Italy’s big five

Track the iconic species of the Central Apennines on foot in this biodiversity hotspot

PERIOD
May-October

DURATION
5 days-4 nights

LOCATION
Pescasseroli, Abruzzo

GROUP SIZE
8 people

ACCOMMODATION
Small hotel

LENGTH
7-10 km per day

ELEVATION GAIN
400 m per day

DIFFICULT
Moderate

Participants should be able to walk in the mountain without difficulties however, there are plenty of stops as you wait silently with binoculars to view wildlife.

 

Our journey through the Central Apennines rewilding area takes us across thousands of hectares of beautiful rugged mountains, deep valleys and extensive beech forest. This region of Italy is a biodiversity hotspot with abundant populations of iconic species such as brown bears, wolves, deer, wild boars and the endemic Apennine chamois. Little villages still characterized by the traditional lifestyle of the people who live there provide a special mix of culture and nature that makes this area unique in Europe. During the trip we explore the wilderness and learn how to connect with and get closer to nature and it’s wildlife.

Together with nature guide we will explore the Park’s wilderness, following the tracks of the large animals and learning how to move in the field, correct approach the wildlife. In particular, we will focus our efforts on bears and wolves, while we will have good chances to see chamois, deers and wild boar. The long days in the field will be concluded with tasty meals from the world-famous Italian cuisine, a bottle of good wine in the friendly atmosphere of a very comfortable hotel.

An exclusive adventure guided by expert wildlife trackers

Ramble through mountainous valleys and beech forests on the lookout for brown bears, wolves, wild boar, chamois and golden eagles

Bookend long days in the wilderness with classic Italian food and tasty local wines in genuine mountain villages

Because to save the Apennine bears also means, ultimately, to preserve the real substance and the spirit of the authenticity of nature, to maintain an amazing dream, also made of secret habitats, of silences and solitudes. And this makes us all immensely richer…

Franco Tassi

Itinerary

DAY 1 – The protection of natural heritage in Italy
You are greeted by our staff at our office in Pescasseroli. Once you arrive you can check into your rooms before we sit down for an introduction and get to know each other a bit. We will have a short walk to introduce you the oldest park of Italy. Dinner with local products and overnight stay.
6h of walk · 200 m ascent · 200 m descent

DAY 2 – Sights, smells, and sounds in our forests
At sunrise departure for a wildlife watching session. After a hearty breakfast we will make a delightful walk through an old-growth forest UNESCO heritage. We learn about the inhabitants of our beech woods ecosystem. We may not see wildlife, but your guide will show many interesting signs of them. Bears, wolves, pine martin they are all here, and we are humble visitors in their home. We return to the hotel late at evening.
6h of walk · 400 m ascent · 400 m descent

DAY 3 – Wolf-howling at dusk
Last night’s adventure ended late, but wolves move very early at the morning. After a coffee we will move along the southern slope of a mountain, a very panoramic territory and pasture area of deers and other wild ungulates. Historically, this area has been frequented from wolves. When the sun is shining transfer to Civitella Alfedena, visit to the Apennine Wolf Museum. We will be free for lunch and there will be the opportunity to rest in the hotel before the evening walk. Dinner based on local products and overnight stay.
6h of walk · 600 m ascent · 600 m descent

DAY 4 – New rewilding areas
After breakfast we will move to the north and we will reach the Sirente Velino Regional Reserve. Central Apennines is characterized by steep or undulating limestone mountains, vast karst plateaus, and valleys with deciduous forests on the slopes and mosaic landscapes shaped by livestock grazing at the bottom. The mixture of mountains and valleys with semi-open landscapes and natural forests is creating very attractive sceneries for willdife. This land has become a centre for wildlife with excellent opportunities to experience species such golden eagle, griffon vulture, peregrine falcon, lanner falcon. In the evening return to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
4h of walk · 300 m ascent · 300 m descent

DAY 5 – Time to say our goodbyes
After breakfast and at the end of five truly fascinating days together with your guide and fellow nature lovers it’s time to say goodbye.

Costs

Prices
€ 460 / per person

What’s included
Guide and organization
Accommodation in a hotel, double occupancy
Half board treatment
Binocular Nikon Prostaff 8×42
Headlamp

What is not included
Lunches
Any transports
Extra and personal expenses
Travel insurance

Food and accommodation

Accommodation can be organized by our tour leader in small lovely small family managed hotel, in double rooms. Lunches are not included, you will buy packed lunches from the guesthouse or local shops and bakeries each morning to take with you. Each evening you’ll be tucking into traditional Italian dishes including maccheroni alla chitarra – a special type of spaghetti, soup with orapi (wild spinach) and beans, gnocchetti and grilled meat. The region has a strong sheep rearing culture, so plenty of local dairy products are available such as pecorino, ricotta, caciocavallo and a rare goat’s cheese called Marzolina.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for.

When can i do this?

During spring and autumn Central Apennine became a perfect territory for wildlife watching: check our calendar to see availability.

Kit list

Temperatures depend on season and time, warm clothes and dress up in layers is recommended: after sunset, in summertime too, it could be very cold.

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
Soft duffel bag or rucksack
Daypack (25+ litres)
Raincover
Waterproof jacket with hood
Fleece jacket or similar
Warm jacket
Hiking trousers
Technical t-shirts
Hiking boots
Warm hat
Thin gloves
Waterproof overtrousers
Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen)
Water bottles or water bladder

WHAT’S INCLUDED
Binocular
Headlamp

Covid Refund Guarantee

If your trip is cancelled due to Covid choose from free date changes, or a full refund.

Expert Local Guides

Our local guides know the mountain perfectly, what to do and how to be safe.

Gift this tour

Exciting and unique experience gifts create memories for years to come. Give. Receive. Experience!

Frequently asked question

Can i book on my own?

Sure can! Over 30% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Italy's big five with kids

This activity is especially designed for adults as we need to spend 4 days in high mountains and wait silently a few hours.

Private tour

Ask for a private tour if you need an exclusive experience. Send us an e mail and we’ll answer you back with the quotation.

Bad weather condition

Temperatures and sunset are agreeable in summertime: July and August. Obviously some day could be cold or rainy: our guides will study alternative propose to offer you the best experience. Be sure to be well equipped for each weather condition.

Need to add a travel insurance

Our guides are registered at the list of Collegio Guide Alpine Abruzzo and subscribed a professional insurance.

We suggest you to book on line travel insurance with World Nomads. They offer insurances designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

How to get there

Pescasseroli is the most important village of Abruzzo National Park, the oldest Italian protected area. It has guaranteed a life in harmony with nature for almost a century. You can easily reach it by car through three access points. FROM ROME (Highway A24 Rome – L’Aquila): from Rome highway A24 until Pescina exit, proceed on SR83 or on SP17 until Pescasseroli. FROM PESCARA (Highway A25 Roma – Pescara): from Pescara highway A25 until Pescina exit, go on towards SR83 or towards SP17 until Pescasseroli. FROM NAPLES (Highway A1 Naples – Rome): from Naples highway A1 until Caianello exit, enter SS85 towards Venafro and then proceed on SR83 until Pescasseroli.

You can arrive by bus thanks to daily connections from Castel di Sangro and Avezzano. Check the timetable on Tuabruzzo. Connections by train are only until Avezzano station. For those who come from Rome it is possible to check the timetable of Flixbus or Prontobus company that connects Roma and Ciampino airports to Abruzzo.

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