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Hiking on Mount Gifarco

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Splendid hike also with children in Fontanigorda, starting from the Bosco delle Fate (819 metres above sea level) and arriving at Mount Gifarco (1332 metres above sea level) where an amazing sword embedded in rock can be found!

The trek runs, in the first part, on a wide path with no particular technical difficulties, and, in the second part, on a path that is a little steeper and uphill but still passable by slightly more trained children.

The last section, on the other hand, is very steep and is only recommended for children who are at least 6/7 years old and experienced in hiking.

In my opinion, the hike on Mount Gifarco is very beautiful because it is very varied.

The path winds its way through faggots, pine forests, a few chestnut trees, wooden bridges, and wonderful fountains of very fresh water, and ends with a splendid view from the summit and the peculiar sword in the rock!

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Hiking on Mount Gifarco: the legend of the sword in the rock

Mount Gifarco stands on the border between the Trebbia and Aveto valle ys and at its summit, there is a real sword embedded in the rock.

Legend has it that it was planted by Saint Galgano who, returning from the Crusades, decided to transform the sword into a cross by sinking it into the rock up to the hilt, as a symbol of the end of the fighting and the triumph of Christianity.

Route

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the sword
Hiking on Mount Gifarco with children
path under trees
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Hiking on Mount Gifarco with children

Hike to Mount Gifarco starts at the Bosco delle Fate (Fairy Wood): you cross it and arrive at the bar at the bottom where you will find the sign indicating the path to follow – the marker is marked with a yellow circle.

The path in the first section is wide and very slightly uphill.

The path winds through a beech forest and is therefore not scenic, but it is very cool if you decide to plan your trek in the summer.

Along the trail, there is a picnic table, a barbecue, a fountain with water, and a characteristic wooden bridge.

Just beyond the bridge, there is another point where you have to ‘ford’ the stream, but nothing complicated.

Also just beyond the start of the path, you pass the old sword in the rock.

After about 40 minutes of leisurely walking, you come to another signpost indicating Mount Gifarco – the signpost to follow is always marked with a yellow circle.

At this point, the hike becomes a little more challenging: the path is steep and uphill.

Apart from the fatigue of the ascent itself, the path has no exposed sections and is not dangerous for a child, who must, however, be somewhat trained.

Mount Gifarco peak

After about 1h15 of walking, you reach the ridge from where you can admire the Gifarco peak on the left.

Another hundred or so metres and you will find, again on the left, the last stretch of path – marked with three yellow dots – leading to the summit.

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Hiking on Mount Gifarco with children
Hiking on Mount Gifarco with children

Caution – This last section is not feasible either with a child’s rucksack because the cleft in the rock leading to the summit is too narrow, or with a small child because the path is very steep and you have to climb.

Only recommended for older, non-impressionable children.

After this last stretch, you finally reach the summit of Mount Gifarco, in the presence of its mysterious sword in the rock.

The view sweeps 360° over the Aveto and Trebbia Valleys below, with Monte Roccabruna, Monte Penna, Monte Aiona, Monte Ramaceto, Fontanigorda, and Mount Antola.

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Useful information

Panorama
360° panorama from Mount Gifarco

The hike to Mount Gifarco is approximately 4 kilometres long – one way – with an altitude difference of 493 metres and an estimated time of 2 hours.

You return on the same path as the outward journey (the return trip takes an hour or so).

There are two drinking water fountains, one at the beginning of the trail and one after about half an hour.

Along the route, there are several forks , but by following the numerous markers on trees and boulders on the ground, you cannot go wrong.

The best time to hike on Mount Gifarco is late spring/summer. Almost the entire trail runs under the foliage of the trees, so it is very shady .

At the start of the trail, inside the Fairy Wood, there is a small kiosk selling drinks and ice cream. We found it closed on Saturday morning and open on our return from the hike, in the afternoon.

There is a wonderful playground in the Fairy Wood!

playground
playground for children

If you want more information on the Bosco delle Fate, you can look at this article.

How to get to Fontanigorda and where to park

Hiking on Mount Gifarco with children
Excursion to Mount Gifarco with children

From Genoa, take the SS45, pass Torriglia, Montebruno, Località Due Ponti, and continue to Fontanigorda. It takes about 1h15 minutes.

The Bosco delle Fate is about half a kilometre from the centre of the village; you can park your car in the main square in front of the Fontanella hotel and continue on foot or, once in the village, continue by car and park in the large meadow near the cemetery, a minute’s walk from the Bosco delle Fate.

Continue reading:

1. Monte Antola with children

2. Stone Castle

3. Excursion to Mount Pegge

4. Ponds of Nervi

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