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The Cave Hermitage of Santa Maria di Pietraspaccata

Typology: Historical-achaeological-nature hike

Description: This brief outing lets you visit the cave hermitage of Santa Maria di Pietraspaccata. The structure, itself, goes back to the high Middle Ages (i.e. from about 500 to 1100 AD), but it was built on a preexisting Roman site (perhaps a tomb). It is located on the Camaldoli hill, more precisely on the slope that overlooks Quarto. The hermitage can be reached from various points. We chose to leave our vehicle on via Marano-Pianura (alt. 338 meters a.s.l.) and then walk back down towards the plain a bit, first along a short stretch of via Recca and then along one of the many paths through the chestnut groves of the Camaldoli hill. At the present time, the entire complex (underground chambers, small church and monastery) are in pitiful condition. We keep reading on the internet: “The devastating effects of WWII even reached the hermitage in 1943 when the Allies dropped a bomb on it, even if by mistake, and destroyed the monastic quarters beyond repair.” Question: What were they trying to hit in the middle of the woods?

Note: the data (below) for distance, change in level and time are for the one-way hike to the site.

Free access

GPS: from via Marano-Pianura to the Hermitage of Pietraspaccata

Change in level: 132 meters

Distance: 2.1 km

Time: 30 minutes

City: Naples

Coordinates: UTM WGS 84: 33 T 430079 4526126

Address: via Marano-Pianura

Photos: Hermitage and cave church of Santa Maria di Pietraspaccata

For more information: Cave churches and the church of Santa Maria di Pietraspaccata

Click on image to enlarge


GPS trail

The grotto and environs

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