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Bimbe in Viaggio

Family Travel Blog

Butterfly Trail and Fossil Trail


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A beautiful itinerary within the Natural Area of the Genoa Walls Park, in search of the numerous colourful butterflies that populate this area and ancient fossils of Helminthoidea Labyrinthica.

The Sentiero delle Farfalle (Butterfly Path) and the Sentiero dei Fossili (Fossil Path) are two of the many paths that wind around the Forti di Genova, which can also be walked by children.

In both cases, you leave your car in the Righi car park (past the Ostaia do Richetto) and walk the one and a half kilometres to theOstaia de Baracche, taking the diversions to the left.

It is about a 30-minute walk.

At this spot, you can very often meet some grazing horses .

Butterfly Trail
Diversions leading to the Butterfly Trail
Horses near the Ostaia de Baracche

Butterfly Trail

From the Ostaia de Baracche, you will immediately find the sign indicating the Butterfly Path.

Continue along the path halfway up the hillside, punctuated along the way by several information panels.

The 20 species of butterflies most likely to be encountered during a trip to the Parco delle Mura Nature Area are described.

Information panels describe the main characteristics of the 20 species such as size, flight period and food plants, all accompanied by photos.

The butterfly trail ends near Fort Puin.

From here, you can decide to retrace your steps or continue on the path past Fort Puin to Fort Fratello Minore, where you will find the Fossil Trail.

Curiosity – This route was chosen to enhance the Via del Sale (Salt Road), which has been used for generations to connect the hilly areas of the city of Genoa with the Apennines and the Po Valley.

Panel identifying the start of the butterflypath
Butterfly Trail
Trail halfway up the hillside that can be walked with children
Information signs along the butterfly path
fort puin
Fort Puin

Useful information

  • The Sentiero delle Farfalle (Butterfly Trail) in the Parco delle Mura Nature Area can be walked in just over an hour. You return on the outward path.
  • Hiking boots are recommended because, if it has just rained, the path is very muddy and somewhat slippery.
  • There are no drinking fountains along the trail so you should bring a supply of water and a hat for the little ones.
  • Camera – Bringing a camera could be an idea to get children excited about nature and hiking in the mountains, and the Butterfly Trail certainly lends itself to this purpose. Here, in fact, children can take lots of photos of the many colourful butterflies that populate this area! We gave this model to our daughter, for example, and we like it very much. It also exists in the blue variant.

Fossil trail

From the Ostaia de Baracche, climb halfway up the hillside past Fort Puin and take the path towards Fort Fratello Minore.

Along this path, you will come across the rare fossils of Helminthoidea Labyrinthica.

These are actually ichnofossils, i.e. fossilised traces of ancient living beings that can be seen on the grey marly limestone rocks in this area.

Although these fossils are quite rare, they can be found quite easily in this area.

Unfortunately, there is no sign indicating the start of the trail, so you will have to sharpen your eyes!

Fossil trail in the Parco delle Mura
fossil Trail
Fossils of Helminthoidea Labyrinthica

Useful information

  • It takes about an hour and a half to get to Fort Fratello Minore. The route is uphill.
  • Hiking shoes are recommended.
  • Bring a camera and magnifying glass if necessary.
  • It is forbidden to damage or remove fossils.

A very nice idea to do with children is to try to ‘restore‘ the fossils, i.e. they can be dusted with a brush, cleaned of dust, and then perhaps photographed as a souvenir.

Continue reading:

1. Tour of the Forts of Genoa

2. Discovering the Historical Aqueduct of Genoa

3. The Laghetti of Nervi

4. Pilgrim’s Path and Farsari Cave

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