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Parco delle Mura Natural Area

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The Parco delle Mura, with its 19 kilometres of walls, is the longest in Europe and owes its name to the Mura Nuove, erected in 1630 to defend the city of Genoa and the port.

The city walls, which follow the ridges of the heights of Genoa, cover a height difference of more than 500 metres.

In the past, the great walls ascended from the Lanterna and culminated in Forte Sperone on Monte Peralto, then descended into the Val Bisagno to end near the present-day Foce.

In addition to the Walls, the Park includes the military forts that were built between the 18th and 19th centuries to defend Genoa from the attacks of the Savoy.

Around this system of fortifications, the Parco delle Mura has sprung up in recent years: almost 900 hectares of land straddling the Val Bisagno and Val Polcevera, where since 2008 certain animal and plant species are protected because they are rare or endemic.

We love spending time in this natural area because it allows us to immerse ourselves in the colours and scents of nature, a stone‘s throw from the city.

Inside the Walls you can go trekking, take exercise trails, relax on the meadows having a picnic, you can take the children to the playground or the Adventure Park.

In short, you can find a variety of activities for thewhole family, which can keep you busy from a couple of hours to a whole day!

Below, then, you will find our personal list of what to do inside the Parco delle Mura Natural Area in Genoa.

What to do inside the Parco delle Mura Natural Area

Trekking to the Forts

forte diamante
The imposing Forte Diamante

The excursion to the Forts is a great classic for those who live in Genoa because it is a trek that can be done in all seasons and because it is within walking distance of the city centre.

It is a loop trip along the ancient forts that rise behind the city.

The forts along the route are Forte Sperone, Forte Puin, Fratello Minore and Forte Diamante. Continue reading

Gymnastic Route

The equipped gymnastic routes within the Parco delle Mura are very popular with the Genoese and there are two of them: the New Gymnastic Route and the Old Gymnastic Route.

⇛ The new gymnastics track is the most popular.

Go past the Ostaia du Richetto and continue until you find the start of the path on the left, opposite the picnic area.

The path is about 1.5 km long and arrives below Fort Begato.

Along the way, one can find exercise equipment and a few tables. It is very scenic.

map
path
Parco delle Mura Natural Area
panorama Parco delle Mura Natural Area

⇛ The old gymnastic path, on the other hand, starts near the restaurant ‘Belin che panorama’ (terminus of the 40) and ends just below the restaurant La Polveriera after about 3 km on level ground and in the middle of the woods.
They can be easily reached from the Calcagno gardens, creating a loop route.

Neviere

I remember that as a young girl, my grandfather used to tell me about the existence of ‘neviere‘, or holes built on the heights where the snow that fell in winter was piled up to be used in summer, in the form of ice, to preserve food.

In the Natural Area of the Parco delle Mura, the remains can still be seen, and it is certainly interesting to combine their visit with trekking to the Forts, since almost all of them can be reached with detours of just a few minutes and are well signposted.

Go to the article.

Butterfly Trail and Fossil Trail

butterfly trail
Butterfly Trail
Parco delle Mura Natural Area
Fossils of Helminthoidea Labyrinthica

A beautiful route to take with children (or even without), in search of the many colourful butterflies that live in this area and ancient fossils of Helminthoidea Labyrinthica.

In both cases, park your car in the Righi car park and walk one and a half kilometres.

When you arrive at the Ostaia de Baracche, you will often come across some grazing horses. Continue reading

Righi Astronomical Observatory

righi observatory
Parco delle Mura Natural Area

Built in 1939, the Righi Astronomical Observatory had little use, reserved for a few private individuals, until its total abandonment in the 1970s.

In autumn 2000, members of the Castellaccio Club financed and carried out the renovation of the observatory so that it could be reopened for use by a wider public.

Admission is charged and visits must be booked in advance.

You can see all the information on the official website.

In front of the Astronomical Observatory of Genoa, you can find a small ‘astronomical’ garden (a bit poorly maintained, to be honest) that provides some information on the distances of the planets from the sun.

Panoramas: Righi’s Belvedere

righi

The Righi Belvedere is located opposite the Righi Astronomical Observatory.

It is worth stopping for ten minutes to admire the city of Genoa and its port from above. Particularly suggestive at sunset time.

Pic-Nic Area

Inside the Parco delle Mura, there are four picnic areas where you can have a picnic lunch sitting at a table or on the lawns.

They are the Calcagno Gardens Picnic Area – where there is also a nice play area for children – the Begato Walls Picnic Area, the Spalti Bassi Righi Picnic Area, and the Polveriere Picnic Area.

area pic-nic righi
Spalti Bassi Picnic Area

Take the Zecca-Righi Funicular

funicolar

The Zecca – Righi funicular railway was built between 1895 and 1897, and is the longest in the city.

