Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Hiking the Majella (2)

Eremo San Giovanni, Vall'Orfento, Parco Nazionale Della Majella

Undoubtedly the most evocative, spectacular and least accessible Celestinian sanctuary of all the eremi of the Majella.  A place to just sit and think and wonder.

Eremo San Giovanni:  Parco Nazionale Della Majella

Sentiero dello Spirito: Multi-day hike through time & wilderness

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Hiking the Majella

A few snaps from a recent romp up the hill to the Tavola dei Briganti, Majella National Park (17/06/2016).

Love this place

Friday, 5 February 2016

Easter Wild Things


Back to nature fun for kids in Italy this Easter

Truffle hunting, orienteering, crafting with nature, snow fun and more...

"A week in the countryside is worth three months in the classroom"   - George Monbiot, 2013
"Feral: in a wild state, especially after escape from captivity or domestication"  - definition, Oxford English Dictionary

Truffle hunting with these two - lots of fruitful fun! 

Together with our neighbours, Sebastian, Paola & Margot (truffle hunters & small holders), we want to share with other families the richness of the lives that we live in our own hidden wilderness.  We want to open up our world that feels a million miles away from classrooms, confines and civilisation.

A place where you can follow the rhythms of nature, watch the falling stars and rising moon, build fires and cook outside.  A place where you can get lost in the woods, build camps, paddle in streams, climb trees and graze your knees.

Where kids can be kids

We have a selection of tents, and all the camping equipment you could wish for.  We have luxury showers and a communal barn, fridges and cookers, pots and pans, and so much more.  

For one week over Easter we are aiming all of this for families with children aged between 6 and 14yrs.  All you need bring is you, your kids and a desire to go feral, we'll provide the rest.

Between 28 March - 1 April we'll be putting on four days of activities designed to immerse you and your children in nature and reconnect with the wild thing within.  (We're also planning similar for 30 May - 3 June, but with a focus on photographing nature from a child's perspective.)  An idea of the Easter activities are below (but subject to change depending on the weather):

Monday:  Spend 2-3 hours exploring the woods around us, learning all about working with truffle hounds in search of the coveted truffle, which grows in abundance on this land.

Tuesday:  We go off collecting sticks and berries, leaves, moss and herbs and spend an afternoon crafting gifts from the things that we have found around us.

Nature's gifts

Thursday:  We go out and find snow!  A half hour's drive takes us up the mountain to 1800m where there should still be plenty of snow for lots and lots of sledging fun.  Steaming hot chocolate in the ski chalet afterwards is the perfect end to a fun-filled afternoon.

Friday:  orienteering in the fields and woods around us.  Learn to how use a compass and follow clues in search of hidden treasure!

...and something for the grown-ups too:  parents can join in with the kids if they like, or take advantage of some free time to explore this wonderful area around us.  The hiking here is spectacular and we have plenty of maps and guidance as to where to go and what to do.

Hiking in the Majella National Park

The rest of the time, just go wild with your kids!  And we have plenty of space and suggestions for you.

What's it going to cost?

Accommodation:  self-catering in tents (roll mats, sleeping bags, blankets & towels provided): €16 per adult, per night, €8 per child aged 3 - 14yrs (under 2s go free, over 14s pay full price)

Activities:  four days as above, €150 per child.  Under 6s to be accompanied by an adult.

Maps & guidance:  completely free and given with pleasure!

Sample cost for a family of four: staying for 1 week, both kids joining in with activities:  €636.00

How to get to us

Nearest airport: Pescara (40 minute drive) via Ryan Air from: London Stansted, Brussels, Paris, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Milan Bergamo

For a greater choice of airports and airlines, the Rome airports are an excellent alternative and only a 2.5 - 3 hour drive.
See our website for more travel information:

More information

Browse the main tabs of this blog for information on our facilities and surrounding area, hiking in the Majella National Park, Abruzzo interior & coastline.  You might also find the following links useful:

Kokopelli Camping website:
Kokopelli Camping reviews:   Trip Advisor / Cool Camping
Paola & Sebastian:          Paola / Sebastian

Don't forget our social media pages too:

How to book

For booking or any other information, just send me an email or give me a call.  Please note that, apart from the orienteering treasure hunt (which will also be offered to local children), spaces on the activities will be strictly limited to a maximum of 6 children. 

mobile:  +39 333 4636075

Project Wild Thing:  Official Trailer

Travel Slow

Monday, 4 January 2016

Hiking with Yoga in Abruzzo, Italy

And so the thoughts began to form.  This, our little corner of Italy, seems to attract yogis, spiritualists, deep thinkers, artists, story tellers, musicians; and with good cause.  The energy that flows through these valleys can be felt by all who take the time to listen and absorb, the scenery and landscape captures all.

