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Guadagnolo | Around Rome

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The rock of Guadagnolo is a very compact limestone, The rocks are sedimented in parallel, horizontal downwards layers, thus the climbing is often demanding ad sometimes awkward. Anyway, the climbing style is various: there are routes for any taste:  arêtes, slabs, overhangs, cracks, and corners.

The Guadagnolo Mountain is 1218m high, and South-West faced. The crag is sunny late in the morning. So the ideal seasons for climbing are spring and autumn, but the summer too (when you can climb up to 12:30 AM, and after 17:30). Climbing is possible during the sunny winter days too.

It is recommended a 70m rope because many routes are a bit longer than 30m.


Guadagnolo is the highest populated village of Regione Lazio, as it is located on top of a big calcareous rock at 1218 meters on sea level. From the main square of this village, which seems to be a terrace oriented to Rome, it is possible to enjoy a stunning panorama. Walking through the stair you can get to Redentore square, where you can find what is remaining of the ancient church of Guadagnolo.  The bell tower, also called “campanile” has a 360 degrees view that allow to see, during the sunny days, the top of Gran Sasso d’Italia, the Tirreno sea, the Sacco and Aniene rivers valley, the end of Tevere river, the mountains Simbruini, Lucretili, Ruffi, Terminillo, Gran Sasso d'Italia, Velino, Lepini, Ausoni, Aurunci; the volcanic mountains of Colli Albani, of Tolfa, Cimini, Vilsini, Cimini. At 1218 meters on sea level you can see up to 125 km distance. As an example, the coast of Anzio and Nettuno is 60 km far away, so you can enjoy the view of an additional 70 km of sea. With the good wheater, you can see Ponza island which is 113 km away and the Amiata mountain (1738m) which is at the same distance.  

Guadagnolo is a part of Prenestini mountains, which are located between two lakes fed by Aniene river from North-West and Sacco river from South-East. Prenestini is a mountain chain with an overall height of 850 meters, oriented to North-South.


The big isolated rock called La Mora of Guadagnolo was known in the past as a refuge for groups of animals in transit and for domestic animals such as chickens, and pigs. As evidence, it is still possible to see small abandoned constructions used for this scope.  Some local stories tell about people climbing the cliff to take the egg of birds of prey that used to live on La Mora.

The first known alpinist activities on Guadagnolo’s cliffs are recorded around 1960-70. In 1965 alpinist Maurizio Fattorosi Barnaba opened the route called “via di Maurizio” and “diedro di Gigi”. Later Sandro Jannetta and Umberto Cattani opened “Camino Jannetta” dedicated to the chimney of the same name located in La Mora. In this area, all Roman alpinists have trained and that cliff was really popular at that time. Between 1965 and 1969 large part of the cliff has been explored and discovered. The most famous routes are “via Fausto”, “la Sandra”, “la Mariella” and the amazing “via del Martello” that has been opened by alpinists from Tivoli called Angelo Passarelli and Pier Giorgio Coccia. Until today this route is still one of the most popular. In 1968 other opened stunning routes are “via dei Lecci” (G. Martorelli, U. Cattani, S. Jannetta, M.Fossati), “via dei Tre”, “la cipolla”, “via di Mao”.

Those are the last routes opened in that period.

For some reason “la Mora” was not that popular between 1970 and 1976 and it was abandoned by the community of alpinists. Only around 1977 and early ’80 a small group of alpinists populated again Guadagnolo’s cliffs. Some famous names are Pierluigi Bini,  Massimo Risi, Vito Plumari, Massimo Marcheggiani and Enzo Abbate. They helped to bring life to that abandoned cliff.

When the association of Cai di Palestrina has been established, members voted La Mora as an ideal cliff to climb and train skills. For this reason, all the old existing routes have been refurbished. In this occasion new paths have been opened: “via del Fanciullo”, “lo Spigolone”, “il Nocciolo”, “Luci della Notte”.

All those information comes from the guidelines published by Enzo Abbate in 1997 “Arrampicare a Guadagnolo”.

