The Sgarrupa path: from Chiancolelle di Tramonti to San Martino di Cava

by Gerardo Russo

The path of the Sgarrupa it is a mountain path that connects Sunsets, green lung of the Amalfi Coast, with the locality Saint martin of Cava de 'Tirreni. It is part of the path network of the Lattari Mountains and represents one of the less traveled and therefore more adventurous routes in the area.

The start: the Bosco delle Chiancolelle

The starting point is the Bosco delle Chiancolelle, green area not far from the Chiunzi pass, located between the municipalities of Pagani, Nocera Inferiore and Sunsets. From the wood there are several paths with panoramic views of theAgro Nocerino Sarnese and the Vesuvius, including a trekking path that leads to Torretta di Pagani and an adrenaline-pumping mountain cycling track, dirt and downhill, which ends at Sanctuary of Santa Maria dei Miracoli of Nocera Inferiore.

The wood area is a natural junction between the Sarno valley and the Amalfi Coast. In fact, within a few hundred meters you pass by the view of the gulf of Naples to the one on gulf of Salerno.

Il sentiero della Sgarrupa: dalle Chiancolelle di Tramonti a San Martino di Cava
The Sentiero della Sgarrupa with the Agro Nocerino Sarnese in the background.

The fire salamander

The Sgarrupa path continues in the opposite direction to the paths that lead to Pagani and Nocera. The route is classified with the number 316 from the CAI sections of Cava de 'Tirreni and Castellammare di Stabia, which together collaborate in the trail network of the Lattari Mountains.

As you go along the path you will come across several springs. The first is the Source of the Salamandra, habitat of the fire salamander, rare specimen with a black color with yellow spots. The amphibian binds its reproduction to water, since the larvae are given birth precisely in calm and shallow pools or streams. The presence of clear water is also fundamental. It is an endangered species present in some areas of the Lattari Mountains, such as the Valle delle Ferriere. The association from the north Acarbio promoted the environmental protection of the spring, which is essential to guarantee the survival of the salamander tadpoles.

Il sentiero della Sgarrupa: dalle Chiancolelle di Tramonti a San Martino di Cava
Habitat of the fire salamander.

The Sgarrupa Fountain and the instability of the area

The route continues to the Source of Santa Maria del Monte Albino, then along a former forestry barracks and after passing a mountain ruin you reach the Sgarrupa Fountain, where there is a small picnic area near a votive shrine.

Il sentiero della Sgarrupa: dalle Chiancolelle di Tramonti a San Martino di Cava
Near the Sgarrupa Fountain.

By going into the depth of the path, one becomes aware of the hydrogeological risk of the area. We are located on the massif of Monte Albino, in the foothill area of which, in Nocera Inferiore, an important landslide phenomenon occurred in 2005. There are frequent trees along the route precarious conditions, with roots often protruding from the ground and becoming almost rocky boundaries of the path. The landscape gradually becomes characterized by trees in an almost horizontal position.

Il sentiero della Sgarrupa: dalle Chiancolelle di Tramonti a San Martino di Cava
Horizontal trees.

Arrival: the hermitage of San Martino in Cava de 'Tirreni

The route passes in the area of the Mount Mammone, in Nocera Superiore. There a path link allows you to reach the Grotto of Hannibal, a cavity where local belief believes Hannibal repaired with the Carthaginian army in 216 BC

The trail ends at Saint martin, a hamlet of Cava de 'Tirreni, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the Gulf of Salerno. We are located near thehermitage of San Martino, an ancient monastery whose foundation historians trace back to the 9th century AD

Il sentiero della Sgarrupa: dalle Chiancolelle di Tramonti a San Martino di Cava
In the distance the hermitage of San Martino.

Nature turned upside down

A rare amphibian, a landslide, the remarkable plant biodiversity and trees that look like precarious suspension bridges in several places. The path of the Sgarrupa is a unconventional path, where instability, history and beauty coexist. Just think of the Neapolitan term "ramshackle", which can be translated as ruined, dilapidated, smashed.

Il sentiero della Sgarrupa: dalle Chiancolelle di Tramonti a San Martino di Cava
The instability of the area.

About 6 km long, it can be traveled in two hours, but finding the right path is not so easy between sections that invade the path and lush vegetation. There will be climbs, gentle flat sections and complicated descents. Upside down nature will try several times to make fun of travelers, however, repaying the effort with the beauty of the flora that suddenly reveals itself.

Il sentiero della Sgarrupa: dalle Chiancolelle di Tramonti a San Martino di Cava
The elegant vegetation.
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