Via Iulia Augusta - The historical-naturalistic itinerary

The Via Iulia Augusta from Albenga to Alassio is the most interesting route in the city because it combines the historical importance of the path with notable sporting and naturalistic features. The first stretch of road represents the road that the Emperor Augustus had built to connect the Po Valley with Gaul and Spain.

Throughout the route you will find ancient churches and the Roman amphitheater . The part of Alassio is more fun for bikers but the whole route is characterized by a breathtaking view , the horizon and the Gallinara Island always remain on the side while enjoying the smells and scents of seasonal herbs and flowers.


Type: mountain bike-trekking-Nordic walking
Difference in height: 273 uphill
Distance: about 10 km A / R
Difficulty: easy
Maximum altitude: 110 m
Recommended period: all year round
Useful tips: water points in the area of the church of the Sanctuary of NS di Fatima and the church of Santa Croce Alassio

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Starting from the center of Albenga in Piazza del Popolo , on foot or by bicycle, cross the E. Viveri bridge, under which the Centa river flows towards the sea, and head towards the church of NS di Fatima in the Region Go. From here starts a stretch of the road that the Emperor Augustus had built to connect the Po Valley with Gaul and Spain. A few paved sections remain of this ancient road that we find along the way. From this starting point, looking around, we notice, on the right, Mount Galero, the highest point, and Pizzo d'Ormea. On the left the sea and the Gallinara island on the horizon. The only two fountains are near the Sanctuary of NS di Fatima, in the territory of Ingauno, and at the small church of Santa Croce, in the Alassian territory.

The pavement is varied: at times it is dirt, gravel, cemented and, in some places, paved as in the times of the Empire. The first stretch is slightly difficult and almost immediately becomes a dirt road and accompanies us until we reach Punta Murena . In the first section we still meet some houses, which are gradually thinning out. Going up, you will encounter a series of vestiges of the past, along the remains of the Roman amphitheater and the remains of a necropolis with seven funerary enclosures dating back to the first century. This path unfolds over a distance of 11.5 kilometers, reaching the small church of Santa Croce and returning back. Its strong point is the panorama. This is why it is recommended for the spring and autumn months, when there is little coverage of the trees and you can admire the colors of the Mediterranean scrub (carob trees, strawberry trees, almond trees).

The path is almost entirely cycleable, only in short sections it is recommended to carry the bike by hand. Leaving the territory of the Municipality of Albenga, we enter the territory of the Municipality of Alassio . In this part the trail is restricted, but it is the most fun part for those who go mountain biking. The entire route is to be admired and breathed. In addition to the view, you can appreciate the smells, the scents of aromatic herbs, wild flowers and berries. In February we are accompanied by the intense scent of some mimosa and wild lavender plants, which bloom in the months from January to May, as well as the sight of the beautiful succulents, such as aloe and agaves, and carob trees. It must therefore be faced not running or with earphones, but walking, looking around and immersing yourself deeply in the surrounding environment. After the ford, the path narrows and skirts a campsite. It is a very fun stretch to go on a mountain bike, but always open to a breathtaking view, with the constant presence, in the background, of the Gallinara island. From this point you can see Capo Mele and the bay of the Sun in the distance. You arrive at the small church of Sant'Anna ai Monti , which cannot be visited as it is closed by gates. Proceed towards the small church of Santa Croce, built in the 11th century by Benedictine monks from the nearby island of Gallinara. In this area, the temperature is always a few degrees higher than in the Ingaunian area. From here start the paths that connect to Alta Via Baia del Sole (AVBS), located on the ridge towards the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Guardia (located on the summit of Mount Tirasso at 586m above sea level) and, subsequently, Colla Micheri, a very small village medieval located above the heights of Laigueglia and Andora.

The last stretch of the route, short and steep, takes us directly to the square of the church of Santa Croce. Slightly below the church, the beautiful panorama of the western Ligurian gulf opens up before us. On clear days you can see part of the Ligurian coast and the highest peaks of Corsica. During the return route you can choose alternative paths, some more suitable for expert bikers. For example, there is a variant (C1) uphill in the Byron Region less than 500m from the church of Sant'Anna ai Monti. After a climb on an asphalted road with very steep slopes, the route continues on a path that subsequently joins the Julia Augusta road before the entrance to the campsite.