For the first year of living in Rome I lamented that there were no real mountains close by. Then, I was introduced to the Gran Sasso National Park, just 2 hours from Rome. Gran Sasso lays claim to many interesting features including Southern Italy’s highest Peak (Corno Grande), the southern-most glacier in Europe, Refugio Campo Imperatore where Mussolini was imprisoned until freed by a Nazi commando operation, and the castle of Rocco Calscio – all of which as you can imagine, makes for great running.
Adrienne and I have made Gran Sasso our go-to weekend summer getaway with the aging “Hotel Budapest-like Refugio Campo Imperatore as our base. The weekend drill goes something like this...
Jay blocks his Friday calendar with “week wrap-up” from 15:00 to 17:00 so he can get out of the office no later than 5:00. Pick-up the rental car at 5:30. Join the hordes of Romans escaping the city for the weekend. Exchanging hand gestures and expletives turn the crawling pace of traffic into a pleasurable experience. Once outside the Recordo Grande (belt route) traffic thins and we speed along the A24 at 130 kilometers an hour…
Immediately upon arriving at Refugio Campo Imperatore we crack a bottle of regional wine (Abruzzo) over which we plan the weekend’s running adventures.
Enjoy some pictures from past weekends…
|Hotel Budapest-like Refugio Campo Imperatore (2130M) - our weekend home|
|Planning the weekend activities down the hall from where Mussolini was imprisoned|
|Fog Lifting on Cresta del Monte Acquilla|
|East Face Corno Grande (2912M)|
|View from Rocco Calascio (highest castle in Italy)|
|Medieval Village of Santo Steffano (most buildings date from 11-15th century)|
|Castle Rocco Calascio|
|View from Corno Grande|
|Adrienne - the climb out of Campo Pericoli|
|Climbing to Corno Grande|
|Corno Grande (2912M)|