We will start this interesting tour in the National Park of Majella guided by Alessio Massari who will be our TANTO partner for hiking through natural environments in Abruzzo.
Watching it from far away the Majella Mountain appears solid and compact, however as you get closer you can admire its unexpected and amazing side made of a network of long ditches. Sometimes they are deep, arid, cut into the rock like canyons; sometimes they are more open and lush with streams on the bottom, as in Alpine valleys.
Those who will venture at an altitude of about 8000 feet, will discover an incredible world of barren, rolling stony lands, a particular environment, almost lunar, unique in the Apennines. People in Abruzzo consider Majella the “Magic Mountain”. The story tells that its name originates from the worship of the Goddess Maja, the great mother, a symbol of fertile land. And in the sinuous shape of the mountain skyline many, over the centuries, have seen a sleeping female shape, maternal and seductive at the same time. In consideration of its unique environment this area has been declared National Park, an area that, from a naturalistic point of view, is extraordinarily rich in fauna and flora. With it’s over 1700 different types of plants it covers over 30% of the Italian flora!
Our virtual journey will start from the “Pomilio Bruno” Shelter, at 6200 feet of elevation and will continue along a path that goes by a small votive Church named “Madonnina” where it deviates to the right getting around the so called “Blockhaus” Mountain overlooking the scenic “Orfento Valley”. After a short detour to see the “Tavola dei Briganti” (literally the Table of the Bandits), a limestone slab engraved in all different ways and with all different writings by the shepherds going by with their flock at the time of Italy’s unification.
We will continue along the ridge called “Scrimacavallo”, which is a watershed between two of the larger and wilder valleys on the Majella: the Orfento Valley and the “Selva Romana Valley”.
After a short refreshing break at a natural water fountain we will take a path on the left that goes through bushes of “Pino Mugo” a special type of pine typical of this area. This path, that in some places is equipped with chains and steel cables to facilitate the most exposed sections, goes right over the Selva Romana Valley, a quite narrow and impressive gorge that shortly after widens into a peaceful valley, home to many “chamois” a type of deer very popular in this part of Abruzzo.
We will keep going toward the back of the “Murelle” natural amphitheater and will climb towards the “Fusco Camp” reaching the altitude of just over 8000 feet. From here, in clear days you can enjoy the stunning view of the Adriatic Sea.
And with the Adriatic Sea colors in your eyes you will start your descent from the “Mount Focalone” back to Pomilio Shelter where we started.
Alessio, who is going to take us on our virtual tours in the natural environment of Abruzzo is a professional Hiking Guide. He graduated at L’Aquila University in Science and Technology for the Environment and Territory ( Management of terrestrial and marine ecosystems). If you want to contact Alessio for more information about the above described places or the possibility of going hiking with him you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org