Stage 14 : Ceraso / Monte Gelbison
After the top of Cervati mountain, Gelbison is the highest peak of the Silent Way (1705 MASL). After 10km from the beginning of this stage, you will slowly start to climb already. Precisely, Novi Velia will represent the turning point. Novi Velia is characteristic for its Norman tower. Once you are at the entrance of the village, at the roundabout follow the direction Via Monte Gelbison until you will find a sign that indicates the ancient pilgrim’s road.
From this point, climbing will get harder. At each turn, you will hope it is finished. Due to the steep difference in height, the vegetation changes suddenly. Between 600 and 800 meters, the Quercus dominates the landscape, then chestnut tree, and spruce tree.
If you managed to get here without getting off your bike and push it, now it is the time to actually get off your bike. The sanctuary is only few meters away, and the last part of the road is coincident with an ancient sacred path made of a special stone.
Indeed this sanctuary is created on an ancient place where pre-italic populations used to go and meditate. The name Gelbison originates from Gebel-el-son and in Arabic means the Mount of the Idol. The name has to be attributed to Muslim pirates of IX century.
Bazilian monks could have built the Christian Sanctuary. The first document that proves its existence is dated 1131.
The square in front of the sanctuary offers you a unique view of the entire territory of the Cilento National Park.
Just below the square, you will find a steep rock. Try to throw a coin there and make your wish.
Finally, after a section that is completely straight, you will reach the “Cross of Rofrano”. This is the point where two different roads that climb the mountain meet.