L'itinerario ha inizio dallo splendido borgo di Villavallelonga a 1005 metri d'altezza, nel cuore del Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo Lazio e Molise. Da piazza largo Fontana, nei pressi del municipio, ci si tiene a destra per imboccare via Canale in direzione sud; dopo 100 metri, si gira a destra e si raggiunge l’ingresso del Museo dell'Orso che merita senz’altro una visita.
Majella National park
Established in 1995, the Majella National Park has an area of 74,095 hectares and includes 39 municipalities in the provinces of L' Aquila, Chieti and Pescara. Aspirate and imposing, the Majella is steep and compact on the western side, stretches high up in the plateau of Femmina Morta, and is engraved on the eastern side by the wildest valleys of Abruzzo. The Park, which also includes the bastion of Morrone and Pizi Mountains, is one of the most important wildlife habitats in Italy and Europe.
The uninterrupted presence of man, testified by prehistoric deposits that date back to the Paleolithic, constitutes the essence itself, the peculiar identity of this Park, which is inextricably guardian of nature and man, as evidenced by caves and inscriptions of shepherds and robbers, The tholos huts scattered everywhere among the agricultural fields and the deep-sea pastures, the many hermitages and places of worship that express the charm of the Majella always considered a sacred mountain, maternal and Aboriginal since its name, which recalls that Maja mother of the crops adored by her first farmers.
The geographical position, the altitude characteristics (at least thirty peaks over 2,000 metres), the rigour and changing climate make this mountain unique and guardian of one of the most important biological diversity in Europe. On the Majella live the wolf, bear, chamois, otter, roe deer and deer. The 130 bird species include the golden eagle, the peregrine falcon, the eagle owl, the lanner, the goshawk and the tortolino. The beech woods cover the slopes between 1,000 and 1,800 meters, while on the ridges there is a rare mountain pine, typical of Nordic environments. Vegetation includes over 1,700 species, many of them endemic.
In the Park you can visit small towns of great historical interest such as the ancient Pacentro, Caramanico with its thermal spas, Guardiagrele with its rich artisan artistic production, and the splendid Pescocostanzo, from the proud historical center of the Renaissance and Baroque. Of great interest are also the hermitages and places of worship such as the abbey of San Liberatore in Majella, the celestinian hermitages of Morrone (Sant' Onofrio and San Pietro) and Majella (San Bartolomeo di Legio), Holy Spirit in Majella, San Giovanni all' Orfento, Sant' Onofrio di Serramonacesca, Madonna dell' Altare, the sanctuary of Ercole Curino and the church of San Tommaso a Salle.