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Michele Angileri

Gole del Tronto

The peoples who settled on the Italian peninsula in ancient times had to find paths to overcome the mountain ranges that make up its ridge. Sometimes the shortest and most comfortable routes were gorges of rivers and streams, but since in a gorge there is only room for the watercourse, to create paths or roads they had to dig sections of them in the rock, or build artificial ledges supported by walls .
In the second millennium BC the crossing of Laga Range already took place along a road that ran through the rugged gorges of River Tronto: it was the primitive Via Salaria, built by the Sabines. Two millennia later the Romans improved the road, partially rebuilding it, but the route through Tronto gorges remained the same, and is practically the same still today, a narrow and winding route on the rocky side of the valley, about twenty meters high above the river. Only in recent years has begun the construction of some tunnels for the highway which is taking the place of the old Salaria.

Thus the widenings in Tronto gorges could be colonized and villages arose, reachable thanks to the Via Salaria, whose only alternative was constituted by long and steep paths up and down the mountains. And still today it is like this: to go from Quintodecimo to Acquasanta or from Favalanciata to Trisungo, wether on foot or by car, you have to take the Via Salaria, because in the Tronto gorges the only viable way is that ...
... or the river itself, canyoning style.

Name Gole del Tronto
Area Marche, Monti della Laga
Nearest village Acquasanta Terme
Elevation loss 120 m
Length 7 km
Highest cascade 9 m
Rock Sandstone, marl
Shuttle Needed
Explored by First complete descent canyoning-style: Michele Angileri; September 19th 2020


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I remember ...

The exploration in a sporting sense of the river gorges of central Italy is due to kayakers, who go through them especially in periods of flood. Canyoneers don't go through this kind of gorges (at least not yet). Over the years there has actually been some sporadic descent on foot of some part of the gorges: for example, the part from Quintodecimo to Acquasanta was covered about twenty years ago by the local speleological association (perhaps in search of caves), while in 2020 the Favalanciata-Quintodecimo section was traveled by a rescue team searching for a missing person ... A complete sporting descent canyoning style (the one in which, to be clear, you have fun being carried away by the current, swimming in pools and canals, climbing or abseiling down the falls) had never been done before.
It has not been an exploration in the strict sense (every point in the Tronto is known by someone, fishermen, bathers, ...) but rather a "reinterpretation" of the place as a canyoning route.

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