Monte Velino

June 7, 2011 / Places
Monte Velino, Abruzzo
Four intrepid hikers set out early one gorgeous Sunday morning in May to hike Monte Velino in the close Abruzzi. It is not far from Rome but is considered an expert’s hike, as the change in altitude is 1100 meters to the Rifugio or 1500 meters to the summit.

The hike is well marked and the trail is open, almost a road up, though very rocky. We chose Route #3 as the easiest of many up the mountain. There are lovely views of the village of Rosciolo in the distance during most of the climb. We passed wild horses on the path, two with colts / foals, and we were followed by a beautiful Pastore Abbruzzese mountain dog.

Our first goal was the fountain at Vallone di Sevice, dating from 1909. It took us three hours, with the usual stops on the way for water, the views, photos, and for one of our group to do a bit of off-trail rock climbing! A real highlight of the climb was a surprise chance to go butt-sledding on a wide swath of snow remaining from winter.

Our next destination was the Rifugio Capanna di Sevice, another 30 minutes walk up from the fountain, for a total of 3.5-4 hours to read 2119 m.

The summit of Monte Velino, at 2487 m, was still more than an hour further (4-5 hours total). One group member was eager to get a ‘cache’ as an avid geocacher, so he set out with his partner. Halfway there, they realized that the going was risky, on a slippery ridge with ice and snow leftover from winter, especially with limited time.

After a well-deserved rest, we headed down, a three-hour return trip on steep slippery rocky paths!

– Many thanks to the Hikers Gone Wild for sharing!

Gretchen Bloom

by Gretchen Bloom reader and Central Italy expert. Also a recent Senior Advisor at the UN’s World Food Program as well as head of WFP’s Programme Unit in Kabul, Afghanistan, for 15 months. Expert in gender issues and community health.

8 Responses to “Monte Velino”

  1. Robert Yates

    Superb views, quite a hike but I suspect very rewarding. Sadly not for me at 81

  2. Roland

    Having never done anything like this, at 64 I would love to give it a try. Being along, I wonder that nature is our best companion.

  3. Linda Gasbarro

    I really enjoyed your beautiful pictures. My paternal grandparents came to this country at the turn of the 20th century so I have a sentimental appreciation for the region. Some day I’m gonna visit the little town of Ateleta in Abruzzo where both of my grandparents were born but for now the best I can do is enjoy beautiful pictures. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. umberto levrini

    seems like a great climb,but at 88 a little beyond my stamina;never-the-less a photographer’s paradise –good luck to those that make the climb and bona fortuna to those who enjoy the wine and watch from below!!

  5. Gian Banchero

    Happily I did all my as-such hiking in my youth, now at 70 I not only have the memories but the corns to prove it… Looking at your photos, Gretchen, I really do feel the wind in my hair, sun on my face and the crisp fresh air in my lungs, so many memories have surfaced. Thank you ever so much for allowing me to jaunt up into the mountains again, loved the experience!!


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