A very long but smooth stage, mostly on asphalt. We enter the Cilento area with its beautiful mountains and enjoy an unobstructed view from Varco della Montagnola.
The central part of the stage is completely asphalted and offers no shade for the most part. It is therefore advisable to avoid this stage on hot days.
In the second part of the stage, you pass several barbed wire gates that have to be opened (and closed again!).
From the Corcomone refuge we continue for a short while on a dirt road, then we change to asphalt and continue for almost ten kilometres on the road, mostly in the open, without shade, but comforted by the beautiful landscape of the Alburni (and a fountain, after several kilometres). Then we turn onto a larger asphalt road and turn left; shortly afterwards we find another fountain and, just behind it, a rest area. After a few more kilometres, leave the asphalt road and take a dirt road to the right; immediately the climb to Varco della Montagnola begins (about 400 m height difference). After just over 1 km, we take a second dirt road on the right and tackle a series of hairpin bends, always in the shade of the wood. We reach a hollow, then the gradient decreases and shortly afterwards we are at Varco della Montagnola, which overlooks Monte Motola (1,700 m).
The descent (about 300 m drop) is first on a very steep path, on somewhat uneven stones; then we come to a dirt road, which we take to the left and shortly afterwards we cross the dirt road again; finally we turn left onto a dirt road that quickly leads us to the beautiful Monte Motola refuge.
The Monte Motola refuge was built in the 1950s as a shelter for the forest rangers.
After decades of neglect, the Cilento, Vallo Diano and Alburni National Park renovated the building in the early 2000s and only handed it over to the ArcheoArte girls for management in 2020. The Società Cooperativa ArcheoArte has launched many cultural projects linked to the territory: an experiential tourism to promote Monte Motola. One of the many activities is the production of cosmetic products from local plants.
The refuge is located in the municipality of Sacco, which stretches between the Alburni Cordillera and Vallo Diano, a wide and fertile plain between Campania and Basilicata.
The first inhabited nucleus of present-day Sacco is the archaeological site of Sacco Vecchio, located on a cliff on the slopes of Monte Motola. In the 6th century AD, Basilian monks from the Balkans settled here and introduced the cult of Saint Nicholas, which was transformed into that of Saint Sylvester after the schism between the Western and Eastern Churches.
Near the source of the Sammaro River is the so-called Grotta di Jacopo, where artefacts from the Bronze Age have been found; it later became a refuge for post-unification brigands.
Along the Sammaro River, downstream from Sacco, are the Gole del Sammaro, a crevice about a kilometre and a half long that forms a natural setting of rare beauty.
Not far from Sacco is the municipality of Roscigno, which is divided into two parts: Roscigno nuova and Roscigno vecchia. This is because the inhabitants of the original village were forced to move to the new village in 1902 after repeated landslides.
What remains of the old settlement today is a completely uninhabited village where time seems to have stood still, so much so that it has been described as 'the Pompeii of the 20th century'. An open-air museum with a caretaker: Giuseppe Spagnuolo, the village's only resident. Giuseppe moved into an old house after the death of the last inhabitant and called himself the 'first inhabitant of the new millennium'. The village has been used as a historical set by many directors.
A rare product, the white artichoke of Pertosa, is grown in nearby Pertosa.
Unlike the common artichoke, it is characterised by its very light colour, which changes from pale green to silvery white. It is usually grown among olive trees, tolerates low temperatures, has a delicate, sweet flavour and tastes excellent raw. It is mainly used for family consumption and is protected by the Slow Food Praesidia.
Recently, projects have been launched to develop the product and produce artichokes in extra virgin olive oil dop Colline Salernitane.
Rifugio Monte Motola, in the Motola locality on the northern slopes of the mountain of the same name. Tel. +39324 636 4817
The starting point is accessible by car.
Starting point NOT reachable by bus or train.
The nearest location that can be reached by bus is Pola. From Salerno, take the train to Eboli, where you take the bus to Polla.
Here is the LINK, to check the timetable.
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.