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Castel Mancino: legends and reality

Hiking in Abruzzo

Castel Mancino: legends and reality (Hiking in Abruzzo)

We are on the outskirts of Pescasseroli, the capital of the upper Sangro valley.

The town’s name is related to a legend about a young hero named Serolo, who set off for the Crusades and fell in love with a girl named Pesca.

Separated from him by various events, she sought him high and low, as far as Castel Mancino, where she was killed by Serolo’s father, the fierce baron of the castle.

The young man died of grief and Pescasseroli was built on his tomb.

Our journey begins on Corso Plistia, and we follow Via Castello for 350m. On the right we take the path B3 that leads through a coniferous wood (black pine introduced by artificial reforestation), to reach the ruins of Castel Mancino (20–30 minutes on foot).

Along the way, we may well see squirrels and woodpeckers.

Castel Mancino is a fortress-enclosure, with surrounding walls, a large (donjon) and three small towers.

The castle was built in the ninth–tenth century, with the intention of defending the population against marauding Saracens and Hungarians.

Battles and earthquakes led to the subsequent rebuilding but it was eventually abandoned.

The site is located on a relief overlooking the Pescasseroli basin, at 1,275–1,332m above sea level.

From here we can enjoy beautiful views of the town and surrounding mountains. To return to the starting point we simply go back the way we came.

Unspoiled landscapes for all strides

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