A CONSERVATION JOURNEY
MARSICAN BROWN BEAR
On this immersive journey to explore the wild beauty of Abruzzo, Italy, you will discover Appenine wildlife in the heart of the Abruzzo National Park.
The park is a 150,000 acre protected area in south central Italy. It is crossed by only one paved road and is an area of stunning wilderness.
Two-thirds of the park’s surface is covered in vast forests of beech, fir, pine, oak, yew, ash, maple and other tree species. These forests are home to the endangered Marsican brown bear, wolves, chamois, fox, roe deer and some of the largest red deer in Europe.
Today, only about 50 Marsican brown bears remain – most of them protected within the Abruzzo National Park. Due to the population’s historical isolation, the bears are not only endemic to Central Italy, but they are genetically unique from other alpine brown bears.
The Appenine wolf has been successfully recolonizing the Abruzzo area – from less than 100 remaining at the end of the 1960s to 7 or 8 packs roaming the park today.
With magical views and starry night skies, Abruzzo awaits you!
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL
Land in Rome in the early afternoon and transfer to Pescasseroli, a picturesque town in the heart of the Abruzzo National Park.
Settle into the charming Villino Quantiliani, a family-run 4* hotel, and meet your guides who will set the scene for the trip.
Once freshened up, depart on a relaxed walk through a nearby ancient forest and stunning flower meadows. There is the option to set a camera trap in prime brown bear habitat and enjoy a ‘safari-style’ sunset drink.
On arrival back at the hotel, enjoy a beautiful Italian dinner and some lovely local wines.
DAY 2 – EXPLORE
After breakfast, transfer by car to the Rifugio del Diavolo shelter, the trailhead of today’s journey.
Spend the day hiking along a wild valley – the route winds through gorges and clearings frequented by the Marsican brown bear, red/roe deer, wild boar and other wildlife.
After a tasty picnic lunch, arrive at a beautiful natural terrace with a view of the Val Cervara forest – one of Italy’s ancient forests with beech trees over 500 years old!
In the evening, return to Pescasseroli for another delicious dinner with fine wine!
DAY 3 – WOLVES & BEARS
Rise early to go in search of wolves – today, 8 packs are known to be roaming the Abruzzo National Park! Enjoy an early lunch in one of the authentic local restaurants followed by a short siesta.
Set off again on foot in search of bears. Along the way, your guide will point out animal tracks and explain bear biology and characteristics. After a two hour walk, arrive at a high observation point and look out for wildlife passing below.
Admire the starry sky and dancing fireflies as you arrive through the woods to the Terraegna refuge – a quaint mountain top cottage with all the necessary creature comforts. Set high up in the mountains, with little mobile connection, this magical spot offers a unique setting to rest and recharge – and, of course, watch for wildlife.
After dinner, prepared by your guide with local produce, go to sleep listening for the howls of wolves.
DAY 4 – DEPARTURE
In the morning, enjoy another easy hike to collect the camera trap photos – who knows what you might see!
Enjoy a final lunch together before transferring to an airport to fly home.
TAILOR YOUR TRIP
Spend the night in the spectacular Terraegna refuge, 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!