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Kamienno-drewniany Ponte Dell Vallone.

Exploring Abruzzo’s wilderness: Ponte Dell’Vallone and Orfento Valley in the Majella National Park.

 If you want to explorine Abruzzo’s wilderness, start with the paths to Ponte Dell’Vallone and Orfento Valley in the Majella National Park in Abruzzo. Majella National Park  covers nearly 100 square miles of unspoiled mountains and breathtaking canyons. In the park you can choose from forest paths, river paths, mountain paths, open space paths, paths full of flowers, etc. Simply Italy’s wilderness at its best.

 I love Abruzzo and the fact that its offer tracks for more and less experienced hikers. I appreciate the variety of routes and the fact that they are of different lengths. The days were lovely during our stay there in June. We did tracks that goes in the open, but since I’m not a huge fan of the muggy weather, I wanted to hike also in a wood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We picked out the Ponte Del’Vallone and Valle Dell’Orfento paths.

A board welcoming touristsa coming to Valle Dell'Orfento at the Majella Park in Abruzzo.
Welcome to Valle Dell’Orfento.

 

The path stars near the tourist center of Caramanico in La Valle dell’Orfento. After registering with the center and asking if there are bears on the track (that’s because of my bear obsessions), we had two choices: go left or go right.

The path on the left leads to Sentiero Delle Scallele, takes about 20 minutes, and was far too short. We decided to choose the longer track on the right.

Wooden sign and a map showing Ponte Dell'Valle path.
                                                                                      A way to Ponte del Valone.

We found the B2 trail that leads to Ponte Dell’Vallone and entered the wood.

After a short walk across a green and bumpy landscape the path took us to the mountains. The view was amazing. For me, the mountains in Abruzzo are what the mountains should be: rocky enough and green enough to be just beautiful.

A rock and forest covering rocky Majella park mountains in Abruzzo.
                                                                                      Rocky and forest mountains of Abruzzo.

 Admiring the beauty of the landscape, breathing the fresh mountain air, stopping every now and then for photos, we moved on and reached another forest.

The route goes through it, so we just kept walking. I liked the sun-free path and the silence occasionally broken by birds. But of course, from time to time I looked for a bear lurking behind the bushes.

Moing on, we heard the sound of the river, so we knew we were close to the wooden bridge that ends this section of the route.

A wooden bruidge standing on rocks in the mountain river.
                                                                                                        Ponte del Vallone.

We stopped there and had a lunch break. Sitting on the shore, looking at the sharp water, I felt that I was getting rid of the stress that had accompanied me for two years. It was one of those moments when you don’t think about anything and don’t care about anything, just enjoying nature and refreshing air.

A person sitting under the tree on the shore of the mountain river.
                                                                            Taking a break.

It would be nice to take a bath or just wet your feet, but these kinds of things are forbidden.

The bridge is where you can make decisions about what to do.

You can go back to the B2 or cross the bridge and there are signs for other paths. Before you make up your mind though, cross the bridge, jump over the rocks and you will see a cute little waterfall.

A small waterfall flowing among rocks covered with plants.
                                A small waterfall you can se just behind the bridge.

 

We decided to do the S (Ponte di Ceramico), which runs along the river through the forest. The walk is more or less 1.30 min long, but because there are so many naturally beautiful points, it took to us much longer.

The Orfento River is the only river in the Majella Park that is full of water at any time of the year.

The water flowing among the rocks for millennia has gouged a canyon in the valley, creating conditions for the extraordinary growth of flora and fauna. In the valley you can find for example oaks, orchids, cloves etc.. In the higher parts of Orfento, ie at over 1500 m in height, edelweiss and mountain poppies grow.

Plunging into the Orfento valley, we saw more small wooden bridges, rustling mini-waterfalls, and lush greenery. There were tiny flowers and some plants with huge leaves! This place is perfect for admiring the diversity of flora and is a real treat for nature lovers.

A small wooden bridge standing in the mountain river full of stones surrounded ny green treets and plants.
                                                                             A lovely wooden bridge.

Ponte di Ceramico is at the end of the path.

A high most visible trough trees.
                                                                            The end of the path.

Just by chance, I turned my head on the last wooden bridge, and right behind me, I spotted something special. There was a high wall covered with moss and small plants. A small stream of water ran down the mountain creating a mini waterfall and ran down into the river. The sun broke through the treetops and  illuminated the wall and the mini-waterfall wonderfully. My photos do not reflect the charm of this place, but you can see something in them.

A wee waterfall falling down from a high mountain wall covered with plants.
                                                                         A mini waterfall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we had just to climb the stairs and that was the end of the path.

To get to the center of Caramico Terma you can take a  minibus (it costs 2 euro), but you can go on foot. A few people were waiting for the transport, so we decided to walk. We stuck to the main road and after 25 min we were in the town.

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