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Sperlonga - La parete del Chiromante (Chiromante's wall)

The wall of Sperlonga (Monte Vannellamare) that saw the birth of sport climbing in central Italy owes its name to the legendary Guido, the "mozzarellaro" manager of the place that has become the reference point of climbers who frequent the walls of Monte Vannellamare and Moneta and the other crags in the area. Since the beginning of the systematic attendance of these walls (early '80s) Guido has welcomed with affection the band of extravagant guys who have paved the way for modern climbing. Guido was also known as The Chiromante di Sant'Agostino, the beach under Monte Vannellammare is in fact known as the plain of Sant'Agostino, and Guido claimed to be able to predict "100%" the sex of a baby before of conception, so it was written on his business card! And many couples turned to him to find out at what time they had to perform the act of conception to have a son or daughter, or even a pair of twins.

Now "Da Guido" is worthily managed by Guido' son Bruno and family who continue the traditional welcome to the climbers.

Parete del Chiromante
Chiromante's wall
Photo Luigi Filocamo

In the '80s and '90s were traced on this wall many of the reference routes for those who wanted to test the highest levels of that time. After the great classics (multipitch) as the Spigolo di Ferrante and the Picchiami sulle bolle, the first slab routes were born, and particularly the first routes equipped from above with systematic use, even if quite limited, of spits. This is how Flippaut, Kajagogo, Serena alienazione, Vermi in fuga, Blues for Allah and Elixir, Gargarismo, Inspector Clouseau was born...

Maurizio Oviglia on the crux of Kajagogo
Photo Luigi Filocamo

Andrea Di Bari and Stefano Finocchi are the indisputable protagonists of that period, although many other great and greatest protagonists of climbing have contributed with their exploits to make these walls mythical, among the many Alessandro "Jolly" Lamberti, Paolo Caruso, Giovanni Bassanini, the Delisi brothers and the Barberi brothers, Luca Bevilacqua, Furio Pennisi and many "foreigners" passing by as Andrea Gallo, Maurizio Zanolla (Manolo), and later Patrick Berhault, Marco Bernardi, Jim Bridwell and many others.

Occhio Pinocchio
First pitch of Occhio Pinocchio
Photo Bruno Moretti

But if Sperlonga is still one of the most popular and appreciated crag in central Italy, the credit undoubtedly belong to Bruno Vitale, who has frequented these walls since the beginning of their equipping, contributing to the opening of numerous itineraries also with the optics to offer even the less strong the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of these rocks, but above all by taking care of the constant maintenance and re-bolting with appropriate materials, assisted by a few keens, trying to raise awareness especially the new generations towards this important perspective of climbing.

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