A+ A A-

Travelling through the lands of Saint Benedict and the Abruzzi Park

The territory, in and around the National Park of the Abruzzi, Latium and Molise, within easy reach of Naples and Rome, offers its visitors an immensely valuable heritage in terms of environment, culture, and food and wine.

Among the numerous proposals offered, we suggest gastronomic outings (on foot or by car) in search of products typical to southern Lazio that have been promoted and enhanced in value by the LAG on the Latium Side of the ANP through the Leader II programme.

A FESTIVAL AMID MULES, SHEEP AND BAGPIPES IN THE AREAS WHERE BRIGANDS ONCE ROAMED

The mountainous areas around Mt. Cairo and the Meta Massif (Colle S.Magno, Terelle, Picinisco), as well as offering an immense  environmental heritage, were also home to brigands in the 19th century. This itinerary, set in the areas formerly inhabited by brigands, traces ancient sheep paths that run through centuries-old chestnut woods and mountain pastures, in the landscape described at the beginning of the 20th century by the English writer D. H. Lawrence.

A TERRITORY FOR ALL SEASONS WITH THE HARVESTING OF...

Grapes: harvest in October. In November the wine festival, in summer the Cabernet and local wine festival (Atina and Gallinaro).
Chestnuts: in October, harvest and "pizzuttella" festival (Terelle).
Olives: harvested between November and December. Visits to oil-pressing mills, tasting with guide at organic farms in Alvito, Arpino, Boville Ernica, Campoli Appennino, Monte S.Giovanni Campano, Pescosolido, S.Donato Val di Comino, Settefrati, Veroli.
Truffles: in winter, in Campoli Appennino: truffle festival, gastronomic competition, truffles prepared by local women, and truffle-dog race.

FOR THE PLEASURE OF KNOWING MORE… ON ORGANIC FARMS

A weekend to learn about pollution-free agriculture which maintains biodiversity, uses less energy, produces healthier food and cares for your wellbeing. A weekend to meet the producers who have chosen to work towards protecting the environment and your health.

LEARNING FROM NATURE

PROTECTED AREAS… RESERVES FOR OUR WELLBEING

Naturalists, artists, geologists, rural tour guides, architects and artists will take you by the hand through the National Park of the Abruzzi, Latium and Molise, to the regional Nature Reserve of Posta Fibreno Lake, and to the numerous areas in the boroughs associated with the LAG that are recognised by the EU (SIC, ZPS) as being of environmental value. The educational  proposals offered by the LAG are the result of activities carried out over a  ten-year period by a local co-operative with schools, universities, cultural and environmental associations.
Furthermore, in 2004 the LAG made a pact with the IDIS Foundation City of Science in Naples, experimenting with forms of collaboration between universities, schools, local authorities and companies, in the belief that science museums are a resource for the area, a new way of producing culture and creating  employment.
The educational proposals vary according to age, ranging from games for the very young to post-graduate internships: ecosystems, landscape, quality of local products and tourism, sustainable development, European programming and territorial planning are just some of the activities proposed to the worlds of school and work. Guided excursions are possible in all seasons, allowing individuals, families and school groups to enjoy the landscape.
Training activities for teachers and school workers, as well as school camps or summer holidays, are also available.

“It is necessary for science to meet people so as to challenge not only its results but also, and above all, its choices and future …
Occasions and places for divulging information are not as important as outdoor workshops and places to meet and exchange opinions so that, on the one hand, scientific knowledge may become not merely a means of material gain for a few, but a collective heritage, an ingredient of the quality of life and civilisation for all and, on the other,  science itself may be enriched in consensus and effectiveness and the choices of civilisation may be made with the widest possible social participation”. (Vittorio Silvestrini, President of the IDIS Foundation Città della Scienza).

A DAY … WITH SISTER WATER

(Compulsory schooling and high schools)

There are many tales that such a vast territory can tell: from the water that runs through it (waterfalls, rivers, lakes and streams), to the water used in the old mills and wash houses, stories of people and crafts, of vanished skills. Tales that foster more respectful behaviour towards the environment and human beings.

JOURNEY THROUGH  THE RIVER ECOSYSTEM. Ecology of water courses, micro-invertebrates, indexes of water quality, fish and aquatic plants. Fluvial dynamics.

THE CIRCLE TO BE CLOSED. Water on the planet, origin and distribution, the cycle of water. Resource management and access. Erosion, water pollution, climate change (flooding and desertification).

WATER THAT DISAPPEARS, WATER THAT REAPPEARS. Water resources in mountainous areas. The world of underground water and karstic phenomena. Springs. Games concerning the cycle of water “the drop of water from sky to land”.

A DAY… BETWEEN EARTH AND TABLE

(Compulsory schooling and high schools)

For years, the LAG has been working on the qualification and value-enhancement of typical local products, informing consumers about products and the risks inherent in a poor diet, and promoting the set up of organic school canteens. Quality food on our tables is an investment for the future.

