canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Fosso delle Iànnole

Fosso delle Iànnole is a steep valley that goes down Monte Cairo range to Melfa Gorges. It is born in Iànnole area, a place cultivated and inhabited until a few decades ago and today abandoned and solitary. Vegetation has taken back this area creating an impenetrable jungle of thorny shrubs even where there was previously the forest, devastated by a fire.

The descent of Fosso delle Iànnole, technically easy, is a nice route through a strongly re-wild environment, suitable for those who like to deal with this type of environmental difficulties.

Name Fosso delle Iànnole
Area Lazio, Monte Cairo
Nearest village Santopadre
Elevation loss 220 m
Length 700 m
Highest cascade 15 m
Rock Limestone
Shuttle No
Explored by Michele Angileri, Carlo Scappaticci; October 16th 2021


Detailed description: type your passcode  
Click here to buy passcodes
What you find in the detailed description

I remember ...

I had made a survey of the lower part of the Iànnole many years earlier, in 2005. I climbed the valley on bed or side a hundred meters up, and it looked uninteresting to me. A decade later, however, the exploration of other tributaries of Melfa Gorges which I had considered uninteresting and which had instead turned out to be beautiful aquatic canyons (in the right season) led me to take the Iànnole into consideration as a possible canyoning route. Since I had verified that there was not much in the lower part, the interesting section, if there was one, must have been in the upper valley.

The opportunity to go down the Iànnole came one day in early autumn, one of the very rare days in which my friend Carlo is free from job and wants to go down a gorge. In truth, the intention was to explore another canyon, aquatic and certainly more interesting than the Iànnole, but for that day the weather forecast gave a sharp decrease in temperatures, with frosts at relatively low altitudes. I don't like to walk through streams where rocks, already slippery in themselves, are covered with an invisible layer of frozen humidity which puts the legs at risk with every step. That was the right day for the Iànnole, also because the low temperatures would have made the steep access path less tiring, considering we had to climb bearing heavy backpacks.

So I prepared some GPS tracks, trying to locate the ancient paths to the valley. Once at the place we found that only the main path, the one that leads to Ìannole farmhouses, remained practicable while all the rest was invaded by dense shrub vegetation through which it wasn't easy to pass.
With great difficulty we finally managed to reach the bottom of the valley, and here we found a nasty surprise: a dense blackberry bush occupied the entire gorge as long as we could see. We opened a path by billhook, to the end of the bush, but soon there was another one, then another ... It was not worth going on. A providential track on the right allowed us to exit the Fosso and took us to an area where the slope was more practicable. In this way we could avoid that part of the Fosso and try to enter further downstream, where I thought there would be no more blackberry bushes.

The assumption turned out to be correct :-)

Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.