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Michele Angileri

Fosso del Bagno

The narrows of Fosso del Bagno is a geological singularity, what is called a "natural monument". Amidst the sweethills by the village of Parrano, there is a little limestone outcrop crossed by a seasonal creek that digs a short, narrow canyon which is a concentrate of extraordinary beautiful forms: majestic stone-arches, very tight meanders in the flint-striped rock, large deep pools, cascades, ... A feast for the eyes and soul!

Some of these forms have clear underground origin. In fact, the canyon is the center of a system of caves, a couple of which are viable and the subject of guided tours. Very near to the canyon there are also some sulfur springs (hence the name "Bagno", thermal bath). The extraordinary erosion forms of Fosso del Bagno are probably due to the corrosive power of sulfur water that flew through the canyon when it was part of the caves system.

Name Fosso del Bagno
Area Umbria
Nearest village Parrano
Elevation loss 60 m
Length 250 m
Highest cascade 10 m
Rock Limestone
Shuttle No
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I remember ...

The first time I went to Fosso del Bagno was in January 1992. I went there alone: the stream was in perfect water conditions, wild, lonely, majestic, all for me.
At that time canyoning was little known sporadically practiced (never in winter!). Over the years things have changed. Today many people have known canyoning and started to practice it on a regular basis (and many of them believe they know the best way to go through canyons!).
Public authorities have started to become aware of the phenomenon (and, more generally, of outdoor activities) and someone thought to regulate it and turn it into a source of income. So the Commune of Parrano has fenced the area of the Tane del Diavolo ("Devil's dens": the name originally indicated both the canyon and the adjacent caves), has created a structure at the exit of the canyon for educational tourism (with a swimming pool!), has equipped a via ferrata that allows you to reach the caves and admire the gorge closely without having to get wet, has entrusted the management of a cooperative, has set a price for the entrance to the area and began to ask canyoneers groups for accreditation.

Today, thanks to the via ferrata, the extraordinary beauty of the Fosso del Bagno can be admired even by those who do not practice canyoning. In contrast, however, the Fosso no longer has that wild taste he had in the early 90s, when a young Michele arrived there on his motorcycle, an ordinary day, found an access from below through the bush and enjoyed in total solitude the magic of the exceptional natural sculptures of this place, obtaining feelings very different from those that you may have today.

Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.