Trekking in the Abruzzo National Park, Lazio, Molise
Orario & Sede
Why visit the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise
It is precisely in this inaccessible territory of the Alto Sangro that the Marsican brown bear, the Abruzzo chamois, the Apennine wolf and other no less important species found refuge.
On 9 September 1922, on the initiative of a Provisional Directory chaired by the Honorable Erminio Sipari, local parliamentarian and authoritative founder of the Park, an area of 12,000 hectares falling within the municipalities of Opi, Bisegna, Civitella Alfedena, Gioia de 'Marsi, Lecce dei Marsi, Pescasseroli and Villavallelonga, together with a marginal area of 40,000 hectares of External Protection, became a National Park in the presence of all the authorities, at the Fountain of S. Rocco in Pescasseroli, where there remains a plaque corroded by time in memory of the famous event, with the following inscription: "The Abruzzo National Park built for the protection of the forest beauties and treasures of nature, inaugurated here on the 9th Sept. MCMXXII".
A little later the Italian State, with the Decree Law of 11 January 1923, officially recognized its institution.
A few decades earlier, King Vittorio Emanuele wanted to establish a hunting reserve in this area, to avoid the impending extermination and extinction of important and unique wild species.
On the other hand, both the Marsican Bear, the Wolf and the Chamois had inhabited a much larger area including almost the entire Apennines, but the degradation of the habitats, caused by excessive deforestation and widespread anthropization, as well as indiscriminate hunting, he had relegated them to the most remote and wildest places.
Thanks to the Park these places still preserve today those natural and cultural values of the mountain so as to inspire other territories to follow their example.
Modern man, completely involved in super-technological society, can find in the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise a piece of his own history and of his own evolution, a story written in an open book made up of geological vicissitudes, of fascinating selve and a sober, thrifty and creative socio-economic culture.
The villages we will visit
Villetta Barrea "The Country of the Deer"
located at about 1000 m above sea level, it is the heart of the Abruzzo National Park, its foundation seems to date back to the Samnites, an ancient Italic people, of which evidence remains in the megalithic walls near Fonte Regina.
The town is immersed in a suggestive landscape where nature and culture come together. It develops around a 1300 castle built in the upper part of the town. Every corner, alley and glimpse of the historic center tell the story and everyday life of the small Abruzzo town where the pine forest of Pinus Nigra stands out.
In the village, crossed by the Sangro river, deer are at home and it is not uncommon to come across a close encounter with the king of the forest.
Civitella Alfedena "TCI Orange Flag"
Perched on a rocky spur on the slopes of Monte Sterpi d'Alto, it dominates the lake of Barrea; the elegant and well-kept inhabited area is perched around the 15th century tower and retains all the typical characteristics of the Apennine village built in medieval times: the houses are barricaded to form a defense wall not only against enemy attacks but also against the cold and the difficulties of everyday life.
The presence of the National Park, in this corner of unspoiled nature that has suffered depopulation since the 1950s, has given the impetus to create the perfect combination of sustainable tourism and local economy.
Here is the visitor center of the park dedicated to the Apennine wolf and near the town there is the wolf wildlife area, the first in Italy, where the family group that lives there is easily spotted walking around it. Also north of the town is the lynx wildlife area.
Pescasseroli Capital of the Abruzzo Lazio Molise National Park
Located in the upper Sangro Valley, at 1,167 m. above sea level, in an amphitheater of centuries-old mountains and woods, its territory preserves the wild beauty of the landscape and an extraordinary variety of flora and fauna.
Part of its history is linked to transhumance, from here the tratturo towards Candela (Foggia) started. The inhabited center, which suffered considerable damage from the earthquake of 1915, nevertheless retains evidence of civil architecture. Birthplace of the philosopher Benedetto Croce, Pescasseroli also has a flourishing typical craftsmanship, especially wood.
It is delicious to lose a few hours among the small shops and bars of the town where you can sip a coffee and be enchanted by the stories of the place.
8.00 am departure from Montecatini by GT bus. Free lunch. 2.00 pm / 3.00 pm arrival at the *** hotel and accommodation
in the rooms. Free time and for those who wish it at 5.00 pm visit to the wildlife area
del lupo di Civitella Alfedena and visit of the village where we will try to observe and photograph the magnificent
predator. Return on foot to Villetta Barrea. 8.30 pm dinner at the hotel and overnight stay
Breakfast and at 9.00 departure by bus to Civitella Alfedena and excursion on foot to the
discovery of the Rose Valley and Jannanghera Valley. We will be able to admire the Apennine chamois on the
high pastures of Monte Capraro, we will arrive at the Forca Resuni pass, an important connecting pass
Abruzzo with Lazio, frequented for centuries by pilgrims and the Marsican bear, from here we will return
in the village on the trail of wolves crossing the Jannanghera valley. Lunch with basket provided
from the hotel. Walk back to the drop off point to take the bus back to the hotel.
Technical info: altitude difference 800 m length 13 km difficulty EE
Dinner and overnight.
Breakfast and at 9.00 departure by bus to Piana di Opi.
From here we will walk along part of the ancient track of the Royal Tratturo that led the flocks
in transhumance from Candela, in the Apulia boarder, to Pescasseroli. We will arrive with one
easy but fascinating walk to the park headquarters where we will visit the visitor center.
Technical info: altitude difference 100 m length 5 km difficulty T
Lunch with a basket provided by the hotel
At 15.00 from Pescasseroli the bus is taken back to move to the Devil's Refuge.
Excursion to the grassy basin of the Cicerana where we will be stationed to observe the fauna
wild that in the late afternoon grazes in the area waiting for the appearance of the Marsican bear.
Return to the starting point after sunset.
Technical info: height difference 150 m length 7 km difficulty T
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at 5.30 and at 6.00 departure by bus to the lake of Barrea. Tour of the lake to admire
sunrise and listen to the roar of deer in love and return on foot to the hotel scheduled for hours
9.00. Possibility to take a shower or freshen up in your room and at 11.00 departure for
return to Montecatini. Free lunch.