Saturday, 15 February 2014

HIDDEN MAJELLA

In the Footsteps of the Hermits


It's February, the sun is shining and it's beautifully warm, but the leaves have yet to appear and the bracken, brambles and grasses are still brown and lying flat from the winter's snows.  What better time to seek out the ancient trails.  By summer, they will be gone.  Hidden once more by the lush growth and greenness that characterises Abruzzo.

Within a 10km radius from our little spot in Serramonacesca (the land of the monks) you can find tucked amongst the hills of the Majella the Eremo of San Onofrio, the Abbey of San Liberatore, the Castel Menardo, the Torre Polegra and the cascading waters of the Alento river.  An area rich in history, monks and hermits.  

Getting off the beaten track, you find evidence of ancient lives all over these hills.  There are caves, clearly once the dwellings of hermits, all have spectacular views down and across the valley, and all with water courses nearby; there are old trails worn smooth from the many feet that have passed their way, and there are signs of the land having been tilled and managed.  And nobody knows they're there.  All except us, and a few local hunters and foragers.  

A intensely spiritual place for sure.


Within sight of the Torre Polegra

Warm, protected, hidden
A bed carved at the back

A room with a view
and an en-suite bathroom.

Follow the valley further down,
taking care over the sheer drops and steep gorges,
look closely or you'll miss it.
Clear some undergrowth, and there it is.
 Another cave hidden away
Another view
Another bathroom
Another life.


These are trails that you won't find in any guide book or map, they are not easy to find or easy to access.  But if you come and stay, and don't mind a bit of a scramble, we'll show you the way if you promise to keep it a secret.

Where we are:  http://goo.gl/maps/ewKxb
Who we are:  http://www.kokopellicamping.co.uk  


Further reading:


The Eremo of San Onofrio:  http://kokopelli-italy.blogspot.it/2012/03/serramonacesca-hermitage-festa-of-san.html
Castel Menardo & the Torre Polegra:  http://kokopelli-italy.blogspot.it/2012/03/serramonacesca-castles-towers.html
The Abbey of San Liberatore:  http://kokopelli-italy.blogspot.it/2012/03/serramonacesca-abbey-of-san-liberatore.html
The Alento River:  http://kokopelli-italy.blogspot.it/2012/03/serramonacesca-cascades-pools-gullies.html