The Infernaccio Gorge is one of the most attractive hiking walks of the Sibillini National Park, perhaps because is one of the simplest walks and because you can find a lot of beautiful natural curiosities on its way.
The Infernaccio Gorge is a natural gorge that has been created over the years by the river Tenna between the Mount Priora and the Mount Sibilla. This place, as many of the Sibillini National Park, is surrounded by many stories and myths of witches and mysterious creatures.
Here I'm gonna show you 5 natural beauties that you will have the opportunity to see on Infernaccio Gorge's path;
Path Length: 7,5 km (with return)
Altitude: from mt. 953 a 1.150 above sea level
Difficulty: Easy. For hikers and family
Duration of the route: 3 h circa (with return)
Soon you will not be able to proceed with your car, and once you get out from it you will be absorbed by nature and you will straight away see Mount Priora and Mount Sibilla. Then you will hear the sound of the water and you will see from far a huge waterfall on one side and the water running out from the mountain on the other side. You will also notice the water running trough the rocks, easy to reach and delicious to drink, specially in hot summer days. Not that far from the parking lot you will be able to explore the first of the natural beauties that I mentioned before, the Pisciarelle; a curved mountain wall with water falling from each side, only to protect you once you walk underneath. It's like a mysterious shelter created by nature allowing you to walk under a waterfall. This is the only way to proceed so is mandatory to pass through. Be careful, we are now at 900 mt. of altitude and the water might be a little cold (just a little :))
As soon as you pass the waterfall, you will find on your left a river. The hiking path starts exactly from here, a little uphill between huge rocks, this is the Infernaccio Gorge. As soon as you go further on, the path becomes narrower until it will reach a point where only one person can pass through. Just after this spot, you will start walking next to the river that was carved over millions of years ago, a path that was thought to be the only way to go through the Appennines.
Hermitage of San Leonardo
As we are on a mountain, the more we move up the more breathtaking the scenery gets and in this case It's the beautiful Heritage of San Leonardo. This footpath is a bit difficult but not that long, probably 20 minutes of walking, that's if you take a few breaks photographing the particular nature around you. You will notice that you arrive because suddenly you are no longer surrounded by trees but standing in a little open space where the light comes through. There you can find a fountain with delicious ice cold water and on your right is the Heritage of San Leonardo, 1128m above sea level. The church that you now see is just one small part of the original structure which was reconstructed by the priest Armando Lavini, who in the 70's started to rebuild it all by himself. Due to several earthquakes, now the heritage is surrounded by scaffolding to preserve for the safety of the visitors.
Rio high waterfall 1
If you walk towards the fountain, with the heritage of San Leonardo on your back, take the path that leads inside the forest. There you will find two old ruins, not far from each other, followed by a bifurcation. Take the uphill path on your left. After a bit, the path will open followed by a walk alongside the river where the path will close again. Between the rocks lies an amazing waterfall and you can hear the water hitting the rocks.
The waterfall is 20-25 metes high and the distance from the Heritage is 30-40 minutes walking.
Rio medium waterfall 2
To see the medium waterfall 2 you will need to take the same path as for the rio high waterfall 1, but instead of taking the left turn on the bifurcation, you'll have to take the path towards the right going downhill. Take the path that is going inside the forest. There you will find two old ruins not far from each other which split the way in two. Take the route going down hill on your right. After a bit the path will open and once you reach the river it will close again. After a short while you will be in front of the waterfall.
The waterfall is 15-20 metres high and the distance from the Heritage is 30-40 minutes walking
How to get to the Infernaccio gorge and the Heritage of San Leonardo
Click on the interactive map for direction.