Spring will soon be here, and for the intrepid, it’s time to start thinking of where to travel. I am a mountains person, and in this post, I like to share about two mountainous regions in Italy that are so beautiful, they make you feel like you’re in another world.
The Apennine Mountains tend to receive far less attention than Italy’s mighty Dolomites, though it is impressive in its own way. For starters, it is the “Spine of Italy”, given the fact that it runs almost the whole length of Italy, from Liguria in the North to the tip of Calabria in the South, and even onto the island of Sicily, over a distance of about 1,200 km (750 miles).
The mountains in the range are generally named for the province or provinces in which they are located; for example, the Ligurian Apennines are in Liguria. The Abruzzi Apennines, located in Abruzzo province in southern Italy contain the highest peaks and the most rugged terrain of the Apennines. Corno Grande (Italian for “great horn”) is the highest point in the Apennine Mountains. Part of the Gran Sasso massif, its summit is 2,912m (9,554 ft) from sea level, making it the highest peak of the Italian Peninsula outside of the Alps, Historically, Abruzzo and the surrounding areas are known as the territory where the Italic peoples were first defeated by the city of Rome.
Perched at more than 1400 metres high on the tip of a ridge, the medieval castle known as Rocca Calascio is among the highest fortifications in Italy, and one of the most spectacular sites nestled in the vast and wild mountain landscape of the Apennine Mountains. The history of this mysterious castle dates to the Norman period of the 11th century. The majestic structure has inspired numerous films such as “In the Name of the Rose” and “Ladyhawke”. In foreground is the small octagonal church of Santa Maria della Pietà, built in 1596 on the place where, according to legend, the local population defeated the brigands.
The Dolomite Mountains
The staggering Dolomites – an alpine mountain range that decorates the Northern Italian province of Trentino – look as if they belong in the wilderness of Patagonia or the Canadian Rockies. The breathtaking mountains are snow-dusted throughout the year. They have long played second fiddle to the Swiss Alps. even though the skiing is world-famous and summer is pleasant, with warm days and cool evenings that enhance the stunning views of mountains, not to mention ancient towns scattered over its vast area of 141,903 ha. As mountains go, the Dolomites are not particularly high, numbering eight peaks which rise to no more than 3,343 m (10,968 ft). But the area features some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere, with vertical walls, sheer cliffs and a high density of narrow, deep and long valleys. In 2009, UNESCO declared the Dolomites a World Heritage Site, thus joining it to the list of the world’s protected natural paradises.