FLAVOURS, TYPICALNESS AND CONVIVIALITY. From traditional and organic farming to intensive agriculture, from seasonal products to the pleasure of food, traditional Italian productions and quality certification, genetically modified products. Games regarding seasonal products and visits to working farms.

THE WORLD OF BEES.  In search of the ancient art of bee-keeping. The mysterious world of bees (solidarity, industriousness, co-operation, respect for rules and authority). Educational beehives and honey processing workshop.

A DAY… IN THE ABRUZZI PARK

(Compulsory schooling and high schools)

One of the LAG's main goals is to make young people aware of the importance of natural environments, biodiversity, and protected areas in  safeguarding species and habitats.  A further interest is that of promoting the sense of belonging to a territory by giving value to creativity.

A WOOD, SO MANY COLOURS AND SHAPES. The wood and its inhabitants. Shape, size and age of trees.  The colours of nature. We reconstruct the layers of the wood. In search of the plant, using our senses: games in the woods.

THE HARD SKIN OF THE PLANET.  Rocks… so many stories. How they are studied, classified. Origin, composition, formational environments. The long history of planet Earth. Microscopic samples and thin sections.

The educational activities for schools foresee an in-class meeting of about two hours followed by a day of discovery and in-depth investigation of the territory. It is possible to plan routes through any municipality in the LAG area, although protected areas are preferred.

The fee includes: activities with environmental educator.

THREE DAYS… NOT ONLY PARKS

(Compulsory schooling and high schools)

The network of paths, variety of natural environments and human activities in the municipalities associated with the GAL allow for rich and varied educational proposals. The favoured destinations for school activities are the boroughs on the Latium side of the National Park of the Abruzzi, Latium and Molise, and the Fibreno Reserve, even if activities are foreseen in other areas where the variety of ecosystems is equally interesting.

1st day Workshop “Getting to know the Park”: interpretation of the territory and its transformation over time through lithological, morphological and plant analysis. Students are involved in theoretical and practical activities on a path in the Valle di Canneto (Settefrati) or other mountain valleys in the park.
Packed lunch. Dinner: in traditional local restaurant.

2nd day Excursion along the Vallone di Capo d’Acqua (Campoli Appennino), understanding and interpretation of the landscape (environment of mixed woods and beech wood). Educational activities at the Refuge. Packed lunch. Visit to the Tomolo sink hole and the old town centre. Dinner: in holiday farm.

3rd day Excursion in the Posta Fibreno Lake Natural Reserve. Educational activities along the path "Il Canneto" in search of one of the most impressive springs in central Italy. Recognition of flora and fauna. Packed lunch. Departure.
The fee includes: 2 overnight stays in hostel, 5 meals. Environmental expert available for 3 days.

AN OPEN-AIR WORKSHOP… FOR UNIVERSITIES

(Internship for various university faculties)

The proposals for university internships have been experimented with students from various faculties (environmental science, architecture, geological and biological science, etc.) They foresee activities aimed at getting to know the territory, with in-depth analysis of various themes (geological, hydro-geological, naturalistic aspects, etc.) and field trials of the numerous ongoing value enhancement projects.  There are also occasions to examine the LAG's experience in managing structural funds (Leader II and Plus), projects regarding the construction of the local tourism system, the network of eco-museums and the European projects of transnational co-operation.

THE ROCKS AND WATER RESOURCES.  Lazio-Abruzzo stratigraphic series in facies on the edge of the Molise basin: stratigraphical, palaeontological, hydro-geological, geo-morphological and structural analyses. Carbonate aquifers, draining, use and management of public water.

LANDSCAPES. Karstic and glacial landscape, and highland meadows, cultivated land, vegetation of the Apennines.

PROTECTED AREAS AND SUSTAINABLE TOURISM. Projects for value enhancement of the territory, Leader programmes (II and Plus), Agenda 2000, APE and the national ecological network. Starting with an analysis of the European Charter on sustainable tourism, authentic cases where principles have been implemented will be analysed and critical points identified. Territorial planning and Local 21 Agenda.


BETWEEN SPORT AND NATURE: WATER, EARTH AND SKY

The territory offers numerous opportunities for outdoor sports as well as a large number of sports centres (yoga, tennis, swimming, soccer). A close network of  paths in protected areas allows hikers to enjoy walking through our lands.

ALONG THE PATHS THROUGH PROTECTED AREAS.
Guided excursions along mountain and rural paths in all four seasons, activities aimed at understanding the territory with environmental leaders from the FIE Lazio (Circolo Valcomino).

