Monte Comune: the plateau between the two gulfs

by Gerardo Russo

Monte Comune is located in the center of the Sorrento peninsula and overlooks the gulfs of Naples and Salerno. It is found at Vico Equense, near the border between the provinces of the homonymous borders, not far from Positano. It can be easily reached from Santa Maria del Castello, one of the thirteen hamlets that make up Vico Equense. The relief and the paths that surround it offer sweeping views of the most famous images of Campania: Capri, Positano, Li Galli, Ischia, Procida, Capo Miseno as well as Naples and Vesuvius. It is part of the chain of Lattari Mountains, which ranges from Amalfi Coast to the Sorrento peninsula.

Monte Comune: l'altopiano tra i due golfi
View from the Croce sui Due Golfi, Monte Comune. Ph. Gerardo Russo

A flat mountain

The peaks of the Lattari Mountains are known for their narrow spaces, cliffs and slopes overlooking the sea. The art of obtaining arable land from the Lattari gave birth to the famous terracing, who have made the Amalfi coast known all over the world with the characteristic lemon groves that slope towards the sea.

The Monte Comune differs instead from the reliefs of the Lattari that surround it, as it is characterized by a plateau on its summit at the height of 877 meters. A large expanse of greenery, one of those that recall the runs of children and Easter Monday picnics, with the steep slopes behind them, now outdated. Meadows and pastures suddenly appear in the midst of the Lattari, as if they were secretly guarded. The anomaly of Monte Comune is even stronger if we consider the "opposite" peak, that is Monte Sant'Angelo in Tre Pizzi, the highest relief of the Lattari with its 1444 meters, whose major point is nicknamed Molar, in short, the exact opposite of a sweet plateau.

The Lattari, adventurous and for many aspects inhospitable, due to the numerous vertiginous paths that characterize them, are transformed on the Municipality into an oasis of Mediterranean scrub overlooking the two gulfs hugging each other. The sea is no longer the only boundless expanse to be admired on the Lattari, since in the Monte Comune it is the mountains themselves that “spread out” in a meadow as horizontal as the sea. A piece of green sea, we could say.

How to reach Monte Comune

Monte Comune: l'altopiano tra i due golfi
Signposting of the paths on Monte Comune. Ph. Gerardo Russo

The Monte Comune can be reached from different areas of Vico Equense, as well as being connected to Positano and Montepertuso through a tough climb.

Ideal starting point of the path that reaches the plateau is Via Positano in Santa Maria del Castello, a hamlet of Vico Equense, where the ancient mule track that connected the Sorrento coast with the Amalfi coast passed before the construction of today's roads. The path, which has Positano at its feet, leads to Monte Comune in about 50 minutes, offering an opposite perspective of the picturesque coastal town compared to that which can be admired from the more famous Path of the Gods. Monte Comune can also be reached from the hamlet Preazzano.

The arrival point of the excursion is the Croce sui Due Golfi, where you can enjoy the best view between the sea and the mountains. From there the mountains descend like a gigantic stairway towards the sea, until they almost join Capri and the Faraglioni on the horizon.

Monte Comune: l'altopiano tra i due golfi
Positano seen from Path 300. Ph. Gerardo Russo

The Alta Via dei Monti Lattari

The path that connects Santa Maria del Castello to Monte Comune is part of the famous CAI path 300, known as Alta Via dei Monti Lattari, a sort of super path of about 75 km that crosses the entire mountain range, from Cava de 'Tirreni, at the gates of the Amalfi coast, up to Punta Campanella, end of the Sorrento peninsula. The boundless meadows of Monte Comune represent an important stop among the many wonderful scenarios that are encountered along the paths. They are the pastures of Agerolese cow, known for the production of various dairy products, including Provolone del Monaco.

A private but common mountain

The name "Comune" derives from the time when the municipal ownership of its lawns was recognized, which could therefore be used by all the inhabitants, to the detriment of those who claimed ownership. Over time, however, the mountain has in a certain sense been privatized. Its top is fenced and in fact constitutes a private property. Several well-marked passages and entrances built with wooden poles still allow you to cross these properties, almost encouraging their usability for travelers. We therefore try to respect its name, keeping the mountain as “common” as possible even if privatized in its pastures, among the signs that remind us that the mountain is really visited when you visit it on foot.

References:

Bulletin of the Italian Alpine Club 1877-1896

http://www.parcoregionaledeimontilattari.it/index.php?action=index&p=378

https://www.altaviadeimontilattari.it/il-sentiero-300-cai/

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2 Comments

Mario Natalino naples 15 March 2022 - 17:54

Bellissimo also organize guided tours?

Answer
Gerardo Russo 16 March 2022 - 20:52

Hi, for information on guided tours you can contact me on my social profile https://www.facebook.com/gerardorss/
A thousand thanks.

Answer

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