The Ferrata of the Artists climbs to the Costa dei Balzi Rossi, which leads to the Bric dell'Agnellino in the Ligurian Alps in the Isallo area. The via ferrata is not particularly difficult due to the abundance of brackets and sockets which help along the progression. A Tibetan bridge of 40 meters and a couple of exposed points add a high adrenaline level.
The starting point of the itinerary is the hamlet of Isallo near Magliolo in the province of Savona. To reach Isallo, exit at Finale Ligure going up towards Colle del Melogno. Once in Gorra you turn to Magliolo. From the village, near a church, go down the narrow paved road towards the valley where Isallo is located. Go up the road and near a farm the road becomes a dirt road (be careful with low cars!) and in a couple of kilometers of dirt road you come to a bar where you should park.
Directions for Google Maps available here.
Continue on foot along the dirt road, first downhill then uphill until you reach a bend where you follow the red signs that lead us after some easy rocks aided for the Ferrata degli Artisti start (45' from the parking lot).
We begin facing a vertical wall with few overhanging sections. The wall is tackled easily thanks to many brackets present. Once the wall is finished, a short horizontal traverse begins to the left and then a new vertical partition is attached with plenty of brackets. At the end of the wall, we continue on a sloping ramp from where we will start a rocky prominence. We proceed on the right side of a short ridge and then reach a stretch where we descend a wall of about 8-10 meters. An escape route is reached when we are near the tower. Continuing, keep the right side of the tower and climb it vertically along a small gully. You then reach an exposed ridge and see the bridge. From the ridge you can choose to continue to the right and descend the gorge, cross it and go up the opposite side of the bridge without following it. On the left, follow the exposed ridge up to the suspension bridge.
The bridge is about 40 meters long and has pegs to rest your feet on, however it is swinging quiet a bit. At the end of the bridge, go up a short wall and - again with plenty of brackets - walk along an exposed left-hand side until you get around an edge (key passage) and then go up the wall. You reach a terrace where you can catch your breath. Continue on some easy aided rocky jumps and reach the third saddle: on the left downhill the second escape route, on the right continue vertically starting the last walls and then on the ridge. Continue along the ridge to finish the equipment (2h 45' from the start - 3h 30 total). You reach it by continuing the path with red signs on top of the Bric dell'Agnellino (10' from the end of the ferrata).
Once at the end of the via ferrata, do not remove the harness. Continue following the red signs to the left going down a gully with wire ropes and brackets at the most exposed points. You enter the woods following the obvious path until you reach after an hour of descent in the dirt road that we have taken on the forward path. Continue backwards until you find the deviation for the start of the via ferrata and then backwards to the car (1h 45 'from the end of the via ferrata - 5h 30' total).
The Ferrata degli Artisti is a pleasantly scenic via ferrata with a view from the top of the Bric dell'Agnellino remarkable: the Ligurian Sea on one side and the Maritime Alps on the other. The ferrata is technically of moderate difficulty due to the abundance of brackets. The exposition is present in several passages, in particular on the bridge and the edge a little later. Ideal in mid-seasons.
The nearest Ferrata is the Via Ferrata Rocca dei Corvi (1h 45' by car). However, given the length of the route of the Ferrata of the Artists it is difficult to chain other via ferratas on the same day. Continuing in the direction of Genoa you can reach Crocefieschi where there is the Via Ferrata Deanna Orlandini.
Approach: 0:45 h
Ferrata: 2:45 h
Itinerary: 5:30 h
Ferrata height difference: 600 m
Route difference: 750 m
Max altitude: 1335 m
Length: 6.1 Km