With an easy stage, very short and with little height difference (resting) we move momentarily to Lazio, walking through beautiful beech woods.
The stage represents a variant of the Sentiero Italia (which from Rivisondoli bends south-east, towards Pescolanciano, and then heads south-west towards Isernia), chosen to cross the marvelous Abruzzo villages and the mountainous group of Mainarde.
The only water point is at the Baita Padre Terzi Alpine (Fonte della Difesa).
We leave Pescasseroli following the level asphalted road towards the south; then, at the crossroads, we take the dirt road on the right, towards the Rifugio della Difesa. Thus begins the slow climb to the Rifugio Duca d'Aosta (approx. 200 m height difference). We proceed comfortably until we reach the great Fonte della Difesa and shortly after the baita alpina Padre Terzi. Entering the woods, we continue up and down, until we reach a crossroad; we keep to the left, then we cross the large plain of Campo Rotondo.
At the end of the plain, we face a short ramp, after which we veer south-east circumventing Monte Serra Traversa along its northern slopes. Shortly after, we arrive at the Rifugio Duca d'Aosta.
We are in the heart of the Monti Marsicani, a name that derives from the ancient Marsi people who lived in the area between Abruzzo and Lazio, from here to the Fucino plain.
In the first millennium BC, the Marsi were located around what was once the Fucino Lake; later, the Romans, thanks to a brilliant work of hydraulic engineering, emptied the lake to exploit its fertile soil.
When you walk in these mountains, you have to keep your eyes open to check where you put your feet: you can come across the tracks of the Marsican bear.
About fifty bears live in the park, which are gradually expanding, reaching the Monti della Laga. In 2020, due to the lockdown for the Covid pandemic, many bears approached the villages: the bear Amarena, with her cubs, has become a real star.
The bear is the symbol of the National Park. The great predator is still in danger of extinction and there are still too many episodes of poaching; however, accidents with cars and trains represent the main cause of mortality. For this reason, an orange sign with the silhouette of the bear is often present along the roads, inviting drivers to be careful. Today this sign has become the symbol of the association Salviamo l'orso (Let's save the bear).
The tacconelle, or sagne a pèzze, are a typical type of fresh pasta from Abruzzo; similar to maltagliati, they can have a rhombus or square shape.
It is a traditional peasant dish that is usually eaten with fresh tomato sauce and basil.
Rifugio Duca d'Aosta, 3 km south of Forca d'Acero (self-managed mountain lodge, you must ask for the keys at the CAI section of San Donato Val di Comino). Tel. +39 340 890 0435
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus, starting from the town of Avezzano.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.