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Underground Cilento… and deserted villages

Published on Tuesday April 5th, 2016 by ckey
For those who have spirit of adventure, desire to discover, learn and ... walk, Cilento offers fascinating itineraries as the path from Sacco, a small village in Valcalore, to Old Roscigno through gorges and sinkholes. Descend into the Sammaro gorge is like being in the bowels of the earth, where, instead of the fire, gushing clear and fresh water that smoothes the limestone rocks. The show is sublime in its wild beauty, offering unique sensations. The route starts from the village of Sacco where, just outside the town, a very steep road leads to the sources of Sammaro river. The road after a few bends proceed on a dirt road that ends next to an iron bridge. Continuing to get to the Sammaro gorge whose sources are located next to a very high bridge connecting Roscigno with Sacco in a fantastic landscape of greenery and water. The gorge has impressive smooth vertical walls overlooking of puddles and deep ponds, with waterfalls, brooks, and jumps between the rocks. From here you can reach the nearby Old Roscigno ghost town abandoned by its inhabitants for the continuous erosion due to presence of water that flowed through the alleys, in the streets, in the square, breaking into houses and damaging the foundations. Called the "Pompeii of 2000", the visit will be very impressive with its spectacular square and fountain, built by ancient trees, are facing the Church of San Nicola: a maze of alleys, typically rural ramps and steps completed the poetic image that the village offers to its visitors. The history of Roscigno is similar to that of the small medieval towns of Cilento. Born as agro-pastoral settlement, the village was victim of feudal exploitation and then of traumatic events: the landslide, which has forced to continuous transfers more solid areas, and emigration. Two orders of Civil Engineers (1907 and 1908) established the evacuation and the construction of new homes in an another center further upstream, in a safe land. So began a slow transfer of the inhabitants, who didn’t want to leave the village. Dorina was the last inhabitant, she never wanted to leave her home. Today Roscigno is inhabited by a single inhabitant Giuseppe Spagnuolo.