The Monte San Liberatore (also known as Monte Butornino) is located in the territories of Cava de ‘Tirreni, Vietri sul Mare and Salerno and dominates the cities offering a view of both the Gulf of Salerno and the internal territories and the Amalfi coast.
The 466 meter high mountain is a destination for trekking enthusiasts and offers various opportunities for recreation. There are several equipped paths that allow you to reach the summit of the mountain with the hermitage dedicated to Saint Liberatore martyr, starting from the valley.
On the mountain there is an ancient church, already documented in 980. Currently only the right aisle of the church is used for its original function while the left aisle is used as a reception room for pilgrims, once a burial place for the Benedictine nuns.
To better enjoy the view of the Gulf of Salerno and the coast, we recommend climbing to the summit from Vietri sul Mare.
We propose the route starting from the Vietri sul Mare train station, a ring route of about 7.5km.
Passing through the center, take the path to the summit immediately. You pass near the Ceramiche Solimene and houses to immediately reach the path surrounded by arbutus trees (also known as hairy rowan trees) that overlooks the port of Salerno. Arrived at the soccer field with some ruins continue the path to the top. From the short but intense climb, you reach the belvedere overlooking the Amalfi coast on Vietri sul Mare. Continuing on, you reach the stone cross and the monastery of San Liberatore, a few hundred meters further and you reach the summit with the 18-meter iron cross. From here it is possible to see the whole territory of the Cava de ‘Tirreni hinterland as well as the wonderful sea view.
It concludes by going back up to the football field and then down the path towards the town of Molina di Vietri sul Mare.
A bit of history
In 980 the bishop of Salerno, John II, granted the nun Susanna the use of the church as a monastery and a female hermitage. The period of activity of the structure lasted until 1300, when the nuns were transferred to Salerno. The church was enlarged several times over the centuries and remained active until 1600. It was later abandoned or guarded only by some hermit who took care of the construction and cultivation of the adjacent land.
In 1943, following the landing in Salerno and the landing of the Allies in the Gulf of Salerno, the Anglo-Americans immediately took possession of the mountain, thus maintaining a privileged position for about two weeks. On the hill the artillery was brought to dominate the valley and drive the Germans back.
On the summit, in 1955, a benefactor, Vincenzo Adinolfi, for devotion, erected an iron cross with a trapezoidal structure, 18 meters high, illuminated at night.
On 25 February 2008 the restoration and restoration works of the ancient hermitage were started, completed during 2009.