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Val Fondillo: the heart of the Park

Hiking in Abruzzo

Val Fondillo: the heart of the Park (Hiking in Abruzzo)

In the heart of the park, along the Upper Sangro, one of the most beautiful hikes is undoubtedly in the centre of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park, as far as the Val Fondillo, located south of Opi.

The valley’s name comes from the word ‘fontilli’, meaning small springs, because of the many water sources found there. The presence of all this water makes the valley a botanical paradise.

Vehicles can be left in the car park area at the valley entrance and our walk starts on a dirt road to the old sawmill, now a museum dedicated to the forest.

The path (trail marker F2) is not challenging and skirts the River Fondillo, set in beeches (of which some soar to over 40m in height) and willows.

Along the way we can bear left and visit the Grotta delle Fate, a natural cave formed by water erosion, with crystal clear springs. The magical setting has earned this work of Nature its name of ‘fairy grotto’.

Continuing on the path, it will take us an hour to an hour and a half to reach the Orso Pass, used for centuries by shepherds to cross into the region of Lazio.

Here a large clearing offers the chance to observe deer, roe and, with some luck and attention, even a bear, especially if we have binoculars to help out.

For those who enjoy hiking, the trail can be extended as far as the Forca Resuni refuge (1,931m), to the left, taking in Tre Confini, on path 04, then continuing on path 05. The return is along the same route.

Unspoiled landscapes for all strides

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