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Abruzze and Majella

among wolves and hermits

Sulmona Marta Zarelli
San Bartolomeo Hermitage Marta Zarelli
Orfento Gorge Marta Zarelli
San Leonardo Pass Majella Andrea Mezzani
Frattura Villalago Majella Marta Zarelli
Scanno Lake Marta Zarelli
Abruzzo Nationa Park Marta Zarelli
The Abruzze and Majella National Park are the wildest and most authentic reserves in Italy: home of brown bear and wolf, which until the end of the last decade were still on the verge of extinction. Now protected, they have found their shelter in the two parks, among the woods and high pastures. Besides the natural beauty of the territory, you will discover an impressive number of hermitage caves. Carved into the rock, these caves are difficult to reach and isolated in the valleys. The town of Sulmona, the small villages of Caramanico, Pacentro and Scanno retain numerous artistic and historical traces dating from Roman domination until the Middle Ages. The popular traditions and the excellent cuisine of the region will accompany you, discovering the magnificent land of Abruzzo, place of very ancient traditions, wild nature and welcoming peoples.

Highligts:
- Majella Park: Decontra and the Orfento Gorges Reserve
- Sulmona, elegant city of art and guardian of the passage of civilizations
- The villages of Scanno, Villalago and Pacentro, listed as the most beautiful villages in Italy
- The village of Decontra, place where time stood still 100 years ago and where we will sleep 2 nights on a family farm
Day 1 : Sulmona
Arrival in Rome and transfer to Sulmona. Home of artists and popes, located in a valley at the foot of the Majella mountains, Sulmona is a real natural gateway to the woods and high pastures of the Majella National Park. The city has preserved a typically Roman and medieval architecture, giving it a noble and elegant character. Dinner based on local products, overnight in Sulmona

Day 2: Elegant Sulmona and S. Bartolomeo hermitage (3-4h walking, + 280 m – 240 m, 7.8 Km)
After breakfast, private transfer to Decontra, a small shepherds' village built in local stones and wood located on the high plateau overlooking the Gorges of the Orfento river. Abruzzo is a region with a strong religious tradition, its mountains hide hundreds of hermitages, today we will discover one of the most beautiful, known and better kept, the hermitage of S. Bartolomeo with its small church and its modest room carved into the cliff, near a stream. This mystical place was chosen for the hermitage by Pope Celestine V and his disciples during the 13th century. Back to the farm where we could get to know Paolino, our young host man, shepherd for generations who can enchant us with his stories of wolves, wars and agricultural life that he lived during his 90 years still in his land. Family dinner at the farm using local products cooked by our host Marisa, overnight at the farm

Day 3 : Deep on the Orfento Gorge (4-5h walking, + 350 m - 390, 12.4 Km)
Orfento is an impetuous and rebellious torrent starting from the high summits of the Majella and descending towards the valley. Over the centuries, its flow action hollowed out the spectacular "Gorges de l'Orfento", which have become integral natural reserves, home to some of the richest flora and fauna in Italy. Splendid beech woods and water flowers line the banks of the river. The steep and colorful cliffs protect the ecosystem of the gorges. Back from our loop at the Decontra farm we will learn the art of artisanal bread making in a stone oven with Marisa. Dinner and overnight at the farm

Day 4: Following the wolves(5-6 h walking, + 650 m – 1250 m, 16.3 Km )
After breakfast, private transfer to the foot of the Majella, at Passo S. Leonardo. This itinerary in the heart of the Majella, nicknamed the “mother mountain”, will lead you in the footsteps of wolves. From Passo S. Leonardo, the path rises to the top of Mount Mileto, from where you can enjoy a magnificent view overlooking the entire Caramanico plateau and, in the background, the “ Gran Sasso ”. On several occasions, wolves have been seen in this area alternating clearings and dense woods. The animal is the symbol of the park, but its fierce character makes it difficult to spot. The descent to the woods and conifers will take you to Pacentro, a "rock boat" whose bow is directed towards Sulmona. Visit the village of Pacentro and transfer to Scanno, a small mountain village with its houses leaning against each other, its tiny squares, fountains and the “cimmoses”, these landings of houses where women perform their domestic and artisanal tasks. The village, located 1000 mt downstream from the Sagittarius gorges, is included in the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Installation at the hotel, at the end of the afternoon we will taste a selection of the best wines from the region, dinner and overnight at Scanno.


Day 5 : Scanno, Frattura et Villalago (5-6 h walking, + 450 m –550 m, 14.3 Km )
The balcony path that faces the valley surrounds Scanno and its heart-shaped lake crosses high mountain pastures to reach the village of Frattura. The passage in this village is a real return in the past, the dialect as an official language and the life punctuated by the seasons. Arrival in the village of Villalago, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Visit of the Village then return to Scanno by public bus and visit of a local craft workshop (at a goldsmith's or a "tombolo" workshop, typical knitted of the village), dinner and overnight at the hotel in Scanno.


Day 6 : Scanno Lake (3 h walking, + 200 m – 200 m, 7.5 Km )
Today's ride will take place between tracks and small woods to reach Lake Scanno, the goal of our loop. Depending on the season and the weather, you can immerse yourself in its crystal clear waters. Return to Scanno, around 2 p.m. transfer by public bus to Sulmona. Installation at the hotel, then free time for the visit of Sulmona and its beautiful monuments, including the incredible Roman aqueduct and its old companies of "confetti", almond candies covered with sugar. Dinner and overnight in Sulmona.


Day 7: Departure
After breakfast transfer to Rome and end of our services.
Level: moderate, between 3h and 6h of walking per day with positive and negative elevation (about 600 meters per day). Walks on wide forest tracks and well-marked mountain trails. Previous hiking experience is recommended. These are trails and mid-mountain trails, not recommended for people prone to vertigo.

Accomodation:
- 2 night in Sulmona in *** hotel
- 2 nights in Decontra in agritourism
- 2 nights in Scanno in a *** hotel

Equipment: trekking shoes, trekking socks, trekking t-shirt, warm shell, wind and water proof jacket, hat and gloves, bathing suit, sun glasses and sun cream, daily backpack (min. 30 litres), trekking poles advised.

Getting there: The destination airport is Rome. We will set a meeting time with the guide at Florence hotel.

Included:
- 6 nights in hotel and agritourism with breakfasts included.
- 6 dinners and 6 picnics at noon
- All transfers by train, bus and private and public minibus planned in the program
- Supervision by a French-speaking guide
- Wine tasting on day 4
- Tourist tax
- Depending on the weather and availability, possibility of bread-making lessons and meeting with a local shepherd in Decontra and visit to a goldsmith or tombolo workshop (typical local knitting) in Scanno

Not included:
- All drinks and water with meals
- Personal expenses

Trips Note


Destination: Abruzze

Travel Style: 
Guided walking holiday
Interest:
History & Culture; walking on mountain
Duration:
7 days / 6 nights
Departures:
Apr May Jun Jul Aou Sep Oct 
Group size:
from 4 to 15 people
Airport:
Rome and Pescara
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+39 095 508959