canyon exploring with Michele Angileri

Fosso della Villa

The most spectacular among the fossil canyons of central Italy is probably the Fosso della Villa. Although water does not flow here since the end of the last ice age, the Fosso still preserves the narrow stone corridors and the numerous cascades magnificently sculpted in an unusually compact limestone when the stream ran down the harsh eastern side of the Corno valley.

Name Fosso della Villa
Area Umbria, Valnerina
Nearest village Triponzo
Elevation loss 440 m
Length 750 m
Highest cascade 31 m
Rock Limestone
Shuttle Possible
Explored by Morgantini, Tosti; 1996


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I remember ...

I saw for the first time the spectacular, sharp cut of the Villa gorge in a slide that Tullio Dobosz had taken from the road to Nortosce. It was 1992. I did a reconnaissance in the following days, but once I reached the place I found myself in a modest depression of the forest, filled with leaves and branches, rather than in the bed of a seasonal stream: Fosso della Villa was a fossil valley.
Since I prefer to explore active torrents, I postponed the exploration of the Fosso della Villa indefinitely. It ended up that Fosso della Villa was explored by someone else. Over time the canyon gained a certain notoriety and photos of fascinating corridors and dryfalls well carved in the rock began to appear on the web. I realized that with Fosso della Villa I had made an error of assessment.

But since I always prefer an unexplored canyon to a known one I didn't went to Fosso della Villa not even in the following years. But that magnificent cut in the walls of the Corno valley still attracted me ... It was a frequented canyon, abundantly bolted, ... a canyon with no problems but one: a very long shuttle route was needed, 35 km of mountain roads to cover the distance of one kilometer and a half that separates the downstream parking lot from the upstream one ... And there were no paths to go up on foot, due to the rock walls of the Corno valley.

One day, passing down there, I began looked carefully at the rock walls, looking for a possible ascent route not requiring rock climbing. I became convinced that, yes, maybe there was a route through the steep woods avoiding the walls. Obviously I had to check, but now that I had added a bit of exploration to a known and frequented gorge I had also found the motivation to go there as soon as possible.
I went there the next day.

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