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Friday, 20 November 2015

Favourite trails - part 1

In one of his recent blogs, Giovanni Visetti, experienced hiker and cartographer who many of you will already be acquainted with, announced that he would be writing a series of blogs about his favourite trails in our area. There will be seven, to be published not in order of preference but geographically, commencing from the eastern end of the Amalfi Coast and moving west concluding on the isle of Capri. 
As always, I will do my best to convey the sense of Giovanni's blogs, at times adding my own personalised view, since they are all trails that I have frequented, some of them many a time. Giovanni has a penchant for paths that are highly panoramic not only looking down towards the sea but also up towards the hills and mountains. Five out of the seven chosen routes are along ridges, so not particularly suitable for anyone suffering from vertigo or of unsure footing. That said, if I can walk them, they are feasible for most reasonably fit hikers!
The first one, posted today, is Tre Calli - Capo Muro (+Monte Catiello).
This path is high above Agerola at around 1100 metres above sea level (unless you continue up Monte Catiello with its 1393 metres). It can be reached from various directions, but whichever way you choose, there will be a certain elevation gain and exertion required. As they say: no gain without pain.. 
Agerola below
The shortest way is doubtless from above Bomerano taking the CAI path (by the  iron cross at the  bend on the road to Paipo) which leads up to the Tre Calli. From there you continue to Capo Muro, marked by its distinctive mushroom shaped rock formation. Then it is up to you whether you want  to tackle Monte Catiello, 300 metres higher up.  
I have to confess that whilst I have frequented and enjoyed the Tre Calli and Capo Muro on many an occasion, I have yet to climb Monte Catiello. The reason for this is simple.I am a wimp when it comes to steep descents and loose stones, and this one has them both. One day I will perhaps pluck up my courage, since from the photos I have seen, it is well worth the effort.
That said, the specific stretch favoured by Giovanni is  between Capo Muro and the ridge on the southern side of the Tre Calli (towards Paipo). At times the official track circumvents various small hillocks along the crest, so it is worth leaving the trail every now and then to get to the top of them and take full advantage of the magnificent 360 degree views: to one side the plain of Agerola, to the other the Amalfi Coast with Positano, Li Galli islands and Capri extending into the distance, as well as the impressive massif of Sant'Angelo a Tre Pizzi high above.
There are various ways of getting here from the west rather than from Bomerano. I have often come from S.Maria del Castello, following the Forestale route which involves clambering over the rocks of the 2002 landslide of Monte Catiello.  Whichever way you choose, it is well worth the effort.


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