THE RED PATH runs for about 35 kilometres from Portovenere to Levanto: the path along the ridge, recently restored and accessible from start to finish, starts out in the mediaeval village of Portovenere and runs alongside the walls before opening out onto a delightful view of the Gulf and the sea, with the rocky overhangs of the Muzerone and the Castellana.
The path then makes its way towards the Portoro marble quarries and the Muzerone Fort (dating back to the 19th century), before reaching the nearby neighbourhood of Derbi, close to the Napoleonic Fort of Monte Castellana. It then continues for a stretch along the rocky slopes of the Costa Rossa, becoming less steep towards the woods and the mediaeval village of Campiglia, before heading on to the San Antonio pass and the nearby Telegrafo Hill, where the path turns onto the tarmac road that comes up from the neighbourhood of Biassa.
There are a number of points of interest in the surrounding area: one is “La Croce”, the Cross, a huge sandstone monolith sculpted by the hand of Man with an iron cross, standing at a place that can be reached along a path running from the San Antonio pass to Schiara; in addition to this, there are numerous splendid views to be enjoyed along the route that runs along the ridge of Monte Verrugoli, parallel to the coast.
The path then continues along the ridges of the mountains that encircle and close off the Cinque Terre, winding its way along at a consistent altitude and intersecting with the paths and mule tracks that link the villages of the Val di Vara with those on the coast, especially the path that joins the inland area of La Spezia with the first of the Cinque Terre villages (through the villages of Castê and Carpena), followed by the one that joins San Benedetto with Manarola, as well as a set of paths that run along the ridge at several points, linking the areas of Pignone and Corvara with the village of Vernazza.
After leaving the Vernazza valley behind, the ridge moves away from the coast and the path descends towards the mouth of Drignana before continuing on to Termine, where it goes back onto the provincial road that comes up from Pignone; at Monte Soviore it moves on towards the ridges of Monte Crocettola and Monte Bardellone, where the path continues to the left, heading down towards Montale and finally towards the Levanto plain.