This walking route takes the hiker from from Prati di Tivo (mt. 1450) to the Garibaldi Refuge (mt. 2230), on to the Rio Arno falls, Val del Mavone and Campo Pericoli (3 hours on foot, by mountain bike or on horseback).
Gran Sasso itinerary
This is quite a long and varied itinerary which crosses one of the loveliest of the Gran Sasso valleys.
Take the dirt track that rises to the left at the Hotel Prati di Tivo, leaves the woods and reaches the crest that separates the Rio Arno valley from Prati di Tivo, continuing upwards and skirting the sheer Corno Piccolo rock face, we reach the Rio Arno falls.
The road continues upwards and after the aqueduct intake, out of the woods it turns into a path. Cross the lovely plain beneath the Intermesoli face, with the dell'Orso grotto on the right and the Ginepri gorge on the left.
As we proceed the Mavone valley extends to the east into the vast, soft and rippling peaks of Campo Pericoli (in the old days known as Campo Aprico - open field).
On the right there is a path that climbs up a steep gravel track and in an hour of strenuous ascent will lead to the Grilli col (mt. 2220).
Opposite we find the pyramidal spire of the Pizzo Cefalone peak (mt. 2533), immediately to the left there is Mount Portella and its pass (mt. 2385) and then the Duca degli Abruzzi refuge (mt. 2260).
On the left a path rises that is a short cut, but tiring, to the Garibaldi refuge. Continuing along the bottom of the bowl, in the direction of Pizzo Cefalone, under whose slopes there are traces of ancient shepherd refuges known as "Le Capanne" (mt. 1957).
These constructions are present in the Vasto valley and in larger numbers on the Montagna dei Fiori slopes.
The origin of these simple spontaneous structures meets with various and contradictory explanations; the most charming hypothesis compares these stone huts to the 'tholos' constructions, because of the resemblance in structures.
Turn left and shortly afterwards, when the slope becomes less steep, on the right, we encounter a fork that leads to the Portella pass, which enables access to Campo Imperatore through Passo del Lupo (2156 metres).
Continuing along the path through the meadows, gradually, negotiating the sink-holes, we reach the Garibaldi refuge (2231 metres).
Upwards and onwards From the Garibaldi refuge you may opt for any of these itineraries:
- For the western peak of Corno Grande across Brecciaio col (mt. 2912 - time: 2 hours) 2.
- For the Duca degli Abruzzi refuge (mt. 2260 - tempo: 1 hour) 3.
- For Mount Aquila col and peak (mt. 2495 - tempo: 1 hour)
- For Campo Imperatore (mt. 2130 - hotel, cableway, hostel, observatory - time: 1.30 hours).
Taken from Provincia di Teramo 'Provincia Senza Confini'
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