Gran Sasso in Abruzzo
I’m from the northeast of Italy, which is the middle part of the country. Italy is an amazing county yet in my region in the last few years, earthquakes have been just an ordinary matter.
A year ago, I decided to go to the beach during summertime and as I always do, I took the car and I started driving to the south. This is known as the “heel of the boot.” Travel from north to south takes 10 hours of travel so I had the idea to stop along the way in Abruzzo.
I’ve always been amazed by the Gran Sasso, the highest mountain on the Appenini. I accidentally found a panoramic road named SS 17 and I drove on it. After about an hour of driving, I came to Campo Imperatore, a not-so-luxury open space. It is a place where it is possible to buy Arrosticini, goat cheese and have a wild lunch over there. There were families, kids playing with kites, friends having some wine together and we were all surrounded by an amazing landscape.
On the highest point of the mountain, there’s a historical hotel, famous for having hosted Mussolini before he’s departure to Germany. The hall is quite creepy because there are so many souvenirs of the Italian “Duce.” Outside, there’s an astronomical observatory and some stands where it is possible to have some take away rolls.
On the way back, I drove on the panoramic road SS 17 BIS which passes by the Altopiano delle Cinquemiglia. It’s quite hard to express how I felt. It was incredible. The sun brightened up in the sky and there were stray clouds above in the sky. The weather was hot but there was a summer breeze blowing quietly and most of all, I was all alone in the middle of nowhere. I could even listen to twittering of birds.
In that exact moment, I wish I had been backpacking with just a tent. That way, I could have explored more! Overall, I’m so grateful that I had the possibility to get lost by chance in all this beauty and who knows, maybe one day I will backpack!