The spirit of the Alento Valley, Serramonacesca

I've often gone about my morning and evening chores in the summertime quietly watching and listening to the yogis and musicians immersed in their own worlds of art, music and movement; sunrise, sunset.  It's a beautiful and serene moment, to watch a perfectly sculptured body, moving with grace and elegance, as the rising sun lights up the mountains, or to listen to the rhythmical strumming of a guitar and a softly singing voice as the mountains return to sleep once more, with the setting sun behind.

A Kokopelli Sunset

This summer, we're opening up these magical moments to anyone who would like to join us. Crista Soskolne, a Vijnana yoga instructor from Finland, was one of those yogis with us last year, practising her art under the shade of the trees.  She's now returning to Kokopelli this summer for 4 weeks in July to lead yoga and meditation, both at Kokopelli and carefully selected places nearby, perfect for experiencing the rising or setting sun.   Or simply for escaping the heat of the day by the cool, crystalline clear waters of the Alento river, under the dappled green shade of the trees.   

The cascading waters of the Alento River

All enchanting spaces, all nearby with the option of hiking with us to combine experiencing this wonderful land on foot, followed by yoga and meditation on a high plain, before descending back down. Or, if time is scarce, you can drive with only a short walk to join the session.  

Early morning hike to greet the rising sun


A full programme and location details will be available closer to the time but, for now, the provisional programme and costs are below.  The programme is available to all, to dip in and out as you choose, with 10% discount for Kokopelli Camping guests.  

Weekly throughout July 2016:

Greet the Sun, early morning meditation & yoga, high plain overlooking the sea
60-90 minute hike & yoga: €15
Yoga only: €12

Early morning yoga at Kokopelli: €12
Sunset mediation & yoga, high plain overlooking mountains: €12

Early morning yoga at Kokopelli: €12

Early morning yoga at Kokopelli: €12
Sunset mediation & yoga, high plain above Serramonacesca overlooking mountains: €12

Early morning yoga at Kokopelli: €12

Late breakfast & yoga
Banks of the Alento River, Abbazia di San Liberatore a Maiella
Picnic breakfast of freshly made bread from the ancient grains of Abruzzo, home-made jams, fruit & freshly brewed coffee
45 minute hike, yoga & breakfast: €20
Yoga & breakfast: €18
Yoga only: €12

Abbazia di San Liberatore a Maiella, Alento Valley, Serramonacesca


Kokopelli, Serramonacesca

Camping in your tent, or ours hired for €1 per night

Glamping in one of our bell tents or converted barn

Self-catering in our en-suite room in the farmhouse

Kokopelli website:
Trip Advisor:  Click here for reviews & information
Further information can be found from a browse of this blog

**Kokopelli House - Coming Spring/Summer 2016**
Self-catering town house (with garden) in the historic centre of Serramonacesca.  Sleeps 4 - 6.  
Email for more info:


Crista comes from Finland and, as well as being a Vijnana yoga instructor, she is also an Ayurvedic life coach & nutrition advisor.  She currently lives in Helsinki with her husband Iddo and their two children

Travel slow

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Cachi, the sweetest treat of the winter

Winters here are full of splashes of bright orange dappled throughout the countryside, the cachi (persimmon) stunning against the snow.  But there are just so many, and what to do with them with them all?  Tragic not to make use of such sweet abundance.

Eaten raw, they leave a strange furry matting to the roof of your mouth, cooked they just go to mush, and there's only so much mush you can eat. 

And here's the trick.

Dry them.

They crystallise and become the most delectable candied fruit.  A very naughty, but very very nice, sweet treat without a single additive or grain of sugar in existence.  

They can be chopped and mixed into your warming winter porridge; add a spoonful of cinnamon and you have the food of the gods.  

You can make a fruit cake out of them, a tart, or a loaf, coat them in chocolate, or just simply pop them in your mouth when you get the munchies.  And not so much of a whisper of a furry mouth.  Win, win, every time.

So here's how:

1.  Pick the fruit with some stalk still attached (you'll need this for hanging them).

2.  Peel the fruit, leaving a small disc of peel top and bottom.

3.  Hang them somewhere dry and airy, leaving space between each one.

4.  Give them a squeeze every now and then to encourage the sugar to the outside.

5.  After about 3 months they're ready to be munched.

Couldn't be easier.

And they look very pretty too.


Pick your cachi (persimmon) with a small length of stick still attached

Peel them, leaving a small disc top and bottom

Hang them in a dry, airy space.
Don't forget to squeeze them, cachi's need love too

After about 3 months they're crystallising nicely

Simple pleasures