Across Alta Val Trebbia with public transport (yes, you can!)

If you don’t feel confident enough driving in Italy or on the panoramic winding roads of Alta Val Trebbia, don’t worry! You can still fulfil your dream of seeing Italy’s enchanted valley by using public transport from main gateway cities such as Milan, Piacenza, Pavia and Genoa.

Besides being the best way to travel with a low impact on the environment, public transport in the valley is reliable and cheap. However understanding timetables can prove quite difficult (most of the times they are incomprehensible even to locals).

Here you find a few suggestions to help you find your way.

Glossary: on timetables you will often see different schedules for weekdays and holidays. Remember that FERIALE means the service is active during weekdays, while FESTIVO is for service during the weekend and main bank holidays in Italy. ANNUALE means the service is active all year round but check for notes at the bottom of timetables, as most of the time they will give you more context. INVERNALE is the schedule for autumn/winter time, while ESTIVO the one for spring/summer (schedules normally specify exact dates the info applies to).

Travelling with SETA buses from Piacenza (Emilia Romagna)

On the side of the main railway station (with connections to Milan, Bologna and most cities in Italy), go to the bus station (autostazione, address: Piazzale Marconi) and look for the corriera bus (local long distance regional buses) by SETA (the name of the company operating the service). You might be able to purchase the ticket onboard (a small extra charge applies), or otherwise at all ticket shops selling SETA tickets (usually newsagents),  online or at the machine at the bus station . Tickets are valid through the whole duration mentioned on them (so you can use them for multiple journeys across the valley within the specific timeline).

From Piacenza you can get a bus to Bobbio, Ottone, Cerignale, San Salvatore, Marsaglia, Rovaiola and many other villages of lower and upper Val Trebbia in the Emilia Romagna (and  get a connecting bus to the Liguria side) region. Here you can find a handy map of the villages served by SETA.

Look for Linee Extraurbane for the Piacenza area on the SETA website, as these are the long distance corriere buses that will take you to the valley. Detailed routes and timetables can be looked up here.

seta linee extra

Travelleing with ATP buses from Genova (Liguria)

From Piazza della Vittoria (a few steps away from Brignole Railway Station), you’ll find the corriere buses by ATP (the name of the company operating the service in Liguria) connecting the seaside city of Genoa (or Genova in Italian) to the lush and green mountains of the valley on the Liguria side. In the bigger town of Torriglia you will be able to change coach and venture deeper in the valley towards Montebruno, Loco, Rovegno, Ottone and other charmingly remote destinations. If you are planning a visit to the Antola Natural Park, you’ll be able to come in the area with the line to Rondanina.

Below is the scheme with main connections from Genoa to the villages of the valley.

ATP lines

At this link you find all lines servicing the valley and their timetables, while here you can see where you can buy tickets in Genoa and other locations in Liguria. You can also buy the ticket directly from the driver (with a small extra fee).

Travelling with ARFEA buses from Milan and Pavia (Lombardia) 

To access Alta Val Trebbia without getting the train, an alternative is the bus to Varzi, which you can take from Milan (Famagosta station) or Pavia (bus station/autostazione). ARFEA is the name of the company providing this service, and  Line 420 is the one that will take you to Varzi. Here you can get a further bus to Brallo every day and to Ottone on weekdays only. See the schedule here.

Arfea scheudle

Note: most of the times bus stops in the valley are marked by a simple pole on the side of the road with a generic bus stop logo, or at times with the bus line logo and timetables. It is always a good idea to double check with the driver if the bus is going in the right direction and if it will stop where you are planning to get off. Most likely drivers and locals won’t speak English, but they will do their best to help you and make themselves understood. In any case, it might be good to note down these sentences:

  • IT: La corriera va a [name of your destination]?
  • EN: Does this coach go to [name of your destination]?

 

  • IT: La corriera ferma a [name of your desired stop]?
  • EN: Does this coach stop in [name of your desired stop]?

 

  • IT: A che ora passa la corriera per [name of your destination]?
  • EN: What time does the coach for [name of your destination] leave?

 

Good to know: remember that after Bobbio towards Genoa the road gets quite winding, so if you suffer from car sickness it is advisable to bring some pills with you. Roads are safe, drivers experienced and many people commute every day in all seasons from tiny villages to the main cities surrounding the valley.

 

Let us know in the comments if you found this information useful and what kind of extra details you’d like to have to make the most of your journey to the valley 🙂

Cover image by BusBusNet Forum

All other images in this post courtesy of SETA, ATP and ARFEA

Please double check info on the transport providers websites, as it might be subject to updates

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Travel Guide to Alta Val Trebbia

We’ve been there before…

You found some amazing pictures of Alta Val Trebbia on Instagram by chance and ever since that moment you heard a strange voice in your head calling you to visit those wonderful, unspoilt landscapes in person at the first occasion.

You have done some research but struggled to find coherent (and above all intelligible) information in English online. The most obvious thing to do would be giving up and choose a more accessible destination instead, but the voice inside your head won’t have any of it.

rovegno 1

To help all of you brave travelers out there visit the most beautiful valley in the world, we put together some practical tips as a sort of basic “Travel Guide to Alta Val Trebbia” to navigate through transport information, accommodation choices, activities and tours and other useful facts you may need to plan your journey.

Here is what you will find in the next weeks on this site as part of the travel guide series of posts:

  1. Across Alta Val Trebbia with public transport (yes, you can!)
  2. How to find accommodation with English speaking hosts
  3. Outdoor Activities for Active Holidays
  4. Slow Itineraries across Alta Val Trebbia
  5. Eateries, ATMs, medical assistance and shops

We hope you will find these guidelines useful and that you will visit the fabulous villages of Alta Val Trebbia in the future, enjoying and respecting the landscapes and local population you will meet along the way.

Feel free to leave a comment to suggest more places or to ask for more information, or reach us via e-mail at altavaltrebbia@gmail.com.

New Old Pic of Beautiful River Trebbia

Dear friends of Altavaltrebbia,

a very long time has passed since the last post on altavaltrebbiablog. For many reasons I was not able to take care of the blog, and lots has changed since the last time I wrote.

The “most beautiful valley in the world” is always on my mind, and more than ever I would love as many new visitors to come and share its stories.

I am publishing a few new old pictures of the Trebbia, which in my mind is THE iconic river, hoping they will inspire you to come and swim in its turquoise waters next summer.

These pictures were taken in summer 2012, along the Statale 45 between the villages of Ottone and Rovegno (location Rocca dei Corvi and bridge to Fontanarossa).

Knowing the unspoilt nature of Val Trebbia, I trust everything has stayed very much the same.

Come and explore one of the Italy’s last pieces of paradise next summer!

 

P ictures: copyright of Claudia Costa

Expo Altavaltrebbia 2012: an unmissable event for next Summer

Since 2009 Expo Alta Val Trebbia has become an unmissable event of the summer season. Organised in the woods of Loco di Rovegno (location Giaia), the event takes place in July. We spoke to Stefano Parodi, one of the organisers, who in this post unveils the backstage of the Expo which, started as a grass roots event, is now attracting more than ten thousand visitors eager to discover the entrepreneurial spirit of Val Trebbia.  Continue reading