Monte Bulgheria

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Campania, Italy, Europe
4019 ft / 1225 m
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Monte Bulgheria
Created On: Aug 5, 2005
Last Edited On: Aug 8, 2005


Monte Bulgheria is located near the town of Scario, Italy in the Cilento National Park, about 20 km/12 miles west of Sapri. It can be seen from anywhere on the Gulf of Policastro.
There are supposed to be 2 trails to the summit, although i could only find one, on my way down from the summit, after two long days of trespassing private land, lots and lots of scrambling and a few unprepared technical pitches in the 5.4-5.6 range, in the blazing sun with 35C/95F heat. It's highly advisable to get a decent map of the region if you decide to go there and do some hiking, and the best place to buy those is IN YOUR HOMETOWN, wherever that may be.
The views from the summit were well worth it, though, and if you find the trail, the one i followed down from the summit starts in San Giovanni a Piro, you'll only spend a few hours roundtrip.

Getting There

Poliscastro Bussentino and Celle di Bulgheria are the nearest trainstations.
They both have direct connections to Salerno and Napels in the north, and Paola and Cosenza in the south. Sapri receives more trains and also some long-distance trains to Reggio di Calabria as well as Rome. From Policastro Bussentino there are busses going up to San Giovanni a Piro, although i wouldn't bet any money on the timetable.
Italian public transport, unlike that in Northern Europe, has the tendency to run late to such an extreme that the times on their timetable should be considered "earliest possible time of departure". Their actual departure time is usually 15 minutes to 2 hours later. Getting there with a car is probably a lot easier.
If you arrive from the North, take the exit "Padula-Buonabitaculo", and drive towards Sanza. In Sanza, stay on the SS517 Southbound, towards Casello in Pittari / Policastro Bussentino. In Policastro Bussentino, follow the signs towards Scario and San Giovanni a Piro. When in San Giovanni, park your car in the town center.

Red Tape

No permits are required to use the backcountry, although some farmers use the lower slopes of the hill to graze goats and buffalo. They usually are acompanied by guard dogs who are generally not aggresive, but will use everything they've been trained to do to keep you away from the herd. Really think hard about going here alone if you have any fear of dogs or any freely roaming 1,200 lbs pieces of cattle with 2 foot horns.
Because the area is in a Nat'l park, there might be permits needed for an overnight stay, on the other hand, this is Southern Italy, known throughout Europe for their unique approach to dealing with laws. I do not recommend breaking any of them, but chances are you get away with it.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is fire hazard. This part of Europe is extremely hot and dry in summer, and if you're a smoker DO NOT TOSS YOUR BUTTS AWAY!!!!! instead, bury them, or better, take them with.

When to Climb

Monte Bulgheria is basically climbable year round, although you might want to avoid midsummer heat.
Temperatures generally in the 25-35C/80-95F range during summer, winters considerably colder. The Cilento region, where Bulgheria is located is actually one of the coldest places during winter in Southern Italy. Expect January to be in the 5-15C/40-60F range during the day, and nighttime frost is not unheard of, even on the coast.
There have been recorded snowstorms in the Cilento's higher elevations.


I don't know if camping is allowed or not, but besides an emergency bivy i can't understand why you would even want to camp here.
If you really feel the need to sleep on the mountain, do it above 3000 feet, because they let a herd of Buffaloes graze on the slopes at night, and i doubt if they watch out for somebody's tent.
Bulgheria is easily doable in a lazy afternoon, and even your grandma can walk the trail without having to spend a night on the mountain.

Mountain Conditions

The nearest weather station i've found on the web is Potenza, which is about 30 miles/50Km to the Northeast. The climate in Potenza is more continental than the Cilento, but it will do for the more inland mountains. For the coast, however, it might be better to use Salerno instead. Salerno is about 80 miles/125Km Northwest on the Coast, south of Napels/Napoli. But, for Bulgheria, because of her relative proximity from civilasation, if the newspaper expects a nice day, and you look at the mountain, and it looks nice as well, it's worth a go.
In the winter you might want to be a little more careful, but especially in the summertime, the entire area is generally in a high-pressure zone for two months straight.


As i found out on my first attempt to get to the summit, the East face of Bulgeria might be a possibility for RC, turning around at 2,470 ft, because i was getting more than my inexperienced self could handle without proper gear.
As far as i know, not many people have actually scaled the East face, or they have done it really quietly.
Anyway, i haven't heard anything of open routes on the East face, so people into RC might want to check it out.
To get to the East Face just follow the dirt road, instead of turning left to the trailhead.

Miscellaneous Info

One thing you need to keep in mind, is that very few people speak English here. Try to learn at least a few words of Italian before going here.
In the village of Policastro-Bussentino, where i stayed for a week, i've found two people fluent in English, Janet, who owns some sort of antique shop on main street, and is originally from Cumbria, and Alida, who works in a reastaurant called La Tavernetta on the east side of main street.
She speaks English as well as Dutch, and is originally from South Africa.
Both have been of great help to me, because i didn't speak a single word Italian when i arrived there.

Monte Bulgheria

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