Italian ethnologist Fosco Maraini, who lived and explored the East far and wide, high and low, says about Campo Imperatore, (L’Aquila), Italy: “It could undoubtedly be Tibet. It looks like Phari-Dong plain, on the way from India to Lhasa”. (I trust mr. Maraini but I snooped Phari-Dong on Google Maps and the resemblance with Campo Imperatore is really astonishing).
Campo Imperatore (l’Aquila), a small Tibet plateau at hand’s reach, ideal for an excursion in #MountainBike | photo: ©GiuseppeMarone
I don’t know if Maraini ever rode a bike on that plain – I hope he did – and had the same fun I had when I took a ride on Campo Imperatore last summer.
Appetibilis Chief Soryteller Lonza65 on a mission :: Campo Imperatore (l’Aquila) | photo: ©GiuseppeMarone
On the coast the temperature was far above 30° C (86° F) and there, it was scarcely 20° C (68° F), so pedalling was nice and almost sweat-free. The track I rode with Bike Inside Team friends is easy and comfortable, no steep hills to climb, wide track, sheer fun .
“There’s more to getting to where you’re going then just knowing there’s a road.” ~Joan Lowery Nixon :: Campo Imperatore (l’Aquila) – Rifugio San Francesco | photo: ©Lonza65
The 26-km (16,15 mi) track starts from Rifugio San Francesco and develops on the bottom of the shingle canyon all the way through Lago di Racollo and back on the tarmac road. All around you can enjoy the view of the highest peak of the Appennines (Corno Grande, 2912 m – 9553ft) and the other mountains of the range (Brancastello, Prena and Camicia).
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.” ~Sylvia Plath :: Campo Imperatore (l’Aquila) | photo: ©BikeInsideTeam
If you forgot to bring your packed lunch with you, you can have lunch at Rifugio San Francesco or grill yourself sausages, steaks and arrosticini that you can buy at Mucciante butcher’s. They provide the grill, the fire, the meat and the drinks. You provide the fun.
Check also our Postcards from Italy :: Campo Imperatore (L’Aquila)
Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end.” ~Edward Whymper :: Campo Imperatore (l’Aquila) | photo: ©Lonza65
“All mountain landscapes hold stories: the ones we read, the ones we dream, and the ones we create.” ~George Michael Sinclair Kennedy :: Campo Imperatore (l’Aquila) | photo: ©Lonza65
‘Intervallo” :: Campo Imperatore (l’Aquila) | photo: ©Lonza65
“You don’t need to climb a mountain to know that it’s high.” ~Paulo Coelho :: Campo Imperatore (l’Aquila) | photo: ©Lonza65
“The earth has music for those who listen.” ~George Santayana :: Campo Imperatore (l’Aquila) | photo: ©Lonza65
“Intervallo” :: Campo Imperatore (l’Aquila) | photo: ©BikeInsideTeam
“There is no such sense of solitude as that which we experience upon the silent and vast elevations of great mountains.” ~Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu :: Campo Imperatore (l’Aquila) | photo: ©Lonza65
“Rest and be thankful.” ~William Wordsworth :: Campo Imperatore (l’Aquila) – Ristoro Mucciante | photo: ©Lonza65
“The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can, pursuing it with eager feet, until it joins some larger way where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say” ~J.R.R. Tolkien :: Campo Imperatore (l’Aquila) | photo: ©GiuseppeMarone