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December 28, 2010

Campo Imperatore, Abruzzi, Italy

Campo Imperatore, the Abruzzi Mountains, Italy

Rent a bike to explore Italy's best kept secret. Here, the Italian lifestyle has not changed for centuries. On your way to the Campo Imperatore, you'll find ancient beechwood forests inhabited by wolves and bears. Century-old pathways are still used by colorfully-attired shepherds, herding their flocks.

Ominous castles stand alone, now, guarding desolate stretches of wilderness where the only sign of life might be a soaring eagle or a shy family of mountain goats.

Limited traffic, rare for Italy, makes this region ideal for cycling. Rolling hills are perfect for the casual pedaler. Steep routes of the Campo Imperatore and Maielletta are gruelling, though well worth the effort. Mountain bike lovers find their thrills on single tracks in Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Sirente-Velino and the Campo Imperatore plateau.

Set between towering peaks and a golden coastline, Abruzzo contains diverse and breathtaking beauty. Most visitors reach the Campo Imperatore by car using the long, winding mountain road or ride the Funivia, avoiding a difficult, uphill trek.

At the end of your wild ride, fantastic fresh pasta awaits you.

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