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Michele Angileri

Fosso della Palombara

The forest of the steep rocky sides of Velino Gorges hides an unsuspectable narrow canyon, dug by a stream that disappeared at the end of ice age. So, descending the Fosso della Palombara gives two unusual views on the splendid environment of Velino Gorges. The first is the present view: just watch and be surprised by how much can be varied and complex an environment that, seen from the outside, looks like a uniform expanse of woods and steep cliffs. The second point of view is that of the past, but it needs a bit of imagination, not much really, to believe to see the bed of round stones (now covered by a layer of soil and leaves), hear the sound of waterfalls and breathe water spray.

Name Fosso della Palombara
Area Lazio, Monti Reatini
Nearest village Posta
Elevation loss 345 m
Length 750 m
Highest cascade 20 m
Rock Limestone
Shuttle Needed
Explored by Giancarlo Cicconi; november 19 2001


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I remember ...

After the exploration of Fosso di Portella I asked myself if there were other canyons on that side of the mountain. By the map, the most promising creek seemed the one aside Portella, less than 1 km away: its name was Fosso della Palombara.
So, that year (1994) I went to do a reconnaissance, but I was disappointed: there was no stream there! The Palombara was a fossil valley, with just a few little dryfalls and they looked avoidable too.
So I bypassed a couple of them, reaching again the bottom of valley about 100 m height below, and still the Palombara looked the same: a steep fossil valley between very steep sides, featuring little dryfalls. No, it wasn't worth an exploration.

Years later, in autumn 2001, Giancarlo Cicconi started to go on those mountains searching for canyons. He began with Valle Scura tributaries, and most of them were fossil valleys with a lot of vegetation and blackberry bush. Since you seem to like descending fossil canyons, I said, I know one that's still unexplored and should be free from thorns and vegetation; it surely has some dryfalls, and it has substantial difference in height ... I hadn't explored it because I don't like fossil canyons ... Go and explore, if you like!.
Giancarlo did not need to have it said twice: he went and explored, then he described what he had found, and I began to suspect that I had made a nonsense not to have explored it first.

Many years later I finally descended the Palombara, and now I'm sure: I was a fool leaving the exploration of Palombara to Cicconi!
But in the end it does not matter: what really matters is to have had the chance to enjoy myself in the beauty of Fosso della Palombara!
Bravo Giancarlo!

Photos and video by Michele Angileri and Andrea Pucci

Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.