The Sleeping Giant, Corno Piccolo & His Cerqueto Orchid Trail

Cerqueto is probably most famously known for its Christmas Presepe Vivente, but exploring the surrounding areas also reveals the most unexpectedly abundant  technicolour multi-variety orchid trail, with sublime views of Abruzzo’s “Sleeping Giant” the Corno Piccolo (2655m), perfect for those that fancy a gentle May ramble

You’ll see the orchid walk signposted as Rio S Giacomo’ (977 masl) at the foot of the village of Cerqueto, which is 740 masl. It is a relatively easy walk, but if you fancy extending your hike you can go on to Pietracamela, have lunch and walk back (1.15 hr each way).  Although this high up you’ll benefit from a cooling breeze,  the path isn’t shaded so do take a hat!   The orchid display up here is something else and took us ‘Londoners’ completely by surprise, it felt as if you had quite literally walked into the middle of a private orchid rave such were their diversity and colours.  I’d probably list this to be one of my ultimate Abruzzo picnic spots, listening to the river waters below with such incredible views.   For those that fancy dipping their feet into a cooling rock pool, you can ease your feet into the spring waters at the beginning (and end) of the walk.

Further Reading

For those looking for a little more action beyond the remarkable mountain views and orchids-fest, climbers also abseil down the Rio San Giacomo’s frozen waterfalls during winter.

The best English language pages on walking around the Corno Piccolo & Corno Grande we have found is on page – this is a collaborative community focused on climbing, mountaineering, hiking and other outdoor activities and is truly excellent in the information it provides & recommends.  There is also Stuart Haines guided walking books.




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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9 May 2011 16:09

Thank you very much! Such a simple but precious beauty…

Majella Home Cooking
25 April 2013 17:56


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