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Campo Imperatore with the National Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga is the only one such enormous territory in Italy and even the Alps on the North could not offer you such vast wild areas with lack of human presence and settlements. These camps are both good for winter sports, mountaineering, trekking, relax and simply walking in the mountain.
When there are shepherds with their animals it makes impression that there are great army to see there, many huts and tents, especially at night when there are Fires everywhere.
Francesco De Marchi, "The Horn Mountain", 1573
About Campo Imperatore
- Location: Campo Imperatore
- Region: Abruzzo
- Province: L'Aquila
- Municipality: Barisciano, Calascio, Castel del Monte, L'Aquila and Santo Stefano di Sessanio
- Zona: Central Italy
Campo Imperatore is a vast high mountain field with glacial and alluvial-karst in origin, located at 1800 m altitude in the province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo in the municipalities of Barisciano, Calascio, Castel del Monte, L'Aquila and Santo Stefano di Sessanio, in the heart of the solid Gran Sasso Mountain in Italy and within the National Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga. It is a home to major cultural and sporting facilities.
Over the snow in the winter and Ski Slopes there are also many other ways to spend your free time taking long walks in the colorful nature, especially at the beginning June when there is a Bloom and everything is like the most beautiful colorful natural carpet, there are many wildflowers that blooms and many of them are unique on the world, you can find them just in this place.
What to see in Campo Imperatore?
Campo Imperatore is a destination for amateur astronomers and astronomy enthusiasts. It has an Observatory built between 1948 and 1955 equipped with a telescope of more than one meter in diameter and run by the Roman section of the National Institute of Astrophysics in collaboration with the Astronomical Observatory of Collurania and the University of L'Aquila. Since 2001 the Center is a home of the international program CINEOS that led to the discovery of asteroids 61000 and 1500 new items, including 6 near-Earth object and a planetoid. For over twenty years also Fonte Vetica is a home to several astronomical fields regularly organized by associations of amateur astronomers from all over Italy. Very famous is the Amateur Astronomers Group sponsored by the Astronomical Field Pescaresi "RA" (Gaspra) whose first edition was held in 1988.
- Alpine Garden Vincent Rivera
Behind the Observatory is the Alpine Garden by Vincent Rivera realized by the same founder and ex-rector of the University of L'Aquila in an area of approximately 3500 square meters. The garden with annex museum is managed by the department of Environmental Sciences at the same university in collaboration with the Abruzzo National Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga.
- The church of Our Lady of the Snow (La Chiesa della Madonna della neve)
Prison of Mussolini
Campo Imperatore is famous for being the last prison of Benito Mussolini at the Hotel Campo Imperatore in 1943 that. The rooms now are museum that perfectly preserved the original furniture and can be visited by half of the curious and nostalgic people. The hotel itself is still fully functional and nearby there is the little Church of Our Lady of the Snows.
John Paul II
Campo Imperatore in Abruzzo was also with the nearby Campo Felice one of the preferred places by Pope John Paul II who used to frequent this place during the summer in search of solitude and meditation so why a top of Gran Sasso mountain was named Cima John Paul II.
Film sets, video clips, advertisements
The whole valley was often exceptional setting for films and commercials including Trinity Is Still My Name with Bud Spencer & Terence Hill (1971), The Desert of the Tartars with Vittorio Gassman and Philippe Noiret (1976), Such is the Life with the unique three and very good Italian comics Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo (1998). Some singer also like this places and realized some of their songs here as Elisa (A sense of yourself) and Simona Molinari (In the air). Also some advertisements were made here with exceptional testimonials including Leonardo DiCaprio.
Nearby, in particular is Rocca Calascio and Castel del Monte were realized some Internationally Film Shots.
Inside, below the Gran Sasso in the National Laboratories of Gran Sasso was produced the film The Events Horizon with Valerio Mastrandrea (2005).
Campo Imperatore is also preferred place of bikers because of its beautiful landscape and less trafficked roads that are interesting place to drive and organize real Motorcycle Rallies.
Skying in Gran Sasso
If you like skying and you are looking for new fascinated places to ski this is the right place for you. If you are lucky you could go skying there till the end of April. But before to go there inform yourself if the Cableway and the Ski Slopes are open in their site.
Campo Imperatore is a home to a ski resort, the first born in the Apennines, and one of the highest in Italy. The plants, which grow at the western end of the plateau between the Valley of the Fontari and the Scindarella Mountain include 3 lifts and a total of 15 km of downhill skiing and 60 km for Nordic skiing. It also has a snow park for snowboarders with half pipe and boarder cross tracks and a ring for cross-country skiing. Broad is also the ability to ski mountaineering. In part there is a hostel and the aforementioned Hotel Campo Imperatore. The station is connected by Cableway to the Valley of the Gran Sasso and has parking facilities and additional accommodation in the locality of Fonte Cerreto.
The station is combined with the ski resorts in the area of Campo Felice and Ovindoli.
Opening Hours of Cableway
In view of the termination of the ski slopes the Cableway will be open regularly runs every 30 minutes:
During the week: From 08.30 to 17.00
Weekends: From 08.00 to 17:00
Exception of the stroke at 13:30!
Centro Turistico Gran Sasso SpA,
Location Fonte Cerreto,
67010 Assergi L'Aquila
☎ +39 0862 606 847; Fax 0862608783
Web site: Official site
Ticket office: ☎ 0862 606 143
Campo Imperatore is one of the most beautiful places and nature you can find in Italy. So why it is highly recommended to visit it if it is on your way down to Italy.
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Map of Campo Imperatore