Who let the dogs out?
Hanging out with the canis lupus italicus.
Winter, spring, summer or fall: whatever the season, the high plains of Abruzzo and, in particular, the "Cinque Miglia", on the border of the Majella National Park, are the perfect place for an unforgettable outdoor adventure!
Wild and wonderful
Once upon a time, this five mile wide plateau had a sinister reputation as an inhospitable and dangerous place in which all those who dared to traverse it might easily be caught unawares by violent storms. Today, the mountainside offers nature lovers an experience rich in emotions and lots of great places to eat and drink too.
The high plain is a paradise for fans of winter sports, which can be practiced in the Aremogna -Pizzalto ski area, near to the town of Roccaraso, and in that of Monte Pratello, close to Rivisondoli. In the vicinity of the town of Pescocostanzo and within the boundaries of Majella National Park, the Bosco di Sant'Antonio provides perfect cross country skiing and snow shoeing terrain.
Those in search of refreshment should try the "Faggeto" restaurant, situated on the road between Pescocostanzo and Cansano, famous for its homemade pasta and wholesome dishes made with local ricotta and the mushrooms personally picked by the owner
A weekend with the wolves
The Apennine wolf, a sub species of the grey wolf, is the symbol of the Majella National Park, where the once almost extinct wolf population now thrives, thanks to the animal's protected species status.
From late October to late April, the "Majella Trekking" association organizes Wolf-Weekends, in which visitors learn about the wolf's behavioral traits, natural habitat and how to identify the tracks which signal its presence in the area.
Guided by expert excursionists, visitors make their way through the woods and valleys in the hope of seeing the wild wolves, or at least of hearing their distinctive howl. Day and nighttime excursions commence from the Majo refuge near to the Bosco di S.Antonio in the comune of Cansano.
Anybody wishing to increase their knowledge of the Apennine wolf should visit the "Centro Visita del Lupo" run by the environmental agency "Il Bosso", in the district of Popoli.
Here, the center's guides take visitors on a tour of the areas devoted to the recovery and rehabilitation of injured animals, walking along paths skirting the edges of the wood and surrounded by a splendid landscape dominated by the Morrone mountain.
A great destination for sporty types, Majella is a favorite amongst the faithful too: famous for its ancient churches and hermitages, all of which are now linked by the 66km long "Sentiero dello Spirito" footpath.
It was in these mountains that Pietro di Morrone (alias Pope Celestine V) made the decision to abdicate: a 'Great Refusal' which guaranteed him a place in Dante's inferno
The San Liberatore Abbey, the Grotto of Sant' Angelo di Lettomanoppello and the Hermitage of S. Bartolomeo di Legio are just a few of the places of worship walkers will come across along the way.