The little lakes of Nervi are a lovely place that we discovered only recently and by pure chance. In fact, chatting with a hiker on a walk in Nervi, it turned out that she was arriving precisely from a trek to the aforementioned ponds, and so having said that, we retrieved information and organized the excursion with our little girls. Amazing to live in Genoa and have never been there!
The little lakes of Nervi are pools of crystal-clear water with a coloration that changes from blue to green in an almost unspoiled nature, just a few steps from the city.
The first small lakes can be reached with an easy half-hour walk, following a typical Ligurian “creuza” (hilly lane with dry stone walls) surrounded by olive and lemon trees. In addition to the small lakes, we were particularly struck by a section of the hike where it seems to be in a canyon, among rocks and small waterfalls.. Crazy!
The walk to the Nervi ponds is also accessible to children (more on our recommendations below) and is wonderful to hike at any time of year, admiring the changing colors of the vegetation. In summer, the bravest can even swim in its icy waters.
Below you will find all the information and our advice for organizing a trip to the Nervi lakes and also the explanation for getting to that wonderful stretch that we understand, few people know about!
Ponds of Nervi: route
The valley of the Nervi stream, positioned behind the town of the same name, lies between Mount Giugo and Mount Fasce and is characterized by unspoiled nature where, in addition to small lakes, traces of the numerous mills in operation between the late Middle Ages and the early 19th century can be found.
Once you park your car near Via Molinetti di Nervi (a hilly road passable only on foot, by motorcycle or with small country tractors), take the creuza that, with several ups and downs, in about half an hour (1.5 km) leads to the first pond called Lake of the Geese.
Along the way you will find a first fork that leads to the several house numbers on Via Molinetti di Nervi (keep to the right) and then a stone bridge, which we ignore for the moment, so we continue straight on our path.
Goose Lake consists of several pools of water with colors ranging from blue to green and For those who would like to take a dip, there is a hanging rope on a tree that can be used to be able to take a run-up and dive in.
At this point we asked a local where it was best to pass to see the other small lakes having two small girls, and his advice was not to take the road that climbs steeply from Goose Lake but to turn back from the bridge, cross it, and continue on the path that turns right (yellow sticker marker). And so we did.
The narrow trail enters the bush and skirts multiple small green-water lakes and small waterfalls. In some places there are obvious but somewhat ungainly trails leading to natural pools (be careful with children).
Count about half an hour to see them all after which the trail turns away from the creek and veers northwest toward Mt. Fasce but unfortunately it has been encompassed by vegetation and after a while the trail is lost.
Turning back, once we got to the stone bridge we decided not to cross it but to continue straight on… and here comes perhaps the most beautiful part of the hike: rock carved out by water to form a real canyon, small waterfalls.. Wonderful!
After enjoying the scenery, you can decide to return from the car by taking the trail that climbs to the right (be aware that it stretches over 2 km) or back on the outward trail.
Tips for going to the Nervi ponds with children
The first part of the hike to the ponds, presents no particular difficulty for a child: the road is paved and wide. To see the other ponds, however, the trail narrows and, in some places, becomes quite exposed.
We ventured in because, as indicated several times, as we are great lovers of mountain walks, our daughter is used to it and for her it was not a particularly challenging path (obviously held by the hand). However, if the child is not accustomed to excursions of this type or is still very small, it is better to stop at the first small lakes.
Another consideration: these are not the classic small lakes that can be found in the Trebbia Valley where there is room to lie down and leave the children free. The small lakes in Nervi in our opinion are suitable for children who are a bit older and therefore “autonomous” in going in and out, diving, playing, etc.
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Ponds of Nervi: how to get there and where to park
One must exit at the Genoa-Nervi toll booth (A12 highway) and continue on Corso Europa in the direction of Nervi. Once down the ramp, one must go past the traffic circle and take Via Oberdan ➔ Via del Commercio ➔ Nervi Cemetery ➜ Via Superiore Torrente Nervi ➔ Via Molinetti di Nervi. From the cemetery onward every place is good for parking. We arrived early in the morning and were able to park near Via Molinetti.
Ponds of Nervi: when to go
If the intention is to bathe, you will inevitably need to go in the summer time; however, if, like us, you prefer trekking and taking pictures of the ponds and vegetation, mid-season is ideal. We went in spring and everything was in bloom!
📷 Short excursus, we found a handy camera for our daughter’s little hands, with which she enjoys taking pictures of plants and flowers when we are on the trails. It might be an appealing idea to give it as a gift perhaps to a child who is disinclined to trekking, to incentivize him and get him excited about hiking in nature!Macchina fotografica bambino 3-8 anni
It also exists in a blue version.
Some sections are exposed to the sun but most of the trail is shaded. No drinking fountains are present.
If it hasn’t rained in quite a while, there will be little to see; however, if you wait for a nice rainy day (as we did), the ponds will be nice and full but be careful because on the flip side, the trail can get a little slippery in some places.