Traversing The Donkey’s Spine ‐ A Hike to Monte Rotondo

ALONG the Schiena d'Asino - the Donkey 's Spine

To grab a  wonderful 360° panorama of almost the entire of Abruzzo, that is considered by many its finest do consider joining a hike up Monte Rotondo.

Set on the Morrone Massif which is part of Majella National Park you get to traverse along the aptly named Schiena d’Asino, the donkey ‘s spine as you make your way to the summit of Monte Rotondo, a comfortable 1731 metres above sea level.

 

What you May Spot Along the Way

Boar, wolves, red deer and raptors.

 

Level of Difficulty

The walk is medium grade – 13km overall with 1,000m of ascent and then descent. The lower part is on a gentle forest road. After the road the footpaths are good – not narrow and exposed nor very steep. It’s steady all the way. The final kilometre along the ridge, brings a slight sense of exposure with massive views and underfoot it is a little rocky.  The summit of Monte Rotondo is prominent but doesn’t feel exposed or challenging.  

Return from the summit is by the way of Schiena d’Asino.

Our merry group of hikers aged from 8 to 70 years old were accompanied by Stuart Haines.  He is the author of the English language Walking in Abruzzo guidebook and the Sulmona Valley Walk website which allows you to download particular walks in the Peligna Valle.

Vital Statistics & Information
From Stuart Haines Book, Walking in Abruzzo
Start and End PointCar park at Centro Visita del Lupo near Popoli
GPS Coordinates of Start Point42.167928, 13.864243
LowpointCar park – 647m
HighpointSummit of Monte Rotondo – 1,731m
Difference1,084m
 1,084m – no ups and downs along the way. Steady ascent
Total Distance13 km
Estimated Walking Time5hrs 30mins – this doesn’t include resting time and assumes a medium pace. No hares and no tortoises…
Paths and ExposureThe lower part of the route is on a gentle forest road. After the road the foot paths are good – not narrow and exposed nor very steep. The final kilometre along the ridge, brings a slight sense of exposure and massive views and underfoot it is a little
rocky. 
Sam Dunham
Author: Sam Dunham

Sam is a very lucky midlife 'mamma' to A who is 12 and juggles her work as a self-employed freelance SEO food and travel copywriter and EFL teacher. She is the founder of the Life In Abruzzo Cultural Association, co-founder of Let's Blog Abruzzo. she is the founder of the 'English in the Woods' initiative, teaching English outdoors in a forest style school.


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