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Michele Angileri

Fosso del Całto (Fosso Santa Maria)

In the Całto area, on the eastern side of the Ernici Mountains at about 1000 m asl, numerous springs arranged in a fan shape bring to light the abundant karst waters coming from Campo Catino area. The springs are located on steep slopes or on the edge of rock walls on which they generate beautiful waterfalls. The most beautiful is Zompo Lo Schioppo, a powerful jet of water that plunges for 150 m creating a hypnotic vision that makes it one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Italy.
Zompo Lo Schioppo is visible from afar, even (for a few moments) from the Roveto Valley highway. The area downstream of the waterfall is a nature reserve with tourist trails that lead close to the waterfall but too still far from its foot though too close to perceive its dimensions.

But there's a steep gorge that comes down from the Całto, featuring deep falls just facing the Schioppo...

Name Fosso del Całto (Fosso Santa Maria)
Area Abruzzo, Valle Roveto
Nearest village Morino
Elevation loss 280 m
Length 400 m
Highest cascade 65 m
Rock Limestone
Shuttle Possible with 4WD cars
Explored by Michele Angileri, Paolo Bracale, Giorgio Ecker; July 10th 2021


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I remember ...

It was early summer but the Schioppo was still in spring conditions, thanks to the abundant snowfalls of the past season.
About ten days earlier, on reconnaissance, I had seen water in the Fosso del Całto, coming out at the foot of the first waterfall. So, when we reached canyon's startpoint, we put on our wetsuits but, surprise!, the spring had dried up. It was a hot summer day, so I (who can't stand the heat) took off my wetsuit and got back into shorts while Paolo and Giorgio heroically (and lazily) kept the wetsuit on (thus risking a collapse from heat stroke).

We found the first active spring a hundred meters below, but I, neither heroically nor lazily, continued in shorts and shirt: I love the coolness of streams!

Photos and video by Michele Angileri and Giorgio Ecker

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