Tales of life (and hiking) in the Sorrento Peninsula
Saturday, 15 August 2015
NOT MUCH TIME LEFT BEFORE THE HIKING SEASON ....NOR MANY TRAILS LEFT INTACT.
Unfortunately my last 2 posts and photo albums have all revolved around one subject, that of the recent fires that have plagued the Sorrento Peninsula affecting in particular the Sirenuse Trail and the slopes of Monte San Costanzo.
Hiking has always held a certain importance in this area but over the last few years more and more keen walkers have been coming to visit. Greater visibility has been given to our paths and trails, and improved signage and, dare I say it, a little more maintenance from both the local authorities and various associations has certainly helped. Even the impact of the recent closure for maintenance of one of the most walked paths of Massa Lubrense, to Punta Campanella, had been mitigated by the clearance of the ancient trails behind Termini and the creation of the Giro di Santo Croce.
Now everything has to some extent been compromised. Yes, the views are still spectacular, but the vegetation to either side of the paths is completely black and burnt and certainly neither inviting nor a pretty sight.
In his latest blog, Giovanni Visetti describes in more detail the present state of these paths and underlines the urgent need for intervention prior to the start of the autumn hiking season. In brief, this is what he writes:
The steep descent of the Sirenuse Trail to the south-west of Pizzetiello is now a little trickier and requires greater attention. In fact a lot of the wooden steps and fencing/handrails have burnt. What is left has dubious stability (even less than before...) Giovanni has always sustained that rickety and unstable rails/steps are more dangerous than none at all, giving as they do a false sense of security that can easily result in someone coming a cropper. In its present state, anyone who is not totally sure of step should avoid the descent from the Pizzetiello whilst ascending should not be particularly problematical.
He appeals to the Local Authorities, the Pro Loco and Tourist Boards, to guides and groups of excursionists to intervene as quickly as possible prioritising as follows:
The Sirenuse Trail beneath Pizzetiello
- if more extensive repairs are not feasible at the moment, at the
very least the unstable wooden steps and rails need removing. The
signage between Pizzetiello
and the chestnut trees on the small plateau, direction Torca, needs
restoring since there is no longer a clear passage through the
vegetation (completely destroyed) and it is easy to find yourself off
track and in the middle of the rocks.
Nerano - San Costanzo - here too, the signage needs restoring to evidence the trail.
Giro di Santa Croce - urgently requires signage, since it is just about the only valid (and for the time being still pleasant) alternative to the Athena loop, closed until the end of the year due to work on via Campanella.
He reiterates that there are only two weeks left before the guides and tour leaders of the walking or hiking toursreturn to the the paths of the Sorrento Peninsula and so there is not much time to save the situation.
Giovanni has also published two series of photographs showing the consequences of the fires which can be found at the following links: