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Bari-Polignano al Mare-Gargano-Gran Sasso-Firenze

Bari-Polignano al Mare-Gargano-Gran Sasso-Firenze

Nov 11th, 2019, 02:11 AM
  #21  
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I have now finalised our driving itinerary from Polignare a Mare to Siena. We are stopping in Campobasso for one night so that we can make an early start to the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo. We thought we would stop in the main town, Pescasseroli. Hiking sites and the official park site have lots of hikes starting at 16 kms. Are there any 2-3 km loops anywhere else in the park, eg Opi, Barrea, that we can do in a couple of hours? TIA.
Redlandsneen is offline  
Nov 11th, 2019, 03:31 AM
  #22  
 
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So many excellent restaurants, beautiful surroundings, and town.
Melanie_O is offline  
Nov 12th, 2019, 01:08 AM
  #23  
 
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We stayed in an agriturismo in Pescasseroli over 10 years ago. At that time, the tourist office organized guided hikes. The brother of the owner of our agriturismo was a retired park ranger, who took us and another couple on a long hike, at no charge. I think other lodgings had similar arrangements with guides.

Pescasseroli was a popular vacation spot for Italians, mostly from Rome and vicinity.

It looks as though the agriturismo has become "a laid-back hotel" called La Valle del Lupo, which still offers guided walks.

Make sure you have sturdy shoes if you want to hike, as the terrain is rocky. I was the only one on our hike who had normal shoes, and I had to throw them out afterwards. They barely made it back to the agriturismo.
bvlenci is offline  
Nov 12th, 2019, 12:21 PM
  #24  
 
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We loved Polignano a Mare and spent a week there. However, we never went to any cave bar or restaurant. Lots of good dining in town overlooking the Adriatic.
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Nov 12th, 2019, 01:13 PM
  #25  
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Restaurants around L'Aquila

Originally Posted by Melanie_O View Post
So many excellent restaurants, beautiful surroundings, and town.
Great - any particular recommendations?
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Nov 13th, 2019, 12:17 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by bvlenci View Post
We stayed in an agriturismo in Pescasseroli over 10 years ago. At that time, the tourist office organized guided hikes. The brother of the owner of our agriturismo was a retired park ranger, who took us and another couple on a long hike, at no charge. I think other lodgings had similar arrangements with guides.

Pescasseroli was a popular vacation spot for Italians, mostly from Rome and vicinity.

It looks as though the agriturismo has become "a laid-back hotel" called La Valle del Lupo, which still offers guided walks.

Make sure you have sturdy shoes if you want to hike, as the terrain is rocky. I was the only one on our hike who had normal shoes, and I had to throw them out afterwards. They barely made it back to the agriturismo.
Hello again! Never mind my shoes - my ankles will never make it LOL. As we are just passing through en route to L'Aquila, we only want a little flat trail that would take an hour or so, but I am sure the town and surrounds will provide enough scenery. Do you think it is feasible to take the route from the park via Sulmona and still have time to go up to Castel San Stefano before reaching L'Aquila? We are in L'Aquila for 2 nights and I thought the next full day we could spend driving from there to Assergi and toward Fano a Corno. Thanks.
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Nov 13th, 2019, 02:45 AM
  #27  
 
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The town itself of Pescasseroli isn't anything special. It's mostly modern and spread out. It caters to outdoor tourism and park services. The countyside is very nice, and we took some short walks in addition to the long hike. We didn't frequent the restaurants, but ate every evening at the agriturismo, which had wonderful meals, prepared using the produce of the owner's organic garden.

One of the day trips we took was to Sulmona, a town that I really liked. If you don't want to do any hiking, you might consider staying there instead of Pescasseroli. It would also shorten the drive to L'Aquila.

I've never been to Santo Stefano, but it looks like a good base for visiting Castel del Monte, which you absolutely shouldn't miss.

We also visited Opi, which is high on a hill. I don't think there's anything flat there. Another town we saw was Scanno, where some of the residents, mostly elderly women, still wear a traditional dress. Someone in a nearby town told us, a bit scornfully, that the town pays them to wear it. Finally, once we took a recommended hike on our own. When we were already deep in the woods the trail blazes were no more, and we were a little anxious about finding our way out.

