This is a short stage with little difference in altitude, mainly on asphalt with a few sections on dirt roads and paths. There is only one viewpoint at the beginning of the route.
Back to stage 248
The stage is mainly on asphalt.
From Contrada there are signs, albeit faded, for the first 3 km, after which there are no more signs.
There are water points only at the starting and finishing villages.
From Contrada we ride the first kilometres on asphalt with a steady climb (about 200 m height difference) and a few bends. Then, between gravel and asphalt, we cross a beautiful chestnut grove that gradually turns into a poplar wood.
We then ride along the asphalt road along Canale, a hamlet of Serino, and then take a small path through the wood towards the Santuario della Madonna delle Grazie.
This is the trickiest part, because there are many paths and it is easy to get confused. There are some fences or barbed wire barriers that you have to watch out for; also the presence of brambles makes some passages a bit complicated. The route is mostly flat, apart from one final climb.
Having arrived at the Sanctuary, a small building with benches for a break, we descend (about 150 m drop) to the municipality of Serino through a small wood before reaching the village.
In the municipality of Serino flows the river Sabato, which rejoins its twin river, the Calore, near Benevento. These two rivers are called twins because they both rise from the hill Finestra, a peak of the Picentini Mountains.
Many believe that the Sabato river takes its name from the town of Sabatia, of which little is known and whose existence is little more than a hypothesis. Some consider the civita di Ogliara, where there is a huge wall of Lombard origin, two kilometres long, to be the ancient Sabatia. Assuming that the town existed, there are different versions about the origin of the mysterious Sabatia: one hypothesis states that one of the many Samnite populations founded the city and that the name therefore comes from the Sabines (the original people from whom, by /through vers sacrum, the Samnite populations arose); another hypothesis includes the city of Sabatia among the cities of the Irpini (whose Samnite origins have been questioned); while the most fanciful states that the city was founded by the "Sabatini", whose interpretation is divided into different branches: one claims that the Sabatini are a population of Samnite descent, while another hypothesises that they are a people originating from Armenia and led by a heroic leader called Sabatio, a great-grandson of Noah.
Above the town of Serino lie the ruins of the feudal castle, flanked by the Sanctuary of Madonna delle Grazie.
Situated on a hill, the castle of Norman origin dominated the entire Sabato valley. It was founded in 838 BC and it took its final form in 1159. Today you can admire the remains of the two arches that led to the main entrance.
For more than twenty years, the town of Serino has been enlivened in the summer by Canalarte, a festival of street artists.
From the 12th century onwards, chestnut cultivation was intensively exploited in the Serino area thanks to the intervention of the monks of Cava dei Tirreni. The morphological and climatic characteristics of this area make it a chosen territory for the mountain fruit par excellence.
In the municipality of Serino, both chestnuts and marrons are harvested, and have both been awarded IGP certification. Classified as one of Italy's best quality chestnuts, in the early years of the new millennium, production declined drastically due to chestnut gall, an insect that attacks the tree. Traditional is the chestnut soup, made with beans, mushrooms, bacon and of course chestnuts.
Hotel Don Lorenzo, in Serino. Tel. +390825 594240
B&B Villa Lulu, in Sala (a couple of km from Serino). Tel. +390825 592476
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus, starting from the city of Avellino.
Here is the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.