The walk starts from Via Casale Alto in Maiori and takes us to S. Vito by means of an easy route of steps and dirt path. A feature of S. Vito is its skillfully cultivated citrus orchards and vineyards and its beautiful views. After about half an hour we reach the ruins of the old farmhouse of Santa Maria and a little further on a perennial spring called "Acqua del Castagno" (Chestnut Tree Water). The path continues along flat stretches alternating with slightly more difficult areas and takes us, depending on the route taken, either past the so-called "Grottone" (Big Grotto) or near the "Teglia", a huge old lime-tree, to the extensive plateau on which the church and hermitage of the Avvocata stand. This is probably the most famous mountain on the Amalfitan Coast and certainly the most popular as it can be reached by several paths. Also known as Falerzio or Falesio, the Avvocata rises up to 1014m with its peak appropriately named Mount Avvocata. The walled sanctuary, convent and caretaker's house are further down. Legend has it that the Avvocata Sanctuary was founded in 1485 by a shepherd from Ponteprimario, Gabriele Cinnamo. He decided to build an altar in the grotto (nowadays accessible by steps away from the plateau) in which he had a vision of the Madonna while he was sleeping. Today the sanctuary is under the authority of the Benedictine Abbey in Cava de'Tirreni, but once belonged to the Camaldolite Fathers who held it from 1687 to 1807 when it was taken away on the dissolution of the religious order. The route that takes us to the "Belvedere" is particularly delightful. The Belvedere is a perfect balcony over the whole Bay of Salerno. There is a memorial plaque placed on the edge of a deep ravine to the mountaineer De Simone Niquesa who fell to his death on the rock below on 1st January 1921. Along the narrow path we can see some interesting things such as the Matteo Salese Grotto. Legend has it that Matteo Salese was a brigand who threw himself down to escape from the policemen who had surrounded him after a long chase. As well as the fabulous views, the Avvocata is a very interesting place for its natural environment. It is made up of holm-oak groves and Mediterranean scrub on the exposed areas and mixed wood in the more humid areas. There are genuine rarities such as the "Portenschlagiella ramosissima", a small plant of the Umbellifera family listed in "The Red Book of the Plants of Italy", or other botanic endemism. The fauna of the Lattari Mountains makes it possible to see the rare peregrine darting by.
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