MOUNTAIN ITINERARIES

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The biggest casale of the hilltop area is the one of Moiano, 512 metres above sea level and at the foot of Mount Faito. Moiano can be considered the entrance to the highest and most important mountain in the chain of the Monti Lattari: the oldest road begins in Moiano and passes through Chiaiare, and arrives to what is currently the sports centre of the Faito, at 967 metres above sea level. This trail is arduous but very interesting from a landscape and nature point of view, ranging from the Mediterranean bush to thick chestnut forests. From the sports centre, as well as from Vico Equense taking the highway 269, is a comfortable paved road which allows to easily reach the spring of Sorgente Lontra, situated amongst pine, chestnut and beech trees, with their foliage changing every season. The ideal starting point of the various itineraries of Monte Faito is the square Piazzale dei Capi, so called because in the past it was where they kept the cables (known as “capi” in local dialect) of a cableway that carried timber and other products down from the Faito. From the Piazzale dei Capi begins a trail that runs through the entire mountain crest all the way to the sanctuary of San Michele, at 1268 metres above sea level and immersed in pine and beech trees.

The view here opens on the Piana del Sarno, from the Vesuvius to the mounts Monti del Matese, and to the Monti Picentini. From the sanctuary of San Michele, through an easy trail through the beech forest, you may arrive to the “Fosse della Neve” i.e. “snow pits”. These large holes dug underground were filled with snow during the winter months and covered in earth and leaves so that the snow remained frozen until summer, when it was brought downhill and then to Naples to produce refreshing drinks. Around these holes are beech trees with big majestic trunks; unlike the other trees, these would not get cut down because their shade helped conserve the snow. The beginning of this trail branches off into another one, downhill briefly in the beginning but then uphill going up towards the top of Monte Sant’Angelo a Tre Pizzi – 1444 metres above sea level, in the Pimonte area. Along the trail is the cave known as “Grotta dell’Acqua Santa”. Onto the walls of the cave grows a tiny carnivorous plant called Pinguicula hirtiflora, which hails from the Ice Age. The last uphill stretch of the trail, known as “il Molare” or “the molar tooth” for its shape, is steep and demanding, but the reward is worth the difficulty: a 360 degree view from the gulf of Gaeta to Punta Licosa (the far south end of the gulf of Salerno), and of the Matesi mounts to the Alburni mounts. Not far from the sanctuary of San Michele, along the road that goes to Piazzale dei Capi, the beech trees clear up to the Pian del Pero, at 1159 metres above sea level, from which begin two trails that lead into the woods. The first and shorter trail leads to Monte Cerasuolo, at 1213 metres above sea level, which has a wonderful panoramic view of the gulf of Naples. The second trail leads to the Conocchia, at 1275 metres above sea level; though long and challenging, the first part of the trail is flat and can be comfortably walked with strollers and wheelchairs. Through the beech tree forests you will arrive at the Casa del Monaco; here the view opens up suddenly from the nearby Conocchia view to the entire peninsula of Sorrento and the island of Capri, whilst the trail continues along the deep valley Acqua del Milo, up to the top of the Conicchia mount. The end of this trail has a few more surprises in store: as kestrels and ravens fly around in the sky above, far away in the distance, where sea and sky merge, are the islands of Ischia and Procida, and in very clear days Ponza and Ventotene.

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Comune di Vico Equense - Ufficio Turismo e Cultura

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