Saturday, January 12, 2008

Abruzzo - Campo Imperatore continued

The plains of Campo Imperatore have an altitude from 1500 to more than 2000 meters. Although trees can grow at this altitude, there are almost no trees to obstruct the view. Cattle and sheep are grazing here from spring to autumn.

Large parts of Campo Imperatore is fairly flat and other parts have more dramatic properties where the areas are connected

At one end of the plains closest to L'Aquila there is hotel Campo Imperatore connected with the valley below by a cable car. This hotel is connected through the Campo Imperatore by a good road as seen on this picture

The following is a view over the valley leading up to the hotel

At this point there is a good view of Corno Grande (2912m) in clear weather

Often this area will be covered with clouds and mist.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Abruzzo - Campo Imperatore

I spent 4 weeks in the autumn of 2007 in Abruzzo in Italy. Abruzzo is located in the heart of Italy only 1.5 hours by car from Rome. Despite that it is as if the two places are a world apart. The following Google map shows the location.

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The Abruzzo area is dominated by a number of national parks that are protected and ranks among the largest green areas of Europe. My interest in this area is coming from the passion I have for nature photography.

Here I will show some of the magnificent scenery from a part of Abruzzo called Campo Imperatore. It is located as shown in the following map. You can zoom in and out on the map. Click on the small link below the map to view the map in a sepate window in the browser.

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Information about Campo Imperatore can be found in many places, e.g. and I will not replicate all that great information.

Campo Imperatore is a large relatively flat area surrounded by large mountains and at the perimeter small historic and pictoresque villages complete the picture. In the following I will show some views fo this area. Click on the pictures for a larger view.

In the background you see the castle of Rocca Calascio and the church in front of the old castle. This picture was taken in the afternoon about an hour before sunset. The light was beautiful and there was no wind. In such a situation this area is very calm and soothing for the sole. No sounds of modern life is disturbing here. Walking across the hills is an experience in itself. In the distance you may hear a bell from a herd of cows grazing.

Here you see the Rocca Calascio castle

and the church Santa Maria della Pietà

These pictures were taken one day when the sky was looking grey and dull in the valley. It just happened that Calascio, the inhabited village below the castle, was on the edge of the clouds. The clouds stretching like a sea with no end in sight. Above the air was clear and cool in the autumn light. No signs of modern life except the few cars of the tourists, but walk along the paths leading from the castle towards Campo Imperatore, there would be no signs of modern life.

Here is another view with Corno Grande (alt. 2912m) in the background

Campo Imperatore has many breath taking views and changes by the time of the year. My trip started in October and ended in late November when the snow had come and finally the roads were blocked for further investigations. Autumn is a wonderful time to visit this area and the light changes constantly and the same areas can look completely different from one day to the next.

Here are some other views of the landscape from almost the same viewpoint.

Notice the small cows that have just been at the water and now go back to their favorite grazing areas.

The pictures so far were taken in October and as late as early November. Gradually the weather grew colder and the snow came in the middle of November and covered the plains at Campo Imperatore. This changed the landscape completely and now you see the following scenes

and towards Corno Grande which is covered by clouds

All pictures shown here can also be seen at