By Valentina Paro
Riding an e-bike from Levanto to Framura
With a map in my hand, a fastened helmet and emergency kits in the bike bags I finally left Levanto city center on a e-bike to reach my destination, Framura. An cool itinerary, including turns, steep climbs and sudden decreases.
It’s 4 pm and, after a day between Levanto old town and the beach hounded by a hot sun, I really look for some cooling riding a e-bike, a pedal assisted electric bike that with little effort will help me reach privileged sea views point and picturesque hamlets.
The first minutes on the bike shows all my clumsiness: reeling looking coordination between pedaling gear management and settings of the speed commands; fortunately it does not take much getting used to it and I can finally focus all my attention on the landscape and the sparkling air caressing my face.
I feel like and enthusiastic child pedaling along the road n°332 that leads me first above Bonassola and then to Framura.
Facing the first difficult hairpin bends is surprisingly easy and I feel like when I was a small kid and sat on my tiny baby-seat while somebody else took care of the riding part.
After only a few hundred meter the view opens up in front of my eyes and I can admire the roofs of Levanto, the hot beach and the sea reverberating under the rays of the sun.
Around me the green nature has not yet given way to autumn tones: the pine trees retain their intense color, creating along with other bushes and trees a natural carpet that covers the mountain. The vegetation duvet is only interrupted to make room to isolated houses and tiny hamlets, or where the sea laps the coast.
I deeply breathe the fresh air of the mountains that meets the salty one: a unique aroma that characterizes those lucky places where the mountains embrace the sea.
After such a long climb, the descent begins: my fireball hurtling silently beside small marble quarries that create hidden wounds in the mountains and terraced vineyards where the grape harvest is in progress. In my head it creates an improbable mental association between the wort that the winemakers are producing under the shade of a pergola and the cold beer that I now want to drink.
Almost like a direct answer to my thoughts I reach Framura, where I immediately stop in the first of five ancient medieval villages to drink at a fountain.
With the wind still ringing in the ears I observe the local women chatting in the shade: some sleepiness envelops the township.
The shining eyes of a cat springing up among the lemon trees and the high volume of a TV is the only sound that echoes in the way.
I continue the downhill part of my adventure alternating moments on the saddle and others walking and one after the other I discover all five villages: Costa, Setta, Ravecca, Anzo and Casella.
Time seems to stop in the terraces that offer views of the enchanting sea and the imminent sunset; it’s of course just a feeling because to be honest the time flew between these narrow streets, but everything is relative, and you have to give the heart and the emotions the time they ask for.
I reach the harbor of Framura to take the bike path “Mare e Monti” to return to Levanto passing by Bonassola.
I cross the railway underpass and the warm colors of the sunset overwhelm me, the fishing boats slowly rock in the protected bay and from a small bar come the notes of a guitar: too good to be true, and especially too good to be missed.
After all that running I stop, park the e-bike thanking her for bringing me this far as with a regular bike I would never make it.
I sit on the hard concrete and sip a beer as the sun sets in Framura.