A long mountainous chain in the middle of the provinces of Avellino and Salerno, characterized from the greatest forest zone of whole southern Italy: over 40.000 hectares, above all of wood of beech, that give a severe, imposing and solitary aspect to these valleys.
There are however vast meadow areas, used by the inhabitants since the most remote times, to make to pasture the flocks and the herds, as it happens today still. An area where the sheep raising is still practised with traditional methods, with products typical of great interest: the mozzarella of buffalo, the cheese and the romano cheese, without forgetting the famous chestnuts of Montella and the filberts of Giffoni. An economy for some verses rural, that is manifested also through the numerous small villages, still well preserved, with suggestive historical suburbs.
A territory predominantly wooded, but known also for his numerous and uncontaminated streams, that make these valleys very rich in water with sceneries of great charm. And, the Picentinis Mountains are not by chance, defined the richest "reservoir of drinkable water" of the south Italy, from which drink vast zones of Campania of Puglia and of the Basilicata.
Mountains that in many cases overcome the 1.500 meters , that, therefore, can offer a whole series of hiking itineraries , from the easiest to the most binding, with the opportunity to enjoy of spectacular panoramic views, above all from the ridges of the summit .
Finally, an indication to the fauna, interesting even if not particularly abundant, with in evidence the return of the wolf, the fox, the royal eagle and the astore.
The chain of the Picentinis Mountains is divided in separate subgroups that are raised up to the 1607 ms of the Monte Mai, to the 1806 ms. of the Monte Terminio
, to the 1790 of the Monte Polveracchio and the 1809 of the Cervialto intercalated from deep valleys and verdant carsic plateaus.
The plan of Verteglia m 1230, dominated to south by the Cercetano Mountain m. 1324 and from the Savoceta Mountain m. 1339 are a beautiful zone covered from imposing wood of beech of tall stem and from summer pastures with plentiful springs (as those of the ms Centraloni. 1350, of the Madonna to m. 1150, of the Cavalli , of the Uccelli).
Particular importance has the Piana delle Acque Nere to m. 1061, a vast plain grassy destined to the pasture, not too far from it Cave of the Centralonis is opened, an abyss in which throw waters of the homonym sources.
The highland Laceno m 1051 are surrounded by tops that offer stupendous panoramas as the Cervialto Mountain m 1809, the tallest of the group; a vast and beautiful panorama embraces you, that is extended up to the Gulf of Salerno.
Great and precious water reserve for their predominantly carsic nature, the Picentinis Mountains constitute an important oro-hydrographic knot: from them rivers are born as the Calore, the Sele, the Sarno, the Ofanto.
Coming from Naples is advisable to take the highway Caserta-Salerno.
The closest gate is that of Fisciano.
Take the direction of Calvanico and continue up to CapoCalvanico.
This is a small ancient village. From the center of the village, leaves the road that conducts to the Sanctuary of S.Michele. Follow, by the car, the road for 2200 meters, up to quota 850 meters about, where leaves on the right the path for Monte Mai (see the photo)
No permits required. No seasonal closures
The presence of woods of notable naturalistic value, the abundance of water and the few roads of penetration favor the presence of a rich fauna.
Among the Mammals of notable naturalistic importance, also to European level, it is the presence of the wolf, animal in way of extinction, present with a fluctuating population from 5 to the 15 individuals , and that however it constitutes the most numerous population of the whole Appennino of Campania.
Another animal in this environment is the fox, still stamped with the epithet of harmful, the fox him is well adapted to the presence of the man and rather has drawn advantage of it, you are enough to think to the repopulations of animals for the activities of hunting not suited for our environment and often freed in non fit periods.
The Felidis are represented by the rare wild cat, that frequents particularly the rocky walls exposed to south.
The Picentinis Mountains are rich of Spontaneous Orchids. If you want to know more of it, follow the links
Orchidacee dei M. Picentini
Orchidacee dell'Appenino Salernitano
When To Climb
The Picentinis Mountains are a magnificent play-ground for the lovers of the mountain.
They are possible, in fact, excursions in the woods during the whole year, walk with the snow-shoes or with the skis in winter on the tallest peaks
It is also possible to make free climbing on some cliffs of these mountains.
Mountain Conditions Meteo di Napoli
Meteo di Salerno
Meteo della Campania ma non solo meteo
"Alta via dei Monti Picentini" - D. Vece - Ed. Pro Loco Acerno
"A piedi in Campania" Vol. 2 - Stefano Ardito - Ed. ITER
"Le falesie del sole" O. Bottiglieri Ed CAI Sez Cava dei Tirreni
PDF of the book of the paths of the Park
Link Club Alpino Italiano Sez. di Salerno
Club Alpino Italiano Sez. di Cava dei Tirreni
Club Alpino Italiano Sez. di Napoli
Club Alpino Italiano Sez. di Avellino
Free climbing on Monti Picentini