During the early ’80 the alpinist Guglielmo Fornari, also known as Memmo, improved his style on La Mora. As a pioneer and expert climber, he climbed every single route of any level. His major contribution was to understand that the climbable path could be considerably extended. He adopted a new modern climbing technique that was already in use in other towns like Sperlonga and Pietrasecca. It consisted in protecting the new routes straight bottom and with hands. The aim was to allow the free climb making the climbing harder. \nFrom 1983 Memmo opened new routes that made La Mora a popular place to climb and people came from Rome. In 1983 Memmo completed the highest part of “Luci della Notte” and in 1984 the lowest. In 1984 also create the “Vecchio Tito” using iron nails taken from old bicycles and “Strapiombando”. In 1985 “ Il Professore”, “il Pelato” and “Nuovi orizzonti”. In 1986 “Timschel, Hantajo and Wambli”. \nMemmo and his group called “Prenestini” have increased the opportunities to climb La Mora. Prenestini’s members were Guido Sentinelli, Mario and Massimo Prioreschi, and the young man Mario Gangli who passed in 1992 due to a car accident.

A headstone has been located at La Mora to remember Mario, Guglielmo’s mate, who gives his contribution to a number of routes on Gran Sasso mountain and Dolomiti.  

In 1987 new routes were opened: : “Evoluzione; la Merni  Bassa; Enfasi: Platoon; Spigolo del Mistero ,The Wall, il Pilastro Giulia, Il Mistico e Nebrasca.

M. Papacci and B. Fabbri have opened new routes of an average level that made accessible La Mora to the majority of people. Aluminum anchors have been placed on those routes.  

Since 2000 large part of the existing routes have been refurbished installing fixes rather than old spits. Many people have contributed to developing new paths. Roberto Ferrante and his friend Massimetto have opened new paths that allow everyone to climb at La Mora. New routes are: Prurito, Via Salaria,l’Amara, dove tocchi tocchi bene,Giacchetta, Spigolo Sud, Revolver, Flavietta,  Furia, 17 Luglio+via degli Abruzzesi, Cime Tempestose. Special thanks for Tira Tira who dedicated the latest years to cleaning the routes. For this reason, a new route called TIra TIra has been dedicated to him.  

Marco Febo, Daniela Chialastri, Massimo Ronci from San Vito, Marcello il Muto and Antonello Grande helped in preparing new routes. Between 2014 and 2015, 17 new paths have been opened in the lowest part of La Mora. This part was not explored in the past. In addition to my sons Piero and Mattia, my partner Gabriella Cavalieri gave me support. Farnesini brothers and their cousin Spadino, Luciano Mastrantonio from San Vito, Bruno Vitale and Tommaso Scianella deserve a special mention because without all those people I couldn’t write any guidelines for Guadagnolo. 




Take the Casilina or Prenestina route up to Palestrina. Once at Palestrina, follow the signs to Capranica Prenestina, then to Guadagnolo (a hamlet of Capranica Prenestina).

If you take the motorway  A1 ROMA-NAPOLI, instead, exit to S.Cesareo, and follow first the signs to Palestrina, then to Capranica Prenestina and finally to Guadagnolo.

If you take the motorway A24 ROMA-L’AQUILA: Exit to Tivoli, and follow the signs to Palestrina. Once at Palestrina follow the signs to Capranica Prenestina, and finally to Guadagnolo.


Take the motorway A1 ROMA-NAPOLI, and exit to Valmontone. The follow the signs to Palestrina. Once at Palestrina follow the signs to Capranica Prenestina, and finally to Guadagnolo.


FROM L’AQUILA, OR BY A24 direction ROME: take the motorway A24 ROMA-L’AQUILA, and  exit to Castel Madama. Then follow the signs to San Vito Romano. Once at San Vito Romano follow the signs to Capranica Prenestina, and finally to Guadagnolo.

BY BUS, FROM ROME: take the CO.TRA.L bus from Anagnina Station of Metro A in Rome, direction Palestrina. Once at Palestrina take another bus to Capranica Prenestina (info. Tel. 800150008). Then continue on foot (35-40 minutes)

The crag of Guadagnolo is a log and majestic cliff, visible few km before the hamlet. Once at Guadagnolo, reach the square, take the road descending on the left and park your car.