The passage of the Bracco is a place to pass 615 m above sea level on the SS Aurelia (SS1) in the Province of Genoa and La Spezia Province. It is an important step since Roman times because it connects the Cinque Terre and the hinterland of La Spezia with Tigullio.
This section of the SS1 Aurelia does not need much comment, and 'hard to find riders of the north and center who do not know what the Bracco.
From the very ancient times the mass of the Bracco wound a road network of fundamental importance to the connections between Liguria, Emilia and Tuscany. The main route was a path of high altitude, which started with a steep climb from San Lazzaro at Casarza Ligure, went up to Bracco and Mount St. Nicholas and fell in Lunigiana, from where it can continue to Lucca and Central Italy .
Probably due to the existence of a "hospitale" the road began to be called "milked of Povei" (Ascent of the Poor) because of the group of poor and travelers who gravitated zona.In in medieval times by the Bracco was very busy , especially by merchants that ran from Pontremoli to Insula (Sestri Levante) and then Ianua (Genoa), visiting different places.
In the intermediate points should be road stations equipped to protect the goods warehouses, stables for mules, taverns for the refreshment of travelers. In the past, the streets were simple mule: the steep uphill sections needed to move quickly at high altitude and walk on the slopes of the ridge that would allow to reduce a little 'distances.
The only means of transport used, in addition to the back of a man, was the animal mules and donkeys with their loads proceeded in small groups or in caravans, under the guidance of experts muleteers. The merchants of Pontremoli, Lucca, Pisa or of its cities like Parma and Piacenza, concluded a contract of carriage with the "vetturiali" to whom they entrusted the precious goods by lavish payments.
It is estimated that the entire load of a merchant ship could be transferred out of a thousand mules, each of which could also lead to 130-140 kilograms of goods. There were hazards: landslides and cliffs, but also thieves and robbers who made the way of the bloodhound particularly infamous and forced local communities, at the invitation of the Republic of Genoa, organizing guards to protect travelers.