Porto Venere is a wonderful place to start a hike to Cinque Terre as it is the lower starting point of the Cinque Terre’s Via Alta, that leads to the mountains between La Spezia and Genoa, joining the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri.
From Piazza Bastreri in the center, we follow AV5T, which goes up the side of Castelo Doria and leads us immediately to admire the town’s historic portoro marble quarries.
Alongside our path, and also later on, we can see a trail once use to transport extracted and roughly squared blocks of marble to the valley. Some pieces are still in the quarries.
Continuing along the south-eastern side of Mount Muzzerone, we see the upper end point of another path coming up from Porto Venere, also starting in Piazza Bastreri, number 519, which passes by the Muzzerone Hut, not even 100 meters from the AV5T. The final part of the path is a paved road, once used by the military and the quarry. There is a still-active quarry here, Venere Marmo Portero, where, according to current environmental protection regulations, the precious stone is no longer dug in the open, but in a tunnel.
The area that was once subjected to marble extraction has been restored and will become a historical and cultural route dedicated to the memory of the hard-working miners.
Continuing along the AV5T, we reach the Derbi pass and make our way up to Campiglia, where we can choose to follow a lower and more scenic path, or stay on the AV5T that brings us to the Sant’Antonio pass (508 meters above sea level). The lower path follows route 535 to Fonte di Nozzano and then, following along route 504, we finally reach the Sant’Antonio pass. From there, we follow AV5T to the Telegrafo passage, where we can take up the SVA path. This trail leads us in front of the mountain and passes through the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Montenero to lead to Riomaggiore. 5-6 hours of walking.
From Riomagiore, we can take water transportation back to Porto Venere or take a train to La Spezia and then a bus to Porto Venere.