Monte Cervati

  • Monte Cervati
  • 1899 m
  • Primary factor 1344 m
  • Italy
  • Location: North 40.28479, East 015.48379 (GPS at the summit)
  • Difficulty: YDS class 1
  • Climbed August 3. 2017.


Here is a quick overview of Italian peaks climbed in summer 2017.

How to get there:
A good point of reference is the charming town of Sanza, located about 20 km north (a bit west) of Sapri (a town on the coastal Hwy. SS-18). From Sanza, drive west on Hwy. SP18/B. You will then find a turn-off, well signed at location N40.24192, E015.47049, elevation about 790 meter. There is also an informaion sign about the park posted here.
Take this road. At first, it is paved, but this ends and the rest of the road is pretty rough, but ordinary cars can certainly drive here, it only takes time. You should allow about 45 minutes of driving from the turn-off to the parking near the summit. This road has substantial traffic, so just pick what looks like the main road at all times. There is a fork at a small ridge where you should go left, otherwise go where most vehicles have been before you.
The parking area is left at a final fork very near the summit. This location is at N40.29043, E015.47321, elevation about 1850 meter.

Route description:
First walk up the main track to the area that holds a restaurant, a souvernir shop and the old church. There are 4 summits up here of nearly equal elevation. You will see 3 in front of you, while the 4th. and lowest is uphill just behind you. The highest one, but only by one meter, is the first ridge that you see in front. There are no trailsto these summits, but the terrain is very easy to walk everywhere, A big trail runs out towards the peak that sits at the end of the plateau. I took this trail out, then traversed across the three humps making my way back to the place that people visit. The last hump is an easy ascent just behind the church. There is an additional footpath to the famous cave. It is located a bit lower, providing at least a little bit of exercise.

I had expected a pretty long hike, as I had found little information about this peak beforehand. It was therefore quite a surprise that this mountain turned out to be the most crowded on my entire trip. However, for other purposes than reaching its highest point. Nobody went hiking, everybody stayed with the tourist attractions.
The road up to the parking area was rough. It typically takes 45 minutes to drive. There was substantial traffic, I was behind two other cars and I had yet another car behind me. While driving uphill, we met around ten cars coming down. I started walking around 1110 and since there was a single big trail going towards the summit at the end of the chain, I assumed it had to be the highest. Once there, I realized that the situation was quite unclear and that the big trail went somewhere else. Thus, I traversed the 3 possible contenders on my way back to the starting point. The Italian Alpine Club had placed its register at top number three, this is also shown as one meter higher on the Italian maps.
I finally climbed the top behind the church, as I already had decided it is a bit lower. At the end of my visit, I walked the big trail down to the cave and looked at the information signs, reading in English about the origin to this story. Returning to my car at 1300, I next drove slowly down to the main road, then easily back to Maratea.