The Green Route of the former Guidovia is a walk that follows the route, still evident, of the former Guidovia on Monte Figogna.
The starting point is Gaiazza and the arrival point is the Sanctuary of the Madonna della Guardia.
Along the route of a little more than 6 kilometres (one way), the pleasant Bosco degni Gnomi (Gnome Wood) catches the eye – and breaks up the climb.
We have been on the Green Route of the former Guidovia and in this article you will find all the information you need to organise your trip and our advice, even with children in tow.
How to get to Gaiazza
From the Genoa Bolzaneto (A7) motorway exit, continue along Valpolcevera, passing the L’Aquilone shopping centre, and shortly after take Via Ex Strada Guidovia.
Continue along Via Gaiazza and look for parking near Trattoria Giosepina.
You will not struggle to see the metal arch that marks the start of the route on theEx Guidovia.
From Bolzaneto it is about 7 kilometres (15 minutes by car).
A bit of history
The guidovia was created thanks to Carlo Corazza, a Florentine entrepreneur who was miraculously blessed by the Madonna della Guardia.
It was inaugurated in 1929 and completed in 1934.
The route was about 10 kilometres long in total.
With a gradient of 6.5 per cent, the guidovia could reach the Sanctuary in about 40 minutes, travelling at a speed of 15 km per hour.
In 38 years of operation, it is estimated to have carried around 4 million pilgrims to the Shrine.
The guidovia was decommissioned in 1967 following the construction of the carriage road.
After a long period of abandonment, it found new life thanks to a redevelopment project of the Municipality of Ceranesi, and was reborn under the name Percorso Verde dell’ex Guidovia.
Green route of the former Guidovia: from Gaiazza to Madonna della Guardia
Departure altitude – Gaiazza 323 m.
Arrival altitude – Madonna della Guardia Sanctuary 806 mt.
Length of route – 6.3 km (one way)
Total duration – 3h30 / 4h (with children)
Loop – No.
From Gaiazza to Sareto
The green route of the former Guidovia begins in Gaiazza, a hamlet of Ceranesi, at an altitude of 323 metres.
One passes the metal arch, to the left of the main road, and continues slightly uphill.
The path in this first section is somewhat poorly maintained and quite muddy if it has just rained.
You pass houses and vegetable gardens belonging to the inhabitants and, in a couple of places, the former guidovia route breaks off at the carriage road and then resumes on the opposite side.
Sareto – Madonna della Guardia
After about one kilometre, you arrive in Sareto.
From here, the Green Trail is also accessible with a trekking buggy, if desired.
▶ If you want to save a hundred metres in height difference, you can park your car directly in Via Costa di Sareto, near some children’s playgrounds.
Continue on foot, passing a red-white bar.
Wood worthy Gnomes
Continue uphill and, having passed a wide hairpin bend, you will come across the Cianigun Gnome Wood.
Characters and funny little houses are scattered throughout the forest, on the right-hand side.
There is also a book-crossing box.
It reminded us a little of Mango’s Gnomovia, albeit in a small way.
From the Bosco degli Gnomi (Gnome Wood), the path continues slightly but steadily uphill, passing a few picnic tables and two tunnels.
You can also see the remains of one of the first concrete structures from the 1920s, discovered during the renovation work on the guideway.
The Green Route takes place entirely in the forest and, only in the final stretch, the panorama opens up through the vegetation onto the upper Polcevera Valley and the valley overlooked by the Genoese Forts.
Green Route of the former Guidovia: Chapel of the First Apparition
A twin arch to the one at Gaiazza marks the end of the route.
At this point, we turn left and pass the entrance gate to the Sanctuary of the Madonnna della Guardia, taking a look at the small Chapel of the First Apparition of the Madonna, located on the right-hand side.
The door to the chapel is closed and the bronze statue of Don Orione is kneeling in front of it, in memory of a night of prayer that was decisive for his future.
One last stretch of intense climbing, and you finally reach the square of the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Guardia, at an altitude of 806 metres.
Green Route of the former Guidovia: info with children and buggies
The Green route of the former Guidovia is perfect for introducing children to nature walks as the path is wide and the route is not particularly strenuous.
I recommend bringing a good supply of water and wearing hiking boots, which hold the foot better.
The trail can also be walked with a trekking buggy, but only from Sareto.
Green route of the former Guidovia: when to go
The former Guidovia is a hike that can be organised all year round.
Those who follow me know that I am a great lover of nature walks of all kinds.
The Green Trail of the former Guidovia, however, did not particularly excite me because I found it uninvolving.
The path does not have a great difference in altitude but being entirely uphill (and then entirely downhill) without any ups and downs to liven it up a bit, it remains in my opinion not very varied.
I would recommend it, perhaps, for a Sunday outing between couples of friends with children of 7/8 years of age, so that they can have a chat together and thus break up the monotony of the trail.