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Opened in 1982, this area includes Corfinio territory as well as Castiglione, Popoli and Tocco land. It is relatively unspoilt by tourism, and extends to the Gran Sasso in the south. It is divided into two areas, with different landscapes, by the Pescara river. The position determines the vegetation that grows here. From Pescara take the A25 to the Bussi exit.
Formed of karst plateaus, deep valleys and rugged highlands, the Maiella National Park encompasses some of Italy's most dramatic wilderness. The Maiella, Morrone, Porrara, and Monti Pizzi form the core of the park, surrounded by valleys, plateaus and plains. From the desolate Alpine tundra to lush grasslands and forests teeming with life, the park helps preserve a vibrant habitat that has remained largely undisturbed by civilization. A cornucopia of wonders await discovery amid the stalactites and stalagmites of the caves of Maiella, while the forests are alive with birdsong. Known for its biodiversity, Brown Bears, Apennine Wolves, Golden Eagles and Abruzzo Chamois are just a few of the wild creatures that roam the park. A rarity in many ways, the Maiella National Park is a wonderland for nature lovers and the adventurous at heart. Several museums, botanic preserves and visitor centers are found throughout the park.
According to legend these baths were built in 980 by Caro, grandson of Carlo Magno. The modern thermal baths were built at the beginning of the 20th Century in order to exploit the properties of the sulfuric mineral water to cure respiratory and skin diseases. In a few years these curative waters began to draw many tourists so hotels, pensions, residences and other establishments were built around them. Apart from the thermal baths are there is also a small historical center that includes three churches from the 15th Century: the gothic Church of Santa Maria Assunta; S. Nicola, famous for the silver cross it houses and San Maurizio featuring a triptych of the Madonna with Child. The nature reserve of the Orfento is close to the town. From Pescara take the A25, Casauria-Torre de Passeri exit then the route 487.
This reserve extends over an area of 2600 hectares (6425 acres) that goes from the river Orfento to Mount Focalone. The network of pathways has been purposely made to allow visitors to get to know the varied environment of the Maiella, which is a complex habitat of animals and vegetables. The reserve is well kept, as can be seen from the presence of precious species such as the dipper. An initiative by the forestry commission has created, in the visitors center, an area where otters can be observed and can reproduce. This is also the place to see roe deer, deer, eagles and hawks. Visitors need authorisation from the Majambiente Cooperative to visit the reserve. Call ahead for timings.
Around the basin of Capo Pescara, with an area of 49 hectares (121 acres), this natural reserve is almost where the Aterno River meets that of Pescara, which goes out to sea. The oasis is characterized by a diversity of environments and species with good living conditions, as the water infiltrates the land. This is therefore the place to find species that could not live elsewhere. Among the animals here are the osprey, the marsh harrier and the white stork. The nature reserve service offers a parking lot, an educational route, bird observation posts and an information point.
This is one of the few examples of civil, medieval architecture in Abruzzo. It was built in the 14th Century for Giovanni Cantelmo. Built as a house-workshop for collecting and selling feudal, agricultural products, it became an inn and a hotel for people who stopped at Popoli to change horses. In 1574, Ottavio Cantelmo had a new tavern built next to this one, called the University. The old building has two floors, divided by a cornice which goes round the whole facade. The workshop was on the ground floor and had a large, pointed portal. The coat of arms of the Cantelmo family and other families are on the facade, as well as fantastic and allegorical subjects. Call for timings.