Last edited by bvlenci; Nov 13th, 2019 at 02:56 AM.
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Nov 13th, 2019, 04:51 AM
  #28  
 
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You can peek into the Grotta Palasezze restaurant without eating there. It is really pretty but th e guy who approached us was very uptight and unfriendly. Just say you want to look at the menu and see the place. It is beautiful but there are other places that are reputed to have much better food at more earthbound prices.
Osteria dell Chichibio is one. There is also a very famoous and very good gelato place at the entrance to the old historic center: Mago de Gelo, famous for granita.
We actually went there for my partner to see the famous statue of Domenico Mondugno, so if you are a music fan, that might be interessting. The town is beautiful, just beautiful. Hard to park, I think.

OUR HISTORY

https://www.osteriadichichibio.it

I loved Senegalia; great restaurants there!!

Pretty certain that there are trabocchi along the coast of Molise.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Nov 14th, 2019, 04:20 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by bvlenci View Post
The town itself of Pescasseroli isn't anything special. It's mostly modern and spread out. It caters to outdoor tourism and park services. The countyside is very nice, and we took some short walks in addition to the long hike. We didn't frequent the restaurants, but ate every evening at the agriturismo, which had wonderful meals, prepared using the produce of the owner's organic garden.

One of the day trips we took was to Sulmona, a town that I really liked. If you don't want to do any hiking, you might consider staying there instead of Pescasseroli. It would also shorten the drive to L'Aquila.

I've never been to Santo Stefano, but it looks like a good base for visiting Castel del Monte, which you absolutely shouldn't miss.

We also visited Opi, which is high on a hill. I don't think there's anything flat there. Another town we saw was Scanno, where some of the residents, mostly elderly women, still wear a traditional dress. Someone in a nearby town told us, a bit scornfully, that the town pays them to wear it. Finally, once we took a recommended hike on our own. When we were already deep in the woods the trail blazes were no more, and we were a little anxious about finding our way out.
Hello. We are only passing through the park, not staying in Pescasseroli. From Polignare a Mare, we are staying in CAMPOBASSO to split the journey to L'Aquila.

My question was whether it was FEASIBLE after passing through Parco Nazionale di Abruzzo (stopping at either Pescasseroli, Opi, or other town for lunch?) to drive to SULMONA on the way to SANTO STEFANO and then to L'Aquila - or is that too much? If there isn't much to see in the town of Pescasseroli, maybe it will be that we just drive through and enjoy the scenery along the valley drive, especially since you liked Sulmona.

Thanks.
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Nov 14th, 2019, 04:24 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by ekscrunchy View Post
You can peek into the Grotta Palasezze restaurant without eating there. It is really pretty but th e guy who approached us was very uptight and unfriendly. Just say you want to look at the menu and see the place. It is beautiful but there are other places that are reputed to have much better food at more earthbound prices.
Osteria dell Chichibio is one. There is also a very famoous and very good gelato place at the entrance to the old historic center: Mago de Gelo, famous for granita.
We actually went there for my partner to see the famous statue of Domenico Mondugno, so if you are a music fan, that might be interessting. The town is beautiful, just beautiful. Hard to park, I think.

OUR HISTORY

https://www.osteriadichichibio.it

I loved Senegalia; great restaurants there!!

Pretty certain that there are trabocchi along the coast of Molise.
Hello. Thanks for this. I've been to Senigallia and ate at the Michelin restaurant there - too much food!

Earlier posts did say that the food was very average at the Grotto restaurant, and suggested we just have a bottle of wine there and eat somewhere else. That's probably what we will do. Thanks for the restaurant recommendation!
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Nov 17th, 2019, 01:17 PM
  #31  
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Now I am getting to the nitty gritty of why I chose this itinerary: to be in the presence of the massifs of Gran Sasso. I read on here that driving via Assergi is worth it, even if you are not hiking. There is an autostrada A24 from L'Aquila. Is it recommended to take that route, and what would the tolls be? Obviously in mountain areas, there is a good reason they built an autostrada. Would I be nuts to take any other secondary roads, and how far can I go - all the way to Fano a Corno? We have the whole day to devote to this enterprise. TIA
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Nov 17th, 2019, 01:30 PM
  #32  
 
