THE HIDDEN TRAILS OF ITALY
|The Majella - a land of a dozen fairytales|
Abruzzo is still a land “that could provide settings for a dozen fairy tales”.* Geographically considered a part of Southern Italy, Abruzzo is, in reality, Central Italy. The heartland of the Apennines, and the most completely mountainous region of the country it may be, but its territory stretches gloriously from mountain to sea. Indeed, from here one can be resting on the tops whilst simultaneously enjoying dramatic views to the Adriatic Sea.
|Croce D'Alpini, Serramonacesca, Majella National Park|
|Feudi D'Ugni, Majella National Park|
And here we have, in my mind, the most exciting wilderness of Italy, The Majella National Park, “The Mother of Mountains”; just the mere name, and the legend behind it, conjures pictures of a quiet magic. It is said that Maya, the Goddess of the Earth, came to its peaks seeking a special herb to heal her sick son, but she failed to reach the top before he died. Dying in deep sorrow, her heart broken for her loss, Maya reappeared in the unique form of the rounded Majella, the sleeping beauty of Abruzzo, that rises up quickly from lowland to mountain top.
|Rifugio Ugni, not a bad place to watch the sun come up.|
It is possible to walk for hours, even days, on end and not meet a soul. There are spring flowers to rival any on the Alps heralding the sweet transition to warmer days, butterflies too, in abundance. You’re as likely to stubble across tumbling, turquoise waters as you are hidden caves and hermitages. There are crags to climb, pools and lakes to swim in, and pilgrims’ tracks to run on.
|Goat herd, Majella National Park|
Edizione il Lupo, a selection of 1:25,000 maps and hiking guides: http://www.edizioniillupo.it/
More pictures of the Abruzzo interior: http://kokopelli-italy.blogspot.co.uk/p/abruzzo.html