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canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Vallone Nocito

The Amalfi Coast is among the most famous places in Italy, but at the same time is among the less known ones. This paradox is due to the strangeness of this unique place. It was a truly hard place to live but it was always densely populated. Villages, homes and terrace fields rise in unbelievable corners. There are very few roads, so most places can be reached only on foot, after a hard ascent on long stairway paths, or rocky trails. And many many tourists come here, all to see the cathedral of Amalfi, the alleys of Positano, the coast and nothing else. So one kilometer away from the coast all becomes silent and solitary and unknown to tourism.
And here woods are impenetrable jungles amidst huge rock walls, and lush streams fall down hidden cascades and canyons.

The road going up from Amalfi to Furore and Agerola passes in a very unusual kind of village. Houses are interspersed for kilometers among little terrace fields looking deep down to the sea. Majestic rock walls above restrict horizon and vital space. How could people live here, on these rocks? This place looks too hard for anything ... but Man made it an amazing garden, simply unbelievable.

In the walls there's a deep cut. A steep canyon meanders between hanging woods, walls and ledges, till the eye can see. It is Vallone Nocito.

Name Vallone Nocito
Area Campania, Costiera Amalfitana
Nearest village Pogerola (Amalfi)
Entrance altitude (above sea level) 780 m
Exit altitude (above sea level) 300 m
Length 1100 m
Longest rappel 75 m
Rock Limestone
Shuttle Possible. Not indispensable.
Explored by Michele Angileri, Andrea Pucci; september 28 2008


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I remember ...

The mountains on Amalfi Coast are really hard, so inhospitable that I remain astounded in seeing what Man has got to do to live here, to build homes, to have some little piece of ground to farm. But I never thought that people of Amalfi had ever got any reason to go into the steep canyon of Nocito.
I was wrong: Nocito canyon knows Man since very ancient times. The woods on its very high rock walls are being cut, the poor springs inside are taken to bring precious water down to villages and terrace fields, the ledges over pits host paths that look like stairways to eagles' nests, and those paths were the roads joining the villages of this hard land.

This wild place has Man as a part of its wild beauty.

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.