One of the most evocative and lesser — known places by mass tourism in the whole Cilento: the Gorge of Emmisi (Forra dell’Emmisi) is undoubtedly a natural enchanting wonder, a place that leaves you breathless. Here, too, the wonder visible today is the result of the millennial work of water digging of the rock.
Not far from its source the Faraone river, the first name of the Mingardo river, has opened a way among the unique lithologies of the Cilento flysch and created a gorge about 500 meters long, with walls that reach up to 30 meters. Centuries-old trees surround this fairytale scenery, their foliage closes like a vault and in some places they are so thick that the sun cannot penetrate.
The water is of surreal transparency, and reflects the thousand shades of green of the monumental turkey oaks and alders that grow between the banks of the river and the grey of the characteristic flysch rocks, which seem cut and which alone are worth a visit.
The path is the result of the recovery of an ancient road, which allowed for centuries both the connection and some activities, such as the production of lime: testimony of these activities are the kilns where it was produced located along the path, called “carcare”.
The absolutely uncontaminated environment is the kingdom of trout, otter, a protected species that lives and reproduces here, and many other animal and plant species. Beyond the gorge, along the banks of the river, the path arrive at the Mèlaina plateau: the Greek name (mèlanos = black) is most likely due to the Italian-Greek monks who well knew the area.
Mèlaina was also the name of one of the Naiad nymphs, the nymphs of fresh waters. Melaina is the nymph loved by Apollo, and her name, which means “the black”, suggests that she protected the underground waters and the places where the water “descends and digs”: the most suitable for the spectacle of this majestic gorge.