The path of the cave of the Friars (Grotta dei frati) in the mountains at Cessapalombo in Le Marche is an easy path immersed in nature that you can easily do with your children.
How to start
We told kids that they must feel like little explorers to discover the forest. We let them see the mushrooms and explained that they should not be collected because they could be poisonous, the spontaneous cyclamen, and made the pungent smell of musk smell, so as to involve them also in the search for new smells and colors. Finally, arrived to the cave, after telling them that some friars decided to leave everything and go to these places to feel closer to God, we tried to imagine how hermitic life could be and we tried to answer some of their questions.
How to reach the path
The walk that leads to the cave of the Friars begins in a small parking lot at Villa di Montalto in the province of Macerata. You must first cross the town of Cessapalombo, and then follow the signs to Villa di Montalto. Here is the first indication for the walk and you could mistakenly think that the walk starts from there, but before you get to the starting point there are 3.5 km of dirt road but absolutely passable by car, which you can follow by car and park right at the beginning of the wood.
From here you enter the forest for the walk, which is very simple. The difference in height is only 60 meters, but it is not passable with a stroller, only with a backpack for children. Furthermore, even if the route does not present any difficulty, it is preferable to hold smaller children in the hand as the path becomes narrower in some parts and some areas are more exposed and therefore more dangerous if they are not safely tackled.
How difficult It is?
The walk is however good and easy to do for everyone, we have traveled with children aged 4 to 8 years without any difficulty because the duration is 1 hour and a half way round trip.
About halfway along the path we found a crossroads, we must go to the right to get to the Grotta dei frati, if we take the other path, we reach instead the Fiastrone gorges.
A little further on you find the indication for the cave and his makes you understand that you are following the right path!
At least we arrived to the cave.
Always wear comfortable hiking shoes, water, small first-aid kit, k-way, calorie snack.