The climbing spots closure, or the closure of their access path, is still, unfortunately, a very topical subject. And sometimes it happens that some sites get at risk of closure because of the misconduct of a small number of climbers.
On 24 April, a group of climbers got to the Grotta dell’Arenauta and, after going down the steps leading to the small bathing establishment on the homonymous beach, refused to pay the three euros needed for the entrance to the beach.
Their discussion turned into an argument, and the manager of the establishment and his daughter were insulted and threatened by the climbers, that, in the end, entered the beach without paying the ticket. I was in the cave, and, as soon as I had news of what happened, I asked those people why they behaved that way. One of them answered me: "We are free people in a free world! We don't have to pay anything to nobody”!
So, I explained to those champions of freedom that the staircase and the establishment are property of Enzo, the manager of the bathing establishment, and that Enzo has always allowed us the free entrance to the beach except during the bathing season, that is from Easter to September.
The champion of freedom told me to mind my own business.
End of the conversation.
Emiliano Della Bella
This is only the last of a series of inappropriate behavior by the climbers that frequent the areas between Sperlonga and Gaeta: disorderly parking on private lands, free camping with tents and caravans on private land and in the caves of Arenauta and Pueblo, abandonment of trash on private properties and near the climbing spots…
I would like to stress that the possibility to continue to climb in the Grotta dell’Arenauta, in the areas Pueblo and Occhio del Sole, and in the other walls between Gaeta and Sperlonga has a lot to do with maintaining the delicate balance between climbers and local residents, that have there their business and their houses.
In the various topos today currently available (both digital and and printed) are clearly indicated where you can park your vehicles, and is always mentioned the ban on free climbing.
The approach to the Beach and the Cave of Arenauta has been allowed (since 1992) ONLY by Enzo, manager of the bathing establishment “Ultima Spiaggia”, that from Easter to September (that is during the bathing season) asks for a toll of 3 euros for the entrance to the beach.
Losing the change to climb in the Grotta dell’Arenauta area would be a great loss for the climber comuunity and would be a dangerousprecedent for other climbing spots with parking and approach on private land.