The Stone Castle is an ancient fortification located in the Ligurian municipality of Vobbia, a town that lies at an altitude of 477m. It’s located in the Antola Natural Park.
It is a stronghold built between two impressive rock towers. It is a very nice trip to take with children that we recommend scheduling, if possible, during the Castle’s opening hours so that you can also visit it inside.
☛ To get to the Stone Castle by car, you should exit at the Isola del Cantone exit of the A7 Genova – Serravalle highway and follow the signs to Vobbia.
☛ If you arrive by train, you will have to get off at Busalla station and then take the 825 line bus to Vobbia, getting off at the stop just below the access path. For schedules take a look at the Genoa ATM website.
Itinerary: shorter route and path of the Castellans
There are two trails, we walked both: one is quite short while the other is much longer (Castellani Trail) and will take you the whole day.
☛ Shorter path
When you arrive in Vobbia, after a couple of kilometers you will find a sign on the left that marks the starting point of the trail. Here you leave your car and walk up the slope that leads to the top.
There are several benches where you can rest but no drinking fountains.
We took about 45 minutes; it is a child-friendly trail but is quite steep and therefore very slippery if it has just rained.
The route is marked by the yellow dot marker, has a length of 500 m with an elevation gain of about 150 m.
☛ Longest trail: Castellani Trail
This is an 8km trail with an elevation gain of 400m that starts from Torre locality.
We took about 4.30 hours round trip to which must be added the eventual visit to the Castle.
It is an ancient medieval trail that winds along the canyon of the Vobbia stream. It is marked by a yellow cross, and there are nine panels along the trail to mark characteristic points.
The return can be done back on the outward route, or you can descend via the forest path (the steep, shorter one), which in a half-hour will take you to the provincial road and from there walk the 2.5 km on the paved road back to Torre, from the car.
▶ You might also be interested in How to dress in the mountains.
Visit to the Castle
The visit to the Stone Castle takes about an hour and is conducted with Antola Park guides usually from May to October, on weekends and holidays, and the ticket costs 5 euros adult, free children.
For all info we refer you to the official website of the Antola Park.
Where to sleep
❖ Cascina Clavarezza – Chalet surrounded by greenery with fully equipped kitchen, terrace and breakfast included in the price. Book here.
What to do around the Stone Castle
❒ Big bench #266
Such Giant Bench is located in Mongiardino Ligure, half an hour from the Castle. You park near the Bench, in a small parking area. Wonderful view of the valley.
❒ Montessoro Castle
It is worth the 20-minute drive from the Stone Castle to Montessoro Castle in Isola del Cantone.
It is actually the ruins of Montessoro Castle, in a dominant position overlooking the valley.
This ancient ruined fortification dating back to the 11th century was the noble residence of the Spinola family.
The castle had a very simple conformation: rectangular in plan, it had two towers on opposing corners. In the remaining part of the walls, numerous loopholes are evident.
The visit in itself takes a few minutes but can be included in a loop itinerary that starts precisely from the Stone Castle, passes through the Big Bench in Mongiardino Ligure and finally arrives in Montessoro, in about 45 minutes. There is free parking near the ruins.