19-22 MARCH | 25-28 SEPTEMBER
Two hours east of Rome lies the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, the jewel in the crown of Italy’s park system, where around 60 Marsican brown bears (lightweight cousins of the Kodiak bear) still exist.
Upon arrival to the picturesque town of Pescasseroli, check into the family run Albergo Villino Quintiliani, your fully inclusive base for 3 nights; here you will meet your guides and the bear foundation, Salviamo l’Orso.
Together you will have the opportunity to explore the park’s 500 sq kilometres by vehicle, on foot and even electric mountain bike! Whilst traversing some of Europe’s oldest remaining beech forest, be on the lookout for the Marsican bear and the largest red deer and wild boar in Europe.
There is the option to spend a night in a comfortable mountain cabin and try your luck howling to the local wolf pack! You may also have the opportunity to meet with Bruno D’Amicis, the leading filmmaker and photographer of the local fauna.
WHEN TO GO May to October
GROUP SIZE 8 to 12 people
Book your place
The trip price includes a £500 donation to Salviamo l’Orso to support their work. Funds go towards programmes that aim to protect Marsican brown bears by creating safe areas for them to roam and by educating local populations to encourage peaceful coexistence. Find out more.
DAY 1 – BENVENUTO
After your flight to Rome transfer to Pescasseroli, where you will join your local guide and a representative of Salviamo l’Orso.
Before enjoying a typical Italian dinner, learn about the bear foundation with a short presentation.
Spend the night at the delightful, family-run Albergo Villino Quintiliani.
DAY 2 – BEAR WATCHING
In the morning take a relaxing excursion through one of the most beautiful and ancient forests of the park.
Search and listen for the endemic black spotted woodpecker and endeavour to spot the rare longicorn Rosalia Alpina.
After lunch walk through a forest full of beautiful beech trees, with mosses and lichens, and explore a wild valley where you may experience the local fauna.
From a high point you may be able to observe bears passing along a plateau on which they live.
After a day full of wildlife, enjoy a simple dinner at sunset, before returning to the hotel for another overnight stay.
DAY 3 – TO THE MOUNTAIN CABIN
Start the day with a visit to Civitella Alfedena, a charming and ancient town which is also the location of the “Lupo Appenninico Museum”, dedicated to the history and biology of the Apennine Mountains wolf.
Meet with local farmers, shepherds and honey collectors, and understand how they live alongside the wolves and other wild animals.
After lunch embark on a hike until sunset, searching for bears, wolves and other fauna. Arrive at ‘Rifugio Terraegna’, an isolated mountain cabin where you will dine and spend the night in the wilderness.
In the stillness of the mountains listen for the sounds of wild fauna, perhaps even wolves.
DAY 4 – DEPARTURE
After an early breakfast descend from the cabin through beech and other hardwood forests, listening to a remarkable array of birds and observing wild flowers and different terrains along the way.
Showers and lunch are available at the hotel in Pescasseroli before you depart in the afternoon for Rome, and your evening flight home.
DISCOVERING THE BEAUTY OF NATURE IN MY OWN COUNTRY HAS BEEN A PRECIOUS GIFT AND OPPORTUNITY. THIS WAS CERTAINLY AN IMMERSIVE JOURNEY CONNECTING WITH NATURE, ACCOMPANIED BY THE PASSION AND ENTHUSIASM OF CONSERVATION EXPERTS.
I’M PROUD TO SUPPORT THE EUROPEAN NATURE TRUST IN THIS REMARKABLE PROJECT.
VITTORIA CRISTOFARO – 2018
TAILOR YOUR TRIP
Spend the night in the spectacular wildlife refuges, tucked away high in the mountains – relax in peace and quiet and look out for bears, wolves, boar, cattle and deer.
Enjoy the delights of this historic wine region famous for the world renowned Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
Extend the trip for a day or two and explore Rome – just two hours’ drive away!
Created in 2012, Salviamo l’Orso is striving to grow Marsican brown bear numbers within the Abruzzo National Park. Its projects involve raising awareness of the presence of the bears and educating local communities with the hopes of improving human-wildlife relationships.
The ultimate goal of Salviamo l’Orso is to expand the area in which the bears can roam securely and without threat, ensuring peaceful coexistence with members of the surrounding villages and towns.
It is down to the projects being carried out by Salviamo l’Orso that awareness around the issue of threats to the Marsican brown bear and its habitat is growing.