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23.Nerano – Jeranto Bay

from Nerano to the F.A.I. of Jeranto Bay with a visit to the former ILVA mining plant

Durata: 6,4 km

Travel time: 4h 30 ‘

Path – The walk does not present particular difficulties and is very pleasant for the possibility of bathing in the waters of the enchanting Jeranto Bay. Also interesting is the visit to the disused and restored ILVA extraction plant.

Approach – Departure and arrival near the church of Santa Croce in Nerano. Reachable by car or public transport both from the province of Naples (via Sorrento) and from Salerno (via Positano).

Refreshment points – There are no refreshment points along the route. There is a bar and a food shop in the square of Nerano.

Marina del Cantone, on the sea, and Nerano, a little higher up, are the last places on the Sorrentine Peninsula to overlook the Gulf of Salerno. From an administrative point of view, these are two fractions of the Municipality of Massa Lubrense, in the province of Naples. In fact still the Amalfi Coast which ends with Punta Campanella. From Nerano starts a path that is easy to follow and of short development but undoubtedly classifiable among the “not to be missed”.

It starts from the usual reference church, in this case Santa Croce, downhill towards the sea. After just 20 meters, a small road starts off on the right (on the ground a tile marks the path confirms the correctness of the direction taken) which leads towards the bay with few gradients. In this stretch, views alternate towards the Marina del Cantone and, in the direction of travel, towards the high cliff on which the Montalto Tower rests.

Once you reach the saddle that joins Montalto to the promontory of Punta Campanella, the body of water of the Jeranto Bay becomes visible. The area is of considerable botanical interest.

The scarce anthropization, the favorable climate and the characteristics of the soil allow the presence of numerous plant species not always easily traceable in other parts of the Sorrento Peninsula.

After a short downhill stretch you reach a crossroads. On the left you go towards the saddle and, from this, towards the tower; right towards the small beach of Jeranto. The whole bay is part of the Punta Campanella Marine Reserve (which includes almost the entire coast of the extreme part of the Sorrentine Peninsula, including the islets of the Gauls). Access, with any type of boat, is strictly regulated. On this side of the coastline, however, the territory is owned and under the protection of the Italian Environmental Fund.

To enjoy these particular conditions of nature it is advisable, at this point of the route, to deviate to the right, reach the beach and, previously equipped, enjoy a few hours of sun and a dip in a clean sea with a pleasant temperature.

Refreshed, going up you leave the beach and, after a short stretch, turn right and in less than two hundred meters is the ILVA mineral extraction plant. It is possible to reach the former ILVA military extraction plant.

On the way back, turn right again and pass in front of a restored building, an example of rural construction typical of the area. The old agricultural landscape has also been restored in the surrounding area.

On the terraces there are an olive grove and a citrus grove and it is possible to see the traditional cultivation techniques: irrigation canals, frost protection (the “Capannelle” still visible in the Sorrento area), the forms of tree pruning.

Further up, still to the right, you can reach the Montalto Tower. Paying attention to the precipice on the south and east sides, you can go around the tower to enjoy the view towards Marina del Cantone and towards the coast up to the promontory on which Praiano stands.

Even more beautiful viewpoints are the tops of the hills west of the tower, Montalto (137 meters high) and the Penna (134 meters). To get there, just go back down and after a few meters turn left. Back in the area below the tower, the path that leads back to the crossroads from which you descended towards the beach is clearly visible. In less than an hour you return to Nerano.

The former Italsider plant in Jeranto Bay

In 1986 the Italsider extraction plant was definitively decommissioned with a donation to the FAI (Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano). The quarry that overlooks the bay of Jeranto was reclaimed; the buildings, connected to the mining activity, restored and made open to visitors. Inside these, explanatory panels, blow-ups and finds of the time testify to the hard working reality carried out until the middle of the last century. A rare example of recovery of a former industrial area in a naturalistic and landscape context of considerable importance that further enriches the walk.

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