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Unless you're driving a couple of hundred miles, I would think the Autostrada would be 5-10 Euros for a 100 kms.
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Nov 17th, 2019, 01:44 PM
  #33  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by Redlandsneen View Post
what would the tolls be? \
viamichelin.com provides information on tolls.
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Nov 18th, 2019, 02:54 AM
  #34  
 
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If you check the itinerary on Google Maps, you should be able to compare the route via the A14 (autostrada) and the internal route. If you zoom in on the internal route, you can see how twisty it is. The distance isn't great, so even an internal route wouldn't take an inordinate amount of time. I think the deciding factor would be your tolerance for hairpin turns.
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Dec 2nd, 2019, 05:27 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by bvlenci View Post
The town itself of Pescasseroli isn't anything special. It's mostly modern and spread out. It caters to outdoor tourism and park services. The countyside is very nice, and we took some short walks in addition to the long hike. We didn't frequent the restaurants, but ate every evening at the agriturismo, which had wonderful meals, prepared using the produce of the owner's organic garden.

One of the day trips we took was to Sulmona, a town that I really liked. If you don't want to do any hiking, you might consider staying there instead of Pescasseroli. It would also shorten the drive to L'Aquila.

I've never been to Santo Stefano, but it looks like a good base for visiting Castel del Monte, which you absolutely shouldn't miss.

We also visited Opi, which is high on a hill. I don't think there's anything flat there. Another town we saw was Scanno, where some of the residents, mostly elderly women, still wear a traditional dress. Someone in a nearby town told us, a bit scornfully, that the town pays them to wear it. Finally, once we took a recommended hike on our own. When we were already deep in the woods the trail blazes were no more, and we were a little anxious about finding our way out.
* * * * *
Hello. We have changed our overnight in Campobasso to Castel di Sangro so that we are closer to the mountain area (bypassing Pescasseroli and the park altogether). The following morning we will now stop in Scanno en route to Sulmona and then on to Castel del Monte and L'Aquila. That should be a full day. What I am still struggling with is the best route to take from Polignare a Mare - a long haul day - and whether it's worth taking the provincial/state roads inland all the way or should we take the coastal autostrada north part of the way, maybe to Vasto and cut in? It is a lot of ground to cover so I want to make sure that at least some portion of the drive is scenic with places of interest to stop briefly. I know you don't think much of Gargano, so I'm over that idea. What would you do? Thanks. Grazie mille. (PS I've had some biting comments on here about trying to do too much.)
Redlandsneen is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2019, 06:34 PM
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
We loved Polignano a Mare and spent a week there. However, we never went to any cave bar or restaurant. Lots of good dining in town overlooking the Adriatic.
Would you feel as wonderful about staying there a week in February or March? That’s when we will be down there and are intrigued
travelon98 is online now  
Dec 3rd, 2019, 05:09 AM
  #37  
 
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Keep in mind that the road from Scanno to Sulmona is narrow and winding, along a canyon. There is one village along this route that is worth stopping at, Anversa degli Abruzzi; you go through a tunnel in the mountain to get there, driving to Sulmona. This is the only area in Italy that I have seen signs warning of wild bears. We spent almost a day driving from Sulmona to Scanno and walking around and eating lunch iin Scanno. There is also the beautiful lake of Scanno that you need to see, en route.

https://www.italythisway.com/places/...li-abruzzi.php
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Dec 3rd, 2019, 10:23 AM
  #38  
 
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Yikes, bears?

was one of the reasons to enjoy hiking in Italy vs. the Rockies.
scrb11 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2019, 01:17 AM
  #39  
 
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You don't need to worry about bears in the park. The total population is about 50. Many people who live there have never seen one.
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Dec 4th, 2019, 05:33 AM
  #40  
 
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If you are going to be in Gran Sasso for the mountains, I strongly recommend you visit Rocca Calascio which is a ruined fortress atop a mountain close to Santo Stefano di Sessanio. The experience of the climb and the views from the top are spectacular. Also be careful when you put Castel del Monte on your itinerary. There are more than one. The medieval octagonal castle is in Alta Murgia National Park in central Puglia. The one close to Santo Stefano is a completely different place.
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