This is the best section of the Alta Via di Cinque Terre (High Way of the Five Lands)
. It is a shared trail with hikers, so yield to hikers as usual. Say buona mattina (good morning), buongiorno (good day), buon pomeriggio (good afternoon), or buona sera (good evening) as appropriate or simply Ciao! if you can't remember all that.
Most of the trail passes through a fairly dense forest so you'll have only occasional views of the cities comprising the Cinque Terre (Five Lands) below on the coast. This trail includes several steep climbs and descents and while it's not overly technical, the steepness and length of some climbs may challenge some riders.
This ride starts at the intersection of the provincial roads SP38 and SP51 above the town of Monterosso al Mare, the northernmost of the five cities comprising the Cinque Terre. At the intersection, take the unpaved doubletrack that continues towards the east from the intersection. Quickly, this doubletrack becomes a singletrack through dense forest. After about a mile of singletrack, you'll cross a small road and then the trail becomes a forest road for about two miles. This works out well as this two-mile stretch includes 275 m (900 ft) of climbing.
The forest road ends at the highest point on the route at 780 m (2560 ft) near Monte Malpertuso. From here, the trail returns to singletrack until the end of this trail at the Colle di Telegrafo (Telegraph Hill). About one mile past Monte Malpertuso, you'll reach another high point at Castello (Castle). There aren't any signs of a castle here, although there is a large stone wall that might have been part of a castle later in the ride (around mile seven).
From Castello, you'll lose almost 150 m (500 ft) in the next mile to the Sella della Cigoletta (Cigoletta saddle). The price for this descent is a climb of approximately the same height and distance on the other side of the saddle to the top of Monte Cuna to 750 m (2460 ft).
From this point, the final 3.5 miles are almost all downhill. At first, the descent is gradual, but the last half mile into Colle di Telegrafo is a 150 m (500 ft) downhill. Colle di Telegrafo is a popular hiking destination and there is a restaurant. The Alta Via di Cinque Terre (High Way of the Five Lands)
ride continues directly onto the next segment, AV5T Sud
from Colle di Telegrafo.
The telegraph no longer operates, so you'll have to count on cell coverage.