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Translated Jeff Matthews

Years ago as I was passing along the stretch of coastline that runs from Formia to Gaeta and staring at the Aurunci mountains, I told myself I would some day scale the heights of that bare limestone rock. The day finally came. It was a trek I shall never forget—from Maranola to the Mount of the Redeemer, an outing in the Aurunci mountains.

Monte Redentore - Aurunci

Monte Redentore - Aurunci

We left Naples at around 9 a.m. and drove north in the direction of Formia. There was heavy traffic passing the short stretch at Mondragone; it took us about an hour to reach the small medieval town of Maranola di Formia at 268 meters/800 feet a.s.l. From there we took the narrow twisting road, via del Redentore, and , still in the car, started up the climb to the “Rifugio [shelter] Pornito” and were very graciously welcomed by the family that runs the establishment. We parked the car and started the hike up “CAI [Italian Alpine Club]- trail 960” that would lead us, uphill all the way, first to the church of St. Michael the Archangel (1200 m/3660 feet] and then to the peak of Mount of the redeemer (1252 m/4100 feet). The climb is not that bad and the trail is perfectly marked and protected by a wooden railing on the side of the slope down to the valley. It's a couple of hours up to the top, and along the way every turn on the path opened onto one delightful view after another.

We were lucky because once we were at the top we were enveloped in a dense fog bank that surrounded the peak. That kept us from enjoying what must certainly be a remarkable view from up there (the proprietors of the Shelter told us that on a clear day you can see all the way to Mt. Vesuvius, over 95 km/58 miles away).

One further bit of information of interest to many of out readers: there are a great number of caves along the way that indeed witness to the extreme karst nature of these mountains and beckon to further adventures down into the dark spaces within.

Here is a link to download a Lazio cave atlas relevant to the Aurunci mountains.

At this link you will find some the photos we took on the way up to the Mount of the Redeemer.

...and here is the video.

(There is additional information on the website, Naples: Life, Death & Miracles at this link.)

Good viewing.

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