A Travel to Italy’s “Little Tibet”

I’m beginning a series of posts on a romantic journey to historical places of Abruzzo. This tour is guided by Francesca who was born in these places. She is a professional archaeologist and participates in the excavation of an ancient Roman city. Especially for us Francesca has developed an exclusive itinerary around the most picturesque places of Campo Imperatore. We will visit small hill towns, unassailable medieval castles, ancient churches and finally modern excavations of ancient Roman city Peltuinum.
This fantastic area is known as Italy’s “Little Tibet”. In this metaphor is reflected not only the physical geography, but geography of spirit, as well. Vast uninhabited spaces, majestic mountains, broad valleys and their natural harmony strike imagination. Being here one experiences a wonderful feeling of inner peace and tranquility, which is so rare in big cities.
Campo Imperatore (the Emperor’s Camp) is a mountain grassland or alpine meadow formed by a high basin shaped plateau located in the Province of L’Aquila (Abruzzo)  in the Gran Sasso massif. It is the largest plateau of the Apennine ridge. Campo Imperatore has a tectonic origin shaped by alluviums and glaciers. The plateau has 27 km in length and 8 km in width and lies adjacent to the Apennines’ highest peak Corno Grande, and Europe’s southernmost glacier, the Calderone. It is also surrounded by Monte Prena, Monte Aquila, and the Camicia Mountains to the north and Monte Scindarella, Mesola and Monte Bolza to the south.


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