This is an easy but enjoyable Via Ferrata. The Ferrata is very well signed and is part of a nice loop around an interesting part of the Ligurian Appenine, characterized by rock formations of a bright red colour. It's located near the coastal town of Finale Ligure, ideal to combine a bit of scramble, a dip in the Mediterranean sea and some lovely food!
Take the 'Finale Ligure' exit on the A10 motorway between Genova and Ventimiglia. Follow the SS 490 road for few kilometres until a sign on the left for 'Magliolo'. Follow indications to Magliolo (another 10-20 minutes). When in Magliolo, look at the end of the village for a large church on the left of the uphill road (dedicated to the Costa and Damiano Saints). In front of the church there is a road on the left signed 'Via Ferrata' (white/brown sign). Follow the road for 4-5 km until you reach the hamlet of Isallo, always following the white/brown signs. After Isallo the road gest narrower and starts to climb. After about 4-5 km you reach the end of the tarmac. At this point there is the space for 2-3 cars. Alternatively, you could continue for about 2 km and park by a large clearing next to a green bar. Here there is place for about 10 cars, but the unpaved road is very uneven and full of holes. I would not recommend it unless you have a SUV. I parked at the end of the tarmac and walked the short distance.
By the green bar there is a large panel with details of the route, the way back and the 2 'escape routes' on the way (see image).
After the green bar you walk for perhaps a km until you reach a red sign indicating 'percorso attrezzato', by a bend. Ignore it: although there are some yellow/red markings these do not lead anywere. I wasted ten minutes scouting the woods for nothing! Instead continue on the large path until a second red sign. Here starts the ferrata, which is clearly marked along the way with red dots.
After few minutes of walking in the woods you reach the first cables. It's actually not necessary to rope up, as these first passeges are really super-easy and the path in the woods soon continues. By the way this route is all protected by new excellent cables and (unfortunately) too many metal holds that in some places do not give you enough space to climb without using them (see image).
Anyway, from this point the ferrata gains height quite quickly, on unusually red rocks and without much exposure. Before halfway there is the first escape route, clearly market with a white/red panel.
You then reach a quite spectacular bridge, quite challanging on a windy day. In case you didn't feel like doing it, there is also a variation that rejoings the route after the bridge.
Here starts the final part, more vertical and exposed, until you reach the end of the route and the top of the Bric dell'Agnellino at around 1300 mt (about 2.30 from the start). From there the view should be great with the see on one side and the Alps on the other (when I did it the summit was in the middle of a cloud!).
The way back, clearly signed with red marks, brings you around the top, with some cables to help you on the initial steep bits and then through nice woods (roughly 1.30 hours from the top) till you reach the main large path and your car.
Helmet, ferrata kit, harness, half-gloves.
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