The installation makes it possible to travel from the centre of Genoa to the heights behind it in 12 minutes, covering a difference in height of 278 metres over a distance of 1428 metres.

There are seven stations where the funicular stops:

  • Largo Zecca (city centre terminus)
  • Carbonara
  • San Nicola
  • Madonnetta with the homonymous Sanctuary inside which is the Perennial Crib with the reconstruction of scenes of life in medieval Genoa. Go to the article
  • Via Preve
  • San Simone
  • Righi (Alture terminus).

The funicular is used by the Genoese who live near the stops as it climbs steeply and saves some time compared to the bus.

But also by tourists and hikers as, in addition to offering a breathtaking view of the city, it allows one to reach the Natural Area of the Parco delle Mura in a few minutes, from where one can take several hiking trails.

In addition, a ride on the funicular is always a fascinating attraction for children.

Timetable and tickets – The funicular operates daily from 6.40 a.m. to midnight. Departures take place approximately every 15 to 30 minutes (depending on the time slot) and to access it, a normal bus ticket is sufficient.

Always check on the AMT website if the funicular is in operation because periodically the service is suspended for scheduled maintenance.

How to get there – The Zecca-Righi Funicular is located in Largo Zecca, Genoa (terminus).

▶ If you want more information about Genoa’s Zecca-Righi Funicular – Click here.

Visiting Genoa’s Forts

fort puin
Fort Puin

Since 2020, the Social Promotion Association Outdoor Experience Genova has set itself the goal of raising awareness among adults and children about the Ligurian territory through historical-cultural, educational, sporting and naturalistic activities.

Since 2023, the Association has managed Forte Puin and is committed to opening it every Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.

Always check the openings on their Facebook page before planning your visit.

Other forts are unfortunately in a dilapidated condition and are therefore not accessible at the moment.

Play area

Parco delle Mura Natural Area playground

The play area in the Parco delle Mura (Gianni Calcagno Park) consists of several nice children’s games, picnic tables, a skating rink, a five-a-side football pitch and a looped cycle path.

It is an excellent destination especially in summer to stay cool; in winter, however, it is often windy and quite cold.

It may be useful to know that there is a water fountain and there are no refreshment facilities in the immediate vicinity.

How to get to the playground

The Parco delle Mura playground can be reached from Via Vesuvio in Oregina.

From Via Vesuvio, take Via Parco del Peralto and, after travelling about 1.5 kilometres, you will find the playground on your left.

Near the hairpin bend, there is a large clearing where you can park your car.

Righi Adventure Park

The Adventure Park is located within the ancient city walls of Genoa and is intended for children from 3 years of age, with different courses depending on the age and stature of the child.

The Park is open Monday to Friday by appointment, and on weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (or 6 p.m. or 5 p.m., depending on the season).

Openings are subject to weather conditions.

For detailed information on the routes and to make reservations, please have a look at the official website.

Where to eat in the Parco delle Mura Natural Area

For those who want to grab a bite to eat sitting at a table, we recommend:

Ostaia de Baracche – Simple tavern with traditional dishes (price perhaps slightly above average for the type of establishment).

Ostaia du Richetto – Sandwiches, aperitifs and (packaged) ice cream for lunch, and a restaurant with good Genoese dishes (the pesto is excellent) for dinner.

Ristorante Montallegro – At the Zecca-Righi funicular exit, fabulous location and exceptional pizzas (we never tried the cuisine).

On the Trensasco side, Osteria della Rue – Ligurian and fish dishes.

Ostaia de Baracche
Ostaia de Baracche
Ostaia du Richetto
Ostaia du Richetto

How to get to the Parco delle Mura

The best way to get around the Parco delle Mura Natural Area is by car.

The car parks are free.

To get to the Parco delle Mura, in addition to the car, you can take the Funicolare Zecca-Righi, and the Trenino di Genova-Casella.

The Trenino leaves from Piazza Manin. You get off at Trensasco ( Campi stop), and then walk along via Forte Diamante .

Arriving by train is more suitable if you plan to trek the Forts because for other activities it is a bit far.

From the city centre, you can instead take the Zecca-Righi funicular railway that leaves from Largo Zecca and ends at the Mura delle Chiappe terminus.

At this point, turn left and take the uphill road that leads to the Righi Astronomical Observatory.

Go past it and continue along Via del Peralto, past the Ostaia du Richetto, and you will arrive at the first Righi car park.

From the funicular exit to the car park, it is about 1 km and 500 metres of road.

To undertake the ring of forts, go straight on until you find the sign on the right indicating the start of the path.

Continue reading:

1. Lantern of Genoa

2. Genoa: the 10 attractions

3. Where to sleep in Genoa

4. A walk on the Historical Aqueduct

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