Liguria – The lakes of Aveto Valley

By bettina boop • on April 26, 2009

Whoever goes to Liguria thinks of going to the seaside. Nobody would dream of going to Liguria and going to the lake. They would go to Lombardy or Piedmont instead.

The Ligurian Apennine offers visitors many opportunities for rewarding excursions into the natural and artistic treasures of the lakes and forests. There are only 33 natural lakes here and the deepest ones are really very small. Twenty of these lakes have glacial origins and as the expert Daniele Ferrando says in her book “Lakes of Liguria and surroundings” there are 4 of them which nobody knows how they originated.

I want to tell you about an excursion I done in the Aveto Valley, in province of Genova. We left from the Liguria mountains high route ( Alta Via dei Monti Liguri ), at Lago degli Abeti , at 1300 m of altitude, inside the Riserva Naturale delle Agoraie (Reserve of Agoraie). The name says it all: a lake surround by fir-woods that reflect themselves in the lake. In certain times of the day the fir-woods donate a particular water-green colour to the lake.

There have been many studies about the Lago degli Abeti, concerning the origin of some white fir-tree stumps situated at the bottom of the lake and visible from its banks. At the beginning people thought they had fossil origins, but it is more credible to think they arrived here after earthquakes or downpours. In the natural reserve are many rare floral species, while lately people say that there has been a wolf wandering around the area.

To get to Rezzoaglio, you have to go through Chiavari, a small village on the south western coast of Liguria. From here you follow for Carasco and take the road for Borzonasca, on the road SP586. You go through several small villages and gone passed Rezzoaglio, along the SP654, you get to Magnasco. The name of this village comes from the Latin words “magnus obscurus“, because the area is covered with beeches and white pine trees.

Staying in the Aveto Valley but going further down you can see several lakes called lakes of the Agoraie (laghi delle Agoraie) and the most important one is the Lago delle Lame, three kilometres away from Magnasco. The name could come from the Latin word “amnis“, meaning river of water or could come from the Italian word “lama” meaning small valley.

Here you can fish trout or you can take up knitting like people say, in fact there is a hotel-restaurant that has a riding track, open from June to September.

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