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The magical San Martino gorge

Hiking in Abruzzo

The magical San Martino gorge (Hiking in Abruzzo)

The route begins in Fara San Martino, from the car park in front of the Verde River springs. Taking the dirt road with a number of hairpin bends, we reach the entrance to the San Martino gorge (Trail 20 of the Park).

The landscape is rugged and rocky, and it is interesting to note that due to the karst nature of the soil, there is no surface water on the valley floor.

The San Martino gorge opening is extremely narrow, magical and fascinating for its size and for the symbolic value of this ‘gateway’ into one of the most magnificent of the Majella valleys. As we enter the valley it widens but is closed off by imposing cliffs on both sides.

The remains of the Benedictine monastery of San Martino in Valle are evident here, and recent excavations brought it back to light after it was buried by a landslide in the 1800s.

The monastery was probably a hermitage originally and was rebuilt many times from the ninth to the eighteenth century. On the north side of the portico we also see a belfry and the interior of the monastery, with its nave and two aisles, and stone paving slabs.

Our trail continues for a few hundred metres along the valley, as far as a fountain. We return retracing our steps along the same path.

Unspoiled landscapes for all strides

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