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Translated Jeff Matthews

The Calore River starts at the peaks of Mt. Cervati, passes part of the Alburni massif and then flows into the Sele river just before the Sele empties into the Tyrrhenian Sea near Paestum. Along its length of 63 km/39 miles, at the stretch between Laurino and Felitto (in the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park), running through a section of impervious limestone, the Calore has gouged a series of deep canyons, known in Italian as the Gorges of the Calore. Due to the difficulty of accessing this part of the river, these canyons are still rough and unspoiled—all the better for you if like to hike and go rafting.

The length of the river that runs through the Calore Gorges is divided into five distinct geographic parts: the first gorge forms when the water course is still up at Mt. Cervato above the the town of Piaggine; the second gorge winds around the base of Mt. Pesorubino (in a section of the municipality of Valle dell'Angelo named Lazzine); the third and roughest to pass, is in the valley below the town of Laurino; the fourth was first made navigable by the construction of a damn near the Remolino section of the town of Felitto; the fifth, between Remolino and the medieval bridge in the valley below Felitto, contains a series of characteristic circular holes worn into the stone surfaces. They are nicknamed in Italian “marmitte dei giganti” (lit. “potholes of the giants”) and are near an old mill driven by the energy of the river.

Our last outing there (Saturday, Aug 2, 2014) started at the medieval bridge. We hiked along the right bank of the river and then up to the main square in the town of Felitto and then to Remolino (about one km farther up) where we rented a kayak and then paddled back up the navigable stretch of the river. In the first part of the excursion, the one along the path by the riverside, we had the chance to explore the ruins of an old mill and admire truly beautiful spots along the steep walls of the canyon. One discord, unfortunately, just before the trail turned back up to Felitto, was the discovery of a small stream of water, certainly not sweet-smelling, trickling down from water filters of the town sewer system. Let's hope that this is a temporary malfunction and not a regular habit of dumping foul water into the Calore. Near Remolino they have set up a picnic area with ample parking, and you can even take a dip in the calmer sections of the river.

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