Pop-Up-Abruzzo: Walking in Abruzzo – Monte Rotondo

Monte RotondoWalking in Abruzzo, Stuart HainesJoin us on Sunday 2nd August for a memorable walk in the heart of Abruzzo that climbs through a beautiful landscape in the Morrone massif.

Author Stuart  Haines will lead our free walk on a ‘friends and equals’ basis up to Monte Rotondo and invites 10 of our readers to join us on  for one of the best views across Abruzzo.

Though not very high, the summit of Monte Rotondo allows a wonderful 360° panorama of almost the entire region – considered by many to be the finest! The descent too, along the Schiena d’Asino, the donkey’s back, is a delight.

On return, there should be time to visit the enclosures of the wildlife sanctuary to see wild boar, wolves, red deer and raptors – that is if you haven’t already on the walk!

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. We never go above the tree line. The summit of Monte Rotondo is prominent but doesn’t feel exposed or challenging – room for all in these socially distanced days! Return from the summit is by the way of ascent.

You will need to be reasonably fit to enjoy the full day. There are, though, two points that can be reached and enjoyed by people who don’t want to go all the way to the summit.  The Centro Visita del Lupo is a 15-minute drive from Popoli. See the details for the day for  more information, including timings, ascent, profile and specific advice on what to bring.

Vital Statistics & Information
Start and End Point Car park at Centro Visita del Lupo near Popoli
GPS Coordinates of Start Point 42.167928, 13.864243
Lowpoint Car park – 647m
Highpoint Summit of Monte Rotondo – 1,731m
Difference 1,084m
1,084m – no ups and downs along the way. Steady ascent
Total Distance 13 km
Estimated Walking Time 5hrs 30mins – this doesn’t include resting time and assumes a medium pace. No hares and no tortoises…
Paths and Exposure The 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. We never go above the treeline. The summit of Monte
Rotondo is a wonderful place – probably the best viewpoint in
Abruzzo but it doesn’t feel exposed or challenging. Return from
the summit is by the way of ascent.
Start time 9:15 am
Refreshments Nowhere on the route.  There are cafes and bars in Popoli
Water Nowhere on the route. Set off with at least 2.5 litres
Lunch Bring a packed lunch and some snacks in your rucksack
Clothing and Equipment Walking boots, walking trousers, fleecy top, gloves, warm hat and water / windproof jacket and trousers. A rucksack big enough for your lunch, water, gloves, hat and waterproof layer (which, with luck, you won’t be wearing). Sun hat, sun glasses and sun cream. Hiking poles will be a help.
Alternative Routes There are two intermediate rest / stop / return points for
anyone who doesn’t want to visit the summit of Rotondo. One
is the Forestry Rifugio at Monte Corvo (Rifugio Le Fonti –
usually locked) at 1,100m and the other is the splendid
viewpoint of the Sella Tremonti at 1,300m. And, of course,
there is the Animal Sanctuary and Wolf Centre where we start
and finish – most of the local wildlife can be seen in
Numbers 10 walkers maximum plus Stuart
Guidance Stuart Haines will lead the walk on a ‘friends and equals’ basis. No fees to be paid; no insurances or warranties are provided.  Italian social distancing rules will be strictly adhered to.

Altitude Profile Monte Rotondo


We will make every effort to facilitate car sharing to enable all walkers to come.  If numbers are great enough transportation can be arranged from Pescara Centrale Station but this would be an additional fee.  We will send a  quote for  the return journey using a local minibus or alternatively arrange a car share where possible.

How to Book

To book your place on the free walk, please register here.  Only walkers who have pre-registered will be accepted on the walk due to Covid19 restrictions.

Sulmona Valley (Valle Peligna) Walks

Have a look at Stuart Haines website, Sulmona Valley Walks  that makes walking in the Valle Peligna easy with 35 suggested walks you can download.



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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