The Gorges of the Melfa river
The evocative path of the Melfa Gorges (Melfa river) forms a triangle at the top of which we find Arpino, Casalvieri and Santopadre, three characteristic villages, rich in history and archeology, legends and historical figures. The Gorges of the Melfa comprise a territory of high hill pleasant to be crossed on foot, by bicycle or on horseback; a territory that alternates unique landscapes with exciting scenarios.
The alternation of woods, cultivated fields and pastures, gives way to bare rocks, streams and a long and winding river. The environment, totally natural, shows a verdant and fascinating landscape everywhere. The always mild climate and the easy practicability of the paths make this territory suitable for hiking throughout the year, suitable for hikers of all levels and very special for short or long holidays for families with children.
From the end of April to the end of September the river is dry or near, as its flow is slowed by two upstream dams. From October to March, however, the flow is impetuous and many enthusiasts practice canoeing. Apart from the numerous watersheds, only two streams can be defined as actual tributaries: the Rio Inferno and the Rio Contieri. The first reaches the Melfa after crossing the narrow Valle di Montecoccioli, while the second crosses the rocks of Valle Contieri. In the last section the Contieri torrent offers numerous suggestive views with waterfalls and potholes, which the more experienced can ascend or descend with the help of ropes.