A simple hike, which can also be done with children, but which is very scenic inside the Beigua Regional Nature Park.
From the Pratorotondo refuge, it takes about 45/50 minutes to reach the summit of Monte Rama, from which there is a 360° panorama of the Ligurian Gulf and the chain of the Alps.
With children, count at least half an hour more; we, with our daughter just over three and a half years old, took 1h15 minutes on the outward journey and 1h on the return.
The first half of the itinerary is suitable for children of all ages as the path from the refuge to the slopes of Monte Rama is wide and almost completely flat; the second half is the actual ascent to Monte Rama and is only suitable for trained children.
Below is all the information for your excursion to Monte Rama from the Pratorotondo Refuge, within the Beigua Regional Natural Park.
Excursion to Mount Rama from Pratorotondo: route
You park your car in the clearing in front of the Pratorotondo hut and take the wide, slightly downhill path in front of the hut entrance ➞ there are no signs, but you can’t go wrong as there is a bar and the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri trail sign.
The route from the refuge, located at 1098 metres above sea level, to the summit of Monte Rama at 1148 metres above sea level, is a total of 3km long (6km there and back) divided roughly into 2km of the flat route and 1km of the ascent to Monte.
The first part presents no particular problems for a child as it is almost flat and very wide; we took a little longer to walk it because – it being spring – our daughter was attracted by the multitude of colourful flowers and wanted to smell and photograph them.
▶ If you are interested in a compact and handy camera for a child‘s hands, I recommend this model which we gave to our daughter (there is also a blue version) ➞Baby camera
Along the route you can find several panels illustrating the points of interest in the area, and the Mine House, built in the 1940s as a shelter for the workers who worked in iron mining.
Once you arrive at the Colle Sud Bric Resunnou, at the end of the flat path, you will find a sign indicating various paths. To continue the hike to Monte Rama you must turn right and the indicated time is 20 minutes. It took us almost twice as long.
The path – marked by the yellow cross – is uphill, in some places there are rocks in the middle of the path where a child has to ‘climb’ over them and many sections are exposed.
In my opinion, this section is only suitable for children already accustomed to mountain trekking.
Once on the summit, topped by two iron crosses , the effort of the climb is amply repaid by the panorama. On a clear day, the view ranges from Capo Noli on the Riviera di Ponente to the Portofino Promontory to the Levante!
After taking the customary photos, we return to the refuge by retracing the outward path .
Excursion to Mount Rama from Pratorotondo: information
There is a drinking water fountain about 10 minutes from the hut, near the Casa della Miniera.
The first part of the path could also be walked in simple trainers, but along the path it is easy to find some mud. So the advice is to wear hiking boots, which are in any case indispensable for the ascent to Mount Rama.
Hiking up Mount Rama from Pratorotondo: where to eat
In the case of a packed lunch, there is not much room to sit and eat at the summit. At the Casa della Miniera, on the other hand, there are a couple of small tables in a very panoramic position.
For something tasty to eat while sitting at a table, at the Pratorotondo refuge you can find sandwiches, platters of cold meats and meat dishes. We stopped for a snack of apple strudel.
How to get to the Pratorotondo refuge
To get to the Pratorotondo refuge inside the Beigua Regional Natural Park, where our excursion to Mount Rama begins, you have to take the Varazze motorway exit and drive 24 km. There is a large free car park at the refuge.
Where to sleep in Beigua Park
For a complete stay in nature, the Pratorotondo refuge offers family rooms and dormitories with shared bathroom facilities. Approximate prices per night are €30 with your own sleeping bag, €60 with half board.
Otherwise, if you are looking for a bit of action and small restaurants by the sea, there are several good alternatives in Varazze.