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Abruzzo & Puglia 

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by Allan & Konrad 

  Day 4 - Saturday 14th May

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Celano to Scanno  (68 kms)

We left Celano in warm sunshine after lots of breakfast.  The first 16 km's or so was the descent from the town and across the plain to Pescina.  This was a pretty town and we found a good cafe where (after more coffee) we stocked up on panninis for later.

We took a wrong turn heading out of Pescina.  As we were climbing, we assumed it was the right general direction, but on reaching the top, it led on to the autostrada so we returned back down the hill to Pescina and found the right road.  This too was a long steady climb up the valley.  It ran parallel with the autostrada which we got a glimpse of from time to time.  As the autostrada was so close, it made this road virtually traffic free.  At around Cesoli, the climbing got a lot more intense and there was a long pull up to Monte de Selva.  On the way up, we could see the autostrada down below disappearing into a long tunnel which takes it through the mountain.  At the top of the climb was a short tunnel, and emerging on the other side, the landscape had changed considerably.  It looked very barren and desolate on this side.

From the tunnel it was a long, long descent to Cocullo and on to Anversa degli Abruzzi.  This is a wonderful looking town, and the road leading out and up the gorge to Scanno was equally wonderful.  Again, a very quiet road.  It's a gentle climb through the gorge and the road clings to the rock side, occasionally entering a very short tunnel (no more than 20 yards or so) as it meanders around the contour of the hillside.  It really is a fantastic road.  We passed the town of Castrovalva, perched high up on a rock promontory on our left.  I've no idea how the locals get up there.  We couldn't see a road up to it.

We carried on through the gorge past San Domenico and on to near Villalago, where we continued on the road that runs around the east side of the Lago di Scanno.  We soon reached Scanno which by the looks of things must be quite touristy in summer, but I'm glad to say it was very quiet at this time of year.  We headed in to the main square in the town, and booked ourselves in to the Hotel Centrale (50 euros for a double room and breakfast).  Spent the evening sitting in the square in the last rays of the sun watching the world go by.  Bliss.

It was a fun evening meal at the Albergo Centrale.  There was no menu (i.e. no choice), but that didn't bother us in the slightest.  In fact, it was quite exciting not knowing what was coming next.  The food was great and I have to say it was rounded off with a tiramisu you could have lived in! Absolutely huge.  The waiter was really friendly.  I think they were understaffed and basically he was doing everything, but it's nice to see somebody with a sense of humour, and while we may have been lucky, I can recommend these 'mystery meals'.


Another good climb and descent today (Monte de Selva).

The road from Anversa degli Abruzzi to Scanno is wonderful.

A waiter with a sense of humour - marvellous.  He made the evening (and everything else I suspect ;-)

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