We went to visit some friends of ours who have a house in Pescasseroli in the Abruzzo region of Italy (on the bottom above, even though it's mistakenly spelled "Pascasseroli"), one of the few towns actually inside the park boundaries. By the way, have you heard about the snow crisis this year? There's no snow! Inside the park this time of year it's usually covered with the white stuff. This year we were walking around without jackets, sun beating down on us, to the tune of temperatures as high as nearly 70°!
This is unheard of and is actually quite a problem for those who rely on winter tourism to make their living. In any case, that's why in these photos you won't see any snow, but Abruzzo is generally full of the stuff this time of year, especially in the mountainous areas like the park.
Animals that live in the park include brown bears (the cute symbol of the park's logo above) and wolves, but also "camosci" (chamois) which are harder to spot. And you thought it was just a funny name for that cloth you use to dry off your car! My guess is they were all away sunbathing somewhere because we didn't see any.
We're taking our walk in a part of the park called "Camosciara" and going on a short trail to the "Cascate delle Ninfe": The Nymphs' Waterfalls. It takes us about a half hour to stroll leisurely from the parking lot to the trail head. Don't worry, I'm not into heavy-duty hiking. I have to conserve my energy for eating.
There is water throughout the park and especially in this area, where we found running streams and small waterfalls everywhere we looked.
The walk takes us about 10 minutes through this beautiful wooded area, and has very few steep grades. You don't even really need to be outfitted for hiking, although we did have hiking boots because when we left Rome we figured there would be snow.
Nature lovers, Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo is definitely worth a trip. I love the Abruzzo region and I feel like it still hasn't been discovered by tourists. Have any of you ever been to this park? Any other great nature areas in Italy to recommend?