Abruzzo by motorbike between the Gorges of Sagittario and Lake Scanno – a short tour in one of the most beautiful nature reserves in Italy.
Itinerary from Sulmona to Sora through the Abruzzo National Park and the lakes. The natural area, in which we find this splendid canyon and the road that crosses, it’s the Gole del Sagittario Regional Reserve, which takes its name from the Sagittario river.
Table of contents
- Gole del Sagittario
- Lago di Scanno
- Villetta Barrea
- Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo
- Maps and info
The ancient city is rich in history and traditions. Homeland of the poet Ovidio, it preserves precious artistic testimonies and also the famous hermitage of Celestino V. In Sulmona you will find monuments and art from every age and architectural style: a center of craft activities and the home of sugared almonds. The city is particularly known for the Cathedral of San Panfilo, the Santissima Annunziata founded in 1320, the medieval aqueduct and the “Trans-Siberian of Italy”. The ancient railway, which connected the regions of Abruzzo and Molise, crosses a picturesque winding path between the peaks of the Maiella Park.
From Sulmona we head towards Anversa degli Abruzzi, a medieval village and starting point for a visit to the WWF Gole del Sagittario Nature Reserve.
The SR479 road, defined as “scary and beautiful” by the English travelers Richard Craven and Edward Lear, is a spectacle of curves between the rocks and ends at the Lake San Domenico and Lago Pio Regional Nature Reserve, where you will also find the Hermitage of San Domenico.
Continuing southwards you will then come across Lake Scanno, the suggestive heart-shaped lake, located at an average altitude of 922 meters and surrounded by some peaks of the Marsicani Mountains such as the Montagna Grande and Monte Genzana.
Shortly after the lake stands the village of Scanno, with its narrow streets, baroque portals and ancient buildings: a characteristic village of the Sangro Valley. Don’t miss: the church of Santa Maria della Valle and the church of Sant’Eustachio.
Rolling further south, perched on a spur at 1066 meters, and surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountains in the Park, you will find Villetta Barrea, a lovely holiday resort behind the Meta mountains, not far from the artificial lake of Barrea: a real oasis where you can spot rare species of birds.
We continue through the park towards Opi, along the SS83. The Abruzzo National Park was established in 1923 to safeguard the natural characteristics of the area and save some wild animals from extinction. The landscape is characterised by mountain ranges, streams and rivers, including the Sangro. Nature is truly wild and some species take refuge here, such as the Marsican brown bear, the golden eagle, the Apennine wolf, the deer, the otter and the chamois.
Sora is one of the major centers in the province of Frosinone. Crossed by the river Liri, it rises at the meeting point of the three valleys of the Liri, Roveto and Comino. For a long time it was the capital of the Longobard Gastaldato, then a Norman domain. Do notmiss: the Cathedral, the Abbey of S. Domenico, S. Restituta with the fourteenth-century portal, the Convent of the Passionist Fathers, and the remains of ancient civilizations such as the Rock Sanctuary of the God Silvano (2nd century AD), the polygonal walls and the remains of the Castle of S. Casto (11th century).