Making the most of your visit to Sulmona: day trips in the car 

Here are 8 different circular driving tours – all starting from and then finishing back in Sulmona. They are of different lengths and the total time to complete them will depend on how often you choose to park up and how much time you spend at each stop. The idea, however, is that each route is achievable in a day.

These routes are especially good for those with limited time and/or mobility, or for bad weather days. You’ll get a wonderful impression of our beautiful Abruzzo from the comfort of your car!

We recommend that you plot them out on your map or use your SatNav before you set off and take a good guide book with you too. We have not included any opening hours or accessibility information so fingers crossed you will be able to visit everything that interests you.

 

1. Medieval Abruzzo – following in the footsteps of Celestino V

marane badia sulmona

Badia

To see: The Abbey of S. Spirito al Morrone, the archeological zone with the remains of the Roman temple of Ercole Curino and the 13th-century hermitage of Celestino V

Corfinio 

To see: The 13th-century Basilica of S. Pelino

Popoli 

To see: The 14th-century Taverna Caldora and the Sorgenti del Pescara nature reserve

Castiglione a Casauria 

To see: The 12th-century Abbey of S. Clemente a Casauria

Manoppello 

To see: The 13th-century church of S. Maria Arabona

Serramonacesca

To see: The 11th-century church of S. Liberatore a Majella

Roccamorice

To see: The 13th-century hermitage di S. Bartolomeo

 

2. The Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo

Anversa degli Abruzzi

To see: The Gole del Sagittario nature reserve

Villalago

To see: The Lake of S. Domenico

Scanno

To see: Lake Scanno

Villetta Barrea

To see: La Camosciara nature reserve

Pescasseroli

To see: Visit the picturesque town

 

3. The Parco Nazionale della Majella – itinerary 1

majella m

Cansano

To see: The archeological area ‘Ocriticum’ from the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC

Bosco di S. Antonio

To see: The ancient beech forest

Pescocostanzo

To see: The 15th-century church of Santa Maria del Colle

Rivisondoli

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Piano delle Cinque Miglia

To see: Drive through the wonderful countryside

Rocca Pia

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Pettorano sul Gizio

To see: The 12th-century Castello Cantelmo and the Monte Genzana nature reserve

 

4. The Parco Nazionale della Majella – itinerary 2

Pacentro

To see: The Castello Caldora

Passo S. Leonardo

To see: Drive through the wonderful countryside

Roccacaramanico

To see: Visit the picturesque village

S. Eufemia a Majella

To see: Visit the picturesque village and the nature reserve of Lama Bianca

Caramanico Terme

To see: Visit the picturesque town and the Orfento nature reserve

Manoppello

To see: The 13th-century church of S. Maria Arabona

Serramonacesca

To see: The 11th-century church of S. Liberatore a Majella

Castiglione a Casauria

To see: The 12th-century Abbey of S. Clemente a Casauria

Popoli

To see: The 14th-century Taverna Caldora and the Sorgenti del Pescara nature reserve

 

5. The Parco Nazionale della Majella – itinerary 3

Cansano

To see: The archeological area ‘Ocriticum’ from the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC

Campo di Giove

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Palena

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Taranta Peligna

To see: The Grotte del Cavallone caves and the Lama dei Peligni nature reserve

Fara S. Martino

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Guardiagrele

To see: Visit the town’s historic eentre

Lanciano

To see: Visit the town’s historic centre

Fossacesia

To see: The church of S. Giovanni in Venere, Punta Penna lighthouse and the Trabocchi fishing platforms

 

6. Calascio

 Rocca di Calascio in Abruzzo

Popoli

To see: The 14th-century Taverna Caldora and the Sorgenti del Pescara nature reserve

Bussi sul Tirino

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Capestrano

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Ofena

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Castel del Monte

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Calascio

To see: The-12th century Rocca Calascio

S. Stefano di Sessanio

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Piana di Navelli

To see: Drive though the wonderful countryside

 

7. Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso

Popoli

To see: The 14th-century Taverna Caldora and the Sorgenti del Pescara nature reserve

Bussi sul Tirino

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Capestrano

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Piana di Navelli

To see: Drive though the wonderful countryside

L’Aquila

To see: Visit the ancient city. (Note that following the devastating earthquake of 2009, much of the historic centre of L’Aquila is still inaccessible).

Assergi

To see: Take the cable car up to Campo Imperatore with a view of the Gran Sasso mountain

Castelli

To see: The ceramics museum and workshops

 

8. The Parco Nazionale Sirente-Velino

Raiano

To see: The Gole di S. Venanzo nature reserve and the hermitage of S. Venanzo

Castel Vecchio Subequo

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Gagliano Aterno

To see: The 12th-century Castle & Convent

Castel d’Ieri

To see: The archeological area

Tione degli Abruzzi

To see: The “Pagliare di Tione” shepherds’ huts

Fontecchio

To see: The 11th-century convent of the Cappuccini friars

S. Demetrio né Vestini

To see: Visit the picturesque village

Grotte di Stiffe

To see: The underground cave complex

Prata d’Asidonia

To see: The archeological remains of the pre-Roman village of Peltinium

Bominaco

To see: The churches of S. Bominaco, S. Maria Assunta and S. Pellegrino with 12th-century frescoes

Altopiano di Navelli

To see: Drive through the wonderful countryside

 

These itineraries were inspired by and translated from material provided kindly by the Albergo Stella in Sulmona: www.albergostella.info

About The Author

The WTS Team

Written and curated by bi-lingual partnership Katy Gorman and Susanna Iraci, Welcome To Sulmona is the first born and remains the best-loved child of their marketing & communications consultancy ‘Quid Novi'. They enjoy researching and creating copy for their own website alongside that of the other many guest authors. More often than not Katy is ‘words’ and Susanna ‘pictures’. Katy Gorman: Ex-pat Anglo-American, Quid Novi wordsmith, English teacher & resident of Sulmona since 2009. Susanna Iraci: Marchigiana, Quid Novi visual designer & photographer - also resident of Sulmona since 2009.

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