The Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National park is one of the oldest in the country. Less than a two-hour drive from Rome, the park is a great destination forexclusive tours of Italy. It has become a popular getaway for nature lovers and those looking for a tranquil rural escape with two million people visiting the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo every year.
The park’s area spans over 120,000 acres with only one paved road and 150 walking and cycling trails that suit different levels of fitness. Two-thirds of the protected territory are covered with dense ancient forests where wolves, endangered Marsican brown bears, and Apennine lynx roam free. Along some walking trails, you can observe the elegant chamois on rocky slopes and golden eagles gliding above the evocative mountain peaks.
There are many picturesque villages with rich history, medieval architecture and excellent traditional food in the Abruzzo National park. Pescasseroli is famous for its skiing slopes and the 12th-century abbey of Santi Pietro e Paolo with an ancient wooden statue of a Black Madonna believed to be brought here from the First Crusade.
In a lovely town of Civitella Alfedena where several wolves and lynx live in two large fenced areas and with a bit of patience can be observed going on with their daily lives. Wild deer visit the town on a regular basis walking peacefully along the cobbled streets.
The ancient village of Scapoli continue the ancient tradition of musical instrument called “zampogna”, a wooden pipe that is still made here by local craftsmen. The old customs are also kept alive in the small village of Scanno where women still wear traditional costumes, make bobbin lace by hand and golden filigree jewelry.
The national park stretches through three regions, so you can sample many simple and tasty traditional dishes of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise served in restaurants: pasta “alla chitarra”, soup with wild spinach, mutton stew. During one of our exclusive tours of Italy you will be able to enjoy some of the best Italian sheep and goat cheeses and salami.
Photos by: Luigi Alesi, Fabio Pierboni, Alan Denney.