In continuous operation since 1929, the Genova–Casella Railroad runs from Piazza Manin in Genoa (follow Via Montaldo from the center of town, or take Bus 33 or 34 to Piazza Manin) through the beautiful countryside above the city, finally arriving in the rural hill town of Casella. On the way, the tiny train traverses a series of precarious switchbacks that afford sweeping views of the forested Ligurian hills. In Casella Paese (the last stop) you can hike, eat lunch, or just check out the view and ride back. There are two restaurants and two pizzerias near the Casella station; try local cuisine at Trattoria Teresin in Località Avosso. Canova (two stops from the end of the line) is the start of two possible hikes through the hills: one a two-hour, one-way trek to a small sanctuary, Santuario della Vittoria, and the other a more grueling four-hour hike to the hill town of Creto. Another worthwhile stop along the rail line is Sant'Olcese Tullo, where you can
take a half-hour (one-way) walk along a river and through the Sentiero Botanico di Ciaé, a botanical garden and forest refuge with labeled specimens of Ligurian flora and a tiny medieval castle. For Canova and Sant'Olcese, inform your conductor that you want him to stop. The Genova–Casella Railroad is a good way to get a sense of the rugged landscape around Genoa, and you may have it to yourself. The train departs about every hour.
Genoa, Liguria, 16122, Italy