an aid for survival: the wood of the Holm oak was used as firewood, the chestnuts used in the kitchen and the maritime pine was used to build boats.
We discover that the bond with the land here is strong and ancient: the first settlements were in fact born in the hinterland, where people lived on agriculture, and not on the sea, as many might think.
On the way we meet…
As confirmation of this, when we resume pedaling we come across several dry stone walls, partly built also with scraps of red and serpentine marble from quarries that have been exploited for centuries in the area.
Above Bonassola, a second unforgettable panoramic point awaits us.
The view sweeps over the village and the crystal clear sea that bathes it. You can clearly see the historic center and, upstream in the valley, the beautiful Church of San Giorgio. Right in front of us stands the massive profile of the castle of Bonassola.
We are here at the highest point of our route, about 420 meters above sea level. Shortly after getting back on the saddle, the road begins to descend.
Rosso Levanto marble
Before arriving in Framura, however, another surprise awaits us. In fact, just before Montaretto we come across a red marble ("Rosso Levanto") quarry that is still in operation!
A stone, red marble, which today you can find in the floor of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg and in the United States Senate in Washington!
The extraction and trade of this marble has been a great economic engine here since medieval times. As the locals tell us, the red marble was so precious and appreciated that it conferred prestige even on the quarrymen who extracted it. In fact, the quarrymen were not considered (and paid) as simple miners: their work was considered very important and therefore well paid.
Unfortunately, with the introduction of less valuable but cheaper stones on the market, red marble has lost its value and today its extraction is no longer as important as it once was.
After this immersion in the history of the place, we get back on our e-bikes. Pedaling, along the road we come across an ancient stone washhouse, once used by women to clean their clothes. After a short time we arrive at the first fraction of Framura, Costa.
Framura, its history, and a quick coffee
In fact, Framura is not a real village, but a scattered municipality that includes 5 hamlets. In Costa we stop in the main square to visit the small village and to find out more about the history of Framura.
The human settlement here dates back to ancient times: in fact, the remains of a pre-Roman "castellaro" and a Roman villa have been found. During the Middle Ages, the territory of Framura became a very popular crossroads and used for commerce and pilgrimages.
The three watchtowers of Framura also date from the Middle Ages, two of which are clearly visible from our position.
From Costa we descend to the hamlet of Setta and, after a short coffee break, we resume pedaling along a descent with a sheer view of the sea, until we reach the Maremonti cycle/pedestrian path.
The cycling path
The Maremonti cycling path has been created inside a long tunnel that once housed the railway.
Entering the gallery, we are immediately pleasantly surprised by the coolness and the shade, which accompany us up to Bonassola together with the wonderful glimpses of the sea that occasionally surprise us along the way.
The wine tasting in Bonassola
In Bonassola the awaited moment of tasting local products awaits us. We go to the panoramic chapel of the Madonnina della Punta, from where we can admire the entirety of the bay of Bonassola, and we can see up to the Mesco area, in Levanto.
Here, sitting in the shade, we taste some Ligurian focaccia, accompanying it with local white wine.
The return to Levanto
Rested and refreshed, we are now ready to tackle the last short stretch of the cycle path, which takes us back to Levanto.
In all, the tour lasts 3,5 hours.
3,5 intense hours of discoveries, emotions and lots of fun!