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Monday, 25 January 2016

PUNTA CAMPANELLA - UPDATE ON THE WORK IN COURSE

Punta Campanella as it was
Over the past few months there has been a lot of angry talk about the renovation work being carried out along the path to Punta Campanella. The project's aim was (and still is) to make the trail and the promontory accessible to all, since apart from the magnificent views of Capri and the coastline, the area is steeped in history. 
Punta Campanella now (photo Nino Aversa)
At the promontory there are still traces of a what was once a Greek temple built in honour of Athena,subsequently converted by the Romans to a sanctuary devoted to Minerva.In the 14th century a watch tower, still standing today, was erected to guard against the marauding Saracens. For anyone who dares descend the precarious flight of steps down between the split in the cliff to the original mooring point, there is even an Oscan inscription to be seen carved into the rocks .
First part of the path (photo Nino)
Returning to the works, one of the main bones of contention has been the apparent destruction of the natural dry stone walls and original stone paving, and their replacement with reinforced concrete, raising concerns about the  impact on the flora and  the permeability of the terrain. Not having seen the work myself, I refrain from comment.
Further down (photo Nino)
Today, Nino Aversa (local hiking guide and founder/owner of the Sorrento Hiking Company)  published a series of photos on Facebook and a short description of the work to date.
The first part of the path has been paved with limestone and the walls rebuilt (most of this stretch had in fact already been cemented previously, but badly).The rest of the trail is still beaten track but the roughest parts and the holes have been levelled/filled, making it much more accessible. The traces of the Roman road are still there.  The original ancient cuts in the rock (at Cancello and along the path) are also intact. The house next to the tower, which was  tumbledown and quite frankly an eyesore, has been demolished
The path is still NOT accessible since the work is still to be completed. To be quite honest I do not know  whether work is in progress at the moment or has been suspended (following the protests there are various investigations in course) or when the path will actually re-open. My main fear is that once it does,  it will become yet another thoroughfare for mopeds or worse. Now that would be a total disaster.

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