Explore Abruzzo Walking Tour

Thanks to the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park founded in 1922, the oldest Italian nature reserve, Italy’s remote Abruzzo area is one where Europe’s ancient wilderness can still be experienced. Amongst the beech woods, alpine meadows and karst landscapes there are still bear, wolves and golden eagle. In the spring and summer the wild flowers are stunning.  In addition to its fauna and flora, its charm lies in the rugged mountains and the picturesque medieval villages, parts of which appear to have been suspended in time. A holiday in Abruzzo not only allows you to discover a largely untouched territory, but also to appreciate an ancient and strong culinary tradition proudly preserved in the area’s restaurants.


Day 1 – We fly into Rome’s Fiumicino Airport and drive around 2 ½ hours into deepest Italy to the village of Pescassaroli. The last hour of the drive is extremely scenic as we wind our way up into the mountains to over 1000m.

Day 2 – Our walk from Pescassaroli starts in magnificent woods where trees take on fairy-like forms and we may well encounter foxes and roe deer. Once above the tree line we continue to the summit of Monte Tranquillo (1841m).

Day 3 – Our walk starts by climbing through beech forest from the small village of Civitella Alfedena. There are occasional clearing and the good quality pass makes the ascent less tiring. On reaching Passo Cavuto at 2002m you are rewarded with spectacular views – Monte Amaro to the north, Monte Petroso to the south, and also the wooded wildlife refuge of the Camosciara. Our descent takes us through the Val Risione and the Jannanghera beech forest whose name comes from the local word for a witch. On the way down there are great views over Lake Barrea. On returning to Civitella Alfedena you can have a look around the older parts of the village and visit the museum dedicated to the Apennine wolf.

Day 4 – Today we walk close to Pescassaroli in the Terraegna valley including the most ancient parts of the forest. A pleasant hike will bring us to an observation point, from where you can see the main peaks of the Central Apennines and admire the patches of old-growth forest of the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park.  Continue downhill to the Terraegna cabin where you will take a relaxing break for lunch, surrounded by large expanses of meadow which are frequented by deer, foxes and wolves. In the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park scientists have found the oldest beech forests of Europe. It is a complex and very rich ecosystem, whose functioning we are just starting to understand. Your local guide will be only to happy to tell you more!

Day 5 – You’ll cross a forest characterised by splendid beech trees today and have the possibility of lunch at a refuge in the park. From the refuge you will be able to observe the Pianoro di Terraegna from above and will wait till sunset to hopefully see the passing of wolves. We are back into the valley in the evening as the stars light up the sky.

Day 6 – Today consists primarily in a visit to Scanno, the most historical and culturally fascinating town in the Abruzzo, combined with a short walk between the Hermitage of St Egidio and a magnificent viewpoint over Lake Scanno, known as the lake of the heart. Scanno still has palaces and fountains built in a bygone age. Its wealth came from herding lace-making and filigree jewellery, still in evidence today. Scanno’s location surrounded by mountains and its steep streets, archways and buildings huddled together form one of central Italy’s little-known gems.

Day 7 – This walk offers the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views and observe chamois amidst the rocky ridges and golden eagles in their natural setting. Lower down we may catch a glimpse of deer, and this is also the terrain of the Marsican bear (endangered and restricted to this area) and of course the Apennine wolf.  Departing from Pianoro delle Forme we rise through beech forest, then emerge onto high-altitude plateaux once frequented by shepherds. The ascent from the Passo dei Monaci to the summit of Monte Meta (2241m), the highest point in the Mainarde mountain range, is optional but well worth the effort. From here the view extends over the three sides of the Abruzzo National Park and beyond, towards the Gran Sasso of Italy, the Maiella massif and, in optimal visibility conditions, towards Capri and Ischia. It is said to be the only place in Italy from where the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian seas are visible.

Day 8 – We leave the wilds of the Abruzzo for our return journey to Rome Fiumicino Airport and our flight back to the UK.

Departure Dates and Cost per Person 

6th June 2020 – £1,549 £1,349

20th June 2020 -£1,549

19th September 2020 – £1,549 £1,349