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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Gole del Melfa

Born from the Meta Mountains, river Melfa reaches the Liri valley through a long narrow passage between Monte Cairo and the hills of Arpino: the beautiful Melfa Gorges, a show of rocks, woods, Mediterranean vegetation and emerald water, classified as "Site of Community Importance" by the EU. In winter conditions, the Gorges are a magnificent river kayak route, with some difficult and dangerous passages. When the flow rate decreases it becomes possible to go along them on foot, and so it comes out a nice river canyoning route.

Name Gole del Melfa
Area Lazio, Ciociaria
Nearest village Roccasecca
Entrance altitude (above sea level) 240 m
Exit altitude (above sea level) 200 m
Length 2,5 km
Longest rappel 0 m
Rock Limestone
Shuttle Possible
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Man did not have for the beautiful Melfa valley the respect that is owed to a place of such a great environmental value. The water of Melfa is in fact stopped at the foot of the Apennines, in the reservoir of Grotta Campanaro, to be sent to the hydroelectric power plant of Cassino, with a 14 km long tunnel. The dam doesn't release the "vital minimum" water for the Melfa river, and so what once was a perennial watercourse ends sadly dry for half the year.

Another wound had been inflicted by Man in the landscape of Melfa Gorges in the second half of the nineteenth century: the Tracciolino, the road of Melfa Gorges, made to connect Roccasecca and Casalvieri, the villages by the two mouths of canyon. The Tracciolino keeps 30-40 meters above the bottom of the gorge. It has not a big environmental impact: the Tracciolino is a narrow, winding and uncrowded road, whose masonry are all made of local stone. Traveled on foot or by bicycle, it gives magnificent views no the Gorges and environment. It looks more like a walkway than a main road, but it is a road and it can also be traveled by the camions of those who illegally dispose construction waste and old tires throwing them in isolated places. So, unfortunately, some scarps of Melfa Gorges have become a dumping ground that vegetation tries to hide and digest.

Photographs in this website show ultralight ropes (6 mm ropes made of high tenacity fibers). Read multimedia book Ultralight ropes canyoning technique to learn how to use them.

Copyright © 2002- Michele Angileri. All rights reserved.