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Snowfields within the Parco delle Mura

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Neviere are wells built on the heights where, in the past, the snow that fell in the winter was piled up for use in the summer, in the form of ice cubes.

In the Parco delle Mura Natural Area, the remains can still be seen and it may be interesting to plan a visit to the Neviere, perhaps combining it with trekking to the Forts.

A bit of history

Since modern refrigerators did not yet exist, in the past populations had created Neviere in order to have a refrigerant for food and therapeutic use in the spring/summer period.

Neviere were basically conical wells 4-5 metres deep, with a diameter of 10-12 metres. The retaining wall was made of dry stone .

The snow, once put into the neviere, was pressed with special beaters: thermal insulation was ensured by a layer of dry leaves and the conical roof built with poles and straw.

At the bottom, a channel allowed the meltwater to drain away .

In 1640, the Republic of Genoa instituted the ‘Gabella della neve‘, i.e. sold the exclusive right to engage in the ice trade to a single entrepreneur.

As of 1667, this right was assigned byauction.

The contractor of the Gabella, after a snowfall, hired day labourers to fill the Neviere.

The same workers, in the summer period, cut the snow solidified into ice, in prismatic blocks of about 80 kg.

These blocks, wrapped in jute sacks, were then transported by mule, during the night, in order to limit melting.

The Contractor’s warehouse was located in Vico Neve (near Piazza Soziglia) and it was here that the 15 resellers paid by the Contractor were supplied.

With the advent of industrialisation in 1900, the Neviere were gradually abandoned.

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Snowfields within the Parco delle Mura
Snowfields within the Parco delle Mura
Snowfields Parco delle Mura

Neviere in the Parco delle Mura: how to find them

Along the flat road that leads from the Righi car park to Forte Diamante (at the sign indicating the Ostaia de Baracche, take the diversions to the right), you can find the first Neviera located in the woods along the path, on the left.

Continuing on the same path, which, at this point, begins to climb and which shortly afterwards arrives at the foot of the Forte Diamante, you will find two paths (punctuated by signs) that, with a short diversions, lead to two other Neviera (snowfields).

In one case it takes a 3-minute walk, and in the other a 10-minute walk.

Other remains of Neviere can be found along the Sentiero delle Farfalle.

Important – In the Natural Area of the Parco delle Mura there are many paths.

Some of them, mostly flat, wind at the foot of the mountain, others cut it in half, and still others wind along the ridge, closer to the Forts.

These paths, located at various heights, are connected to each other by slight tracks that are mainly used by mountain bikes.

So if, for example, you want to reconnect to a path above or below yours, be careful because bikers descend quickly and do not expect to find pedestrians on those sections of the path.

Continue reading:

1. Monte Antola and lunch at the refuge

2. The Beigua Park

3. Walk of the Kisses

4. Genoa Historic Centre

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