A WORLD OF SNOW in the heart of Mediterranean
Abruzzo is a land of mountains and Parks. Just scan the horizon in any nook of this region and you will see rows of peaks, lined up like tin soldiers, looking skywards. These are the Majella, Gran Sasso, Laga and Sirente-Velino group massifs, to name but the largest and most famous. A fantastic high-altitude universe that is the rocky backbone of this region, constituting the most formidable Apennine mountain complex (with scattered alpine features), strategically located in the heart of Italy and of the Mediterranean. The mountains of Abruzzo have typically heavy, lasting snowfall, and offer plenty of quality tourist resorts and facilities where one can find outstanding and well differentiated environments for enjoying both downhill and crosscountry skiing. The areas with the tallest peaks are ideal for downhill skiing, while the numerous vast plateaux, with terrain of various levels of ruggedness, offer some lovely settings for cross-country skiing and ski touring. The rich and varied panorama of ‘domaines skiables’ in Abruzzo includes some resorts that are especially suited for competitive skiers and some others that are more targeted for beginners and families. Thanks to the modern, efficient inland road network (motorways A14, A24 and A25), and extensive upgrading of snowplough equipment, all resorts are now always easy to reach, even in the event of heavy snowfall. The valleys and plateaux that typify Abruzzo terrain offer the perfect setting for cross-country skiing. Gently rolling plateaux, thick woods crossed by dirt roads and mule tracks, the gentle valley slopes, all of which can offer an extraordinary range of cross-country itineraries. Every mountain chain in the region offers off-track skiing fans plenty of options for easy and exhilarating adventures in the countless woods or in the wide plains. Abruzzo is also the ideal terrain for those in search of high altitude skiing adventures – the best way to experience the highest peaks and passes – thanks to the abundance of natural resources and ski districts perfectly suitable for such activities. The walls of the Gran Sasso mountain or the wide terrace of the Majella, overlooking the sea and the other peaks, are first-class playgrounds, but for experts only. It is worth reminding that this sport discipline can conceal a number of risks connected with the conditions of snow and with the perils inherent in the mountains; it is essential to always rely on an alpine guide or to take a specific course if you wish to venture safely on your own. Always lager is the number of ‘ciaspole’ (snowshoes) fans; this device, allowing hikers to walk on snow without sinking, is becoming more and more popular since it offers the chance to experience the beauty of nature, immersed in breathtaking sceneries, among beech woods and tablelands. Even dog-sledding lovers will find plenty of opportunities to enjoy an exhilarating ride on sleighs hauled by dogs. All over Abruzzo, lovers of snow will be able to gratify their passion, thanks to the numerous schools, the ski instructors, the excellent mountain and mid-mountain guides, the men from CAI, the many dynamic associations of aficionados who are keen to try out the latest trend and, last but not least, an efficient mountain rescue service whose reliability has been proven in all sorts of emergencies. Do not hesitate to ask them to check the practicability of loops and off-track routes in order to enjoy a safe and trouble-free excursion. You can also count on a wide network of equipment rental facilities, allowing any tourist to venture on the snows of Abruzzo with the perfect equipment. Coffee bars and restaurants, chalets and refuges, all sited alongside the ski slopes, ensure you can relax with your skis off, catch a tan from the Mediterranean sun that shines on the Abruzzo mountains, or take the chill off around a blazing open hearth. After skiing, there is plenty more to fill in the day or the evening, even for the night owls who enjoy music and fun. Many of the major skiing resorts in Abruzzo are located near enchanting mountain towns and villages with an age old history which have managed to tune in gracefully with modern times. The old centres are well-provided with restaurants and pubs, coffee bars and rendezvous, but often also have mansions and castles, museums and churches, and a wealth of art treasures, all to be discovered and admired; and let us not forget the exhibition centres and visitor centres in the Parks, revealing the marvels of nature that the territory holds dear and the age-old traditions that drive the life of these locations: crafts, food and wine, events.
List of symbols. This information has a promotional nature, we recommend you to ask always about the weather, the conditions of the slopes and the features of the trails before you leave for any location. Almost all the routes described belong to the park areas so you are obliged to respect all the general rules about environmental protection for one’s own and others' safety (see standards AMSI). Abruzzo Promozione Turismo declines all responsibility.