Walking & Trekking
Trekking in the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano.
Discovering the sources of the Bussento River, its Valley
of Hell and the WWF Oasis in Morigerati.
- National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano -
The Bussento is a river which is 37 km long, and it is one
of the most important rivers in the National Park of Cilento.
It consists of mountain streams from the Campania Apennines
that join in the south-west of Sanza and flow into the Tyrrhenian
Sea in the Gulf of Policastro. Born from the southern slope
of Mount Cervati, near Caselle in Pittari, it sinks into
a large sinkhole in the town of Sanza and later, passing
under Mount Panel, it re-emerges after about 5 km in the
area of Morigerati.
In the trekking routes of this area, the real protagonist
is the water and his strength able to create artworks from
rocks throughout the centuries. Indescribable is the feeling
you have when you go up the 'Vallone dell'Inferno' (Valley
of Hell) to the sources of the Bussento River, or when you
walk through the tunnel dug into the rock, to get to the
'mouth' of a huge sinkhole called "Affondatore di Vallivona".
A lanscape borrowed from Dante's Divina Commedia!
The trekking route towards the 'Vallone dell'Inferno' begins
in locality Ponte Inferno/Ponte del Diavolo (Hell or Devil
Bridge) at an altitude of 550 m and starting from the fountain.
After 1 km walk along the Bussento River we arrive at a crossroads
from which to proceed uphill to the right, thus entering
the Valley of Hell, dominated by majestic rocky mountains.
The trail here becomes more sinuous and is approx. 2.5 km
long passing through woods of hornbeam, oak and maple trees.
Along the way admire a breathtaking view over the gorge of
Bussento! After about 2 hours walk we arrive at the sources
of the Bussento River at an altitude of 909 m, springing
from a cave. Continuing to trek right through a valley, you
arrive on a winding dirt path that leads to the entrance
and the 400m-long tunnel, which acts as a sort of gate toward
the center of the 'Affondatore di Vallivona' (1070m). Here
a flashlight is needed. The sinkhole has an elliptical shape,
with sheer cliffs from 60 to 100 meters high and there are
no words to describe the grandeur of Mother Nature in this
work. The waters of the river have virtually cut in the limestone
for centuries, and the waters of all streams of the entire
Vallivona Valley are stored here to give birth to a beautiful
waterfall and a pond.
Getting back on the dirt road you can continue until you
reach the locality called 'Varco del Pero' at an altitude
of 1250m, to enjoy a spectacular panoramic view that extends
from Mount Cervati to the Gulf of Policastro. For the return
you should follow the same route back.
The Caves of Morigerati, a WWF Oasis: we said that the Bussento
river plunges into a massive sinkhole for a mysterious journey
into the bowels of the earth, to reappear, a few miles further
south, below the village of Morigerati. Another good walking
tour is in fact the one that starts from this typically Cilento-style
small country and allows you to enjoy this important WWF
oasis of Italy, made up of routes in direct contact with
nature, and to learn about flora and fauna of the Cilento.
The route is simple and is carried down along a beautiful
mule track partly carved into the rock. It leads after a
series of hairpin turns directly to the entrance of the cave
reachable by a stone staircase, that allows you to cross
the canyon carved by the river.