Wildlife Adventures was born in the village of Pescasseroli after the cold winter of 2009. The warmth of the spring strengthened our passions and changed them in our choice of life. We deal with hiking and trekking and we want to promote the knowledge of the environment and the territory in the Central Apennines. We believe that the environment has a very important role for people and for society and we work every day for this aim.
Umberto Esposito is a mountain guide entered on the register of Alpine Guides of the Abruzzo Region and a naturalist photographer. He works between Abruzzo and Molise regions where, among the immense beech forests in the mountains or in the meadows, you can still see some extraordinary animal species. At the end of the nineties the encounter with the bears of the valley and the emotion for the first photographs guided him to what has become his job. Growing he has explored and loved these mountains. He is the creator and the director of Wildlife Adventures project and now he tries to convey the emotions he felt when he was young to those who walk along the paths and the mountains of Central Apennines with him. He has published pictures and articles on Oasis, Trekking&Outdoor, DOVE Viaggi, DRepubblica, Speciale “Qui Touring” of Touring Club Italiano. It’s co-author of the project Forestbeat and of the book Il Segreto dei Giganti, to sustain the nomination of the Apennine beech forests as “UNESCO World Heritage Site” Lazio e Molise.
Since she was a child she walked along the paths through the forest of the mountains where she was born. Her curiosity led her to explore and get to know the territory. While listening to stories from older people in the area, Valeria learnt the importance of the local traditions and how necessary it was to preserve traditions and value the past. Her love of nature and for the Abruzzo mountain’s became her passion, which intern became her profession. She is now a nature guide, environmental interpreter and nordic walking instructor, and one of our expert guides in the Italian Apennines.
Before he became a guide, Marco worked many years as a graphic designer in Rome. In 2015 he decided to change his life, leaving Rome and moving to Abruzzo. Now he lives in Barrea, a small village in the heart of the region, rich in history, culture, and traditions. Surrounded by ancient forests from which the most beautiful peaks rise, this place is inhabited by unique wild animals. He begins to study specialized books and to listen to people’s stories. He then officially became a nature guide wanting to share and immerse others in the beauty and peculiarities of these places. He has a great passion for photography. He shares his experiences and moments spent in the nature through images.
The search for a name began in an attic-office, but we could not write anything on our Moleskine diary for al long time. We needed a brand to identify the images of the Abruzzo National Park and the search was pleasantly hastened from the request of Autonomous Province of Trento. It needed photos and videos on the occasion of International Bear Association, in the autumn of 2005. We were not mischievous and we choosed a tremulous beech leave as a symbol of our adventures in the forests and mountains of Abruzzo region. The success of that adventures and the rarest pictures of Marsican Brown Bear gave us a strong emotional impact and they were very important for the creation of Wildlife Adventures. We changed our brand in 2015, on the occasion of the opening of new offices. Today there are four elements that represent the essence of our outdoor activities.
It miraculously escaped from extinction on the steep slopes of Camosciara at the beginning of 1900. Now there are 2000 chamoises on the tops of Central Apennines and the history of this animal represents one of the most interesting histories of nature conservation. Some chamoises from Abruzzo National Park have been reintroduced on the slopes of Majella, on Gran Sasso and on Sibillini Mountains. Thanks to its extraordinary coat, its magnificent horns, the agility and the elegance of its movements this subspecies (Rupicapra pyrenaica ornata) has been defined as the most beautiful chamois in the world. The Apennine chamois is the symbolic species of Abruzzo National Park and represents our memories, our effort and our sweat for the first reached tops and the satisfaction for our first encounters with the fauna of Abruzzo National Park.
The territory of Majella National Park is characterized by artifacts that have profoundly changed the aspect of the landscape over the centuries. These dry stone huts spread because of the crisis of pastoralism, when it was necessary to find suitable areas for cultivation on the mountains. New cultivable areas were far from the village and the long and arduous work of reclamation of the land from the stones led to the need of a shelter. It was also necessary to dispose stones collected in the fields. Over time, improved techniques led to the construction of buildings with well-defined purposes. So new agro-.pastoral buildings spread, with areas used for milking, for the barn and for a house where to stay with the family during the summer. The Tholos represent our bond with the traditions and the lifestyle of local population.
The Griffon (Gyps fulvus) is a large vulture that can reach a wingspan of 280 centimeters. The Central Apennines represented, before the nineteenth century, a suitable area for its presence, but then it was extinct. Now you can again observe the griffon in the Sirente-Velino Regional Park thanks to a reindroduction project of the State Forestry Corps. It’s very important the presence in the same area of some animals such as bears and especially wolves, because the griffon feeds on animal remains left by the hunting of these large predators. This territory allows us to hope for the success of our new proposals and it represents an extraordinary passageway towards the wide areas of Gran Sasso and the wild valleys of Majella.
The Benedictine abbey of San Vincenzo al Volturno is situated in the Molise region and is the entrance door to the wild heart of Italy for those who come from the South. Protected from the Mainarde chain in the West and from the Matese massif in the South, this abbey is at the base of a rugged and rocky barrier which rises sharply, marking the border between Lazio region and Molise region. In the last few years we have arrived here with our backpacks on our backs and we have begun to control the Forme plateau, managing the “Rifugio del Falco” shelter and the Marsican Bear Visitor Centre. In the Molise area of Abruzzo National Park you can see beautiful landscapes and picturesque villages, with genuine living traditions. These simple traditions were just a rediscovery for us, but now they play an important role in our activities.