Religious Places

Mount Scalambra and Hermitage of San Michele

At the gates of Ciociaria there is a wood with a magical atmosphere, where the turkey oak and hop hornbeam trees are completely green; not only in their foliage, but also in their trunks: the emerald green of the moss that covers them entirely, like a tight-fitting dress, in fact gives the wood you climb, from the village of Serrone to the top of Mount Scalambra, a mysterious and suggestive atmosphere, evoking a Celtic saga. We are in the Prenestini Mountains, already in the province of Frosinone but only an hour away from Rome (taking the A1 highway and exiting at Colleferro). The trekking itinerary that we propose today is ideal for those who love breathtaking views, silence and solitude. Once passed the town of Paliano, you start to drive up between several hairpin bends towards Serrone, at 738 meters of altitude. From the top of the village you can park your car and take on foot the dirt path that leads, before reaching the top of Scalambra (1420 meters), to the wonderful Hermitage of San Michele, of the sixth century. The path winds uphill through mossy woods and rosehip bushes. Arriving at the Hermitage (1,105 meters above sea level) on foot is certainly more challenging than reaching this location on four wheels, but the path immersed in nature is worth the physical effort of the climb. Breathtaking views, crystal clear air, and the sounds of nature that we are not used to hearing in the city: the Hermitage of San Michele is a place of worship and silence with a thousand legends. Here Saint Benedict stopped to meditate on his way to Subiaco. And among these limestone rocks, it is said that the Archangel Michael fought with the devil, forcing him back into a cave, so much so that even today we can see the large imprint of the devil’s foot impressed in the stone next to the Hermitage. Ex-votos, candles, a beautiful sculpture of St. Michael (patron saint of Serrone) make this ancient church a must for those who, of course, want to get to the square of Santa Maria della Pace with the Cross of the People, or at the top of the Scalambra. As you go up in altitude, and you can do it easily by car, the landscape changes and seems to recall the alpine one, among huts with sloping roofs in wood and masonry, cows grazing, meadows and rocks. Mount Scalambra is considered the most panoramic balcony of Latium, for the spectacular 360 degrees view you can enjoy from its top, ranging from the Roman countryside to Ciociaria, from the hills to the vineyards that mark the Cesanese Road. It is from this mountain that the most audacious love to launch themselves into the air with a paraglider; those who are not experts in this sport can try the thrill of flying with an instructor.

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