ACCESSIBLE NATURE.  By studying accessibility in the LAG, several areas have been identified that can be used by the disabled. Through the Leader Plus programme, we intend to increase accessibility. At present, the following paths are available:

Alvito (Castello - Fossa Maiura) 3.5 km; Pescosolido (Prato) 1 km; Picinisco (Grotta Campanaro) 4.1 km; Picinisco  (Prati di  Mezzo – Forestelle) 1.4 km; Picinisco  (Valle Romana) 1.2 km; Posta Fibreno  (Mulino Rosso) 0.3 km; San Donato V.C. (Pedicone) 2.1 km; San Donato V.C. (Macchia Prima Campolungo) 3 km; San Donato V.C. (La Mola) 3.4 km; Settefrati (Acqua Nera) 2.7 km; Settefrati (Grotta Campanaro-Canneto) 2 km.

PROPOSALS FOR ORIENTEERING

Orienteering in the woods and countryside: authorised areas (S.Fedele, Borough of San Donato Val di Comino; Prato di Campoli, Veroli) maintained by the FIE Lazio, Circolo C. Mendes Valcomino.
SKIING: skiing through the beech woods of Forca d’Acero (Marchiarvana tracks) or along the downhill slopes of Prati di Mezzo (Atina IAT).
FLYING IN VALCOMINO: hang-gliding and paragliding in San Donato Val di Comino (Ass. Volo Libero Val Comino, Ass. Volare in Valcomino).
CANOEING AND SUBMERSION: Posta Fibreno Lake, Gorges of the Melfa.
SPORTFISHING: in collaboration with the Italian Sportfishing Federation.
ARCHERY: In collaboration with the Italian Archery Federation with the Arco di Frosinone, Posta Fibreno.
YOGA: weeks in summer for beginners and upper levels in San Donato Val di Comino (Ass. Yoga B.K.S. Iyengar).
THERMAL BATHS: Suio, Fiuggi.


TRAVELLING THROUGH THE LANDS OF St. BENEDICT IN THE TRACKS OF MONKS AND PILGRIMS

An unusual trip to places of meditation and prayer in the company of today's pilgrims, tracing the paths taken by St. Benedict, in a majestic setting of  landscapes and ancient villages. On the occasion of the festival of St. Benedict (21st  March), it is possible to welcome the torch of peace in Montecassino together with the Ambassadors of Europe.

Saturday
Arrival in Veroli and visit to the Scala Santa. Walk through the old town centre, with its characteristic ancient monuments (Fasti Verulani) and  thriving craft industry (wrought iron, bread and typical ciambelle). Visit to Casamari abbey, a fine example of Gothic-Cistercian architecture.
Lunch in a traditional local restaurant.
In the afternoon, tour of Boville Ernica to admire the Angelo (angel mosaic by Giotto).
Onwards to Arpino to visit the Benedictine monastery of S.Andrea apostolo (the day of cloistered nuns), the old town centre and the VI century BC acropolis of Civita Vecchia.
Dinner: in holiday farm
Overnight stay: Hotel***

Sunday
Departure for Vicalvi, visit to the convent of San Francesco, stopover in  Gallinaro, now a famous destination for pilgrims visiting the Bambino Gesù, and arrival in Montecassino. Lunch: in restaurant.
In the afternoon, Gregorian vespers in the abbey of Montecassino.
Departure.
The fee includes: 1 overnight stay, 3 meals, 1 tour guide for 2 days.

IN THE SILENCE OF PRAYER

Valle di Canneto, one of the most beautiful fluvial valleys in the National Park of the Abruzzi, Latium and Molise, continues to welcome thousands of pilgrims from all over the world who come to honour the Black Madonna in the sanctuary recently rebuilt on the ruins of the temple dedicated to the goddess Mefite at the source of the Melfa river.

Saturday
Arrival in Val Canneto (Settefrati), reception and proposals for the theme of the meeting. Silence, group meditation and prayer. Sharing of personal experiences.
Communion service and visit to the sanctuary of the Madonna di Canneto.
Lunch and dinner: at the Salesian’s holiday home.
Overnight stay: at the Salesian’s holiday home

Sunday
Return to Settefrati, visit to the church of Madonna delle Grazie, famous for the fresco that relates the vision of Friar Alberico, who inspired Dante's Divine Comedy.
Lunch: traditional local restaurant.
Departure for Gallinaro, visit to the Chapel of  Bambino Gesù. Meditation and prayer.
Departure.
The fee includes: 1 overnight stay, 3 meals, 1 spiritual guide for 2 days.

TRIPS DOWN MEMORY LANE

FROM THE RIVER: PAPER MILLS AND VIOLINS

The first mills producing paper in Isola Liri and wool in Arpino were established along the Liri and Fibreno rivers, at the end of the 1700s with the aid of French capital.

Saturday
Arrival in Arpino. Tour of the old town centre and the industrial archaeology Museum dedicated to the art of wool-making, where the equipment once used in the ancient Diodati wool mill is kept.
Lunch: in holiday farm.  Visit to the Stringed instrument Museum where various instruments are on exhibition, as well as the production phases  of the Embergher-Cerrone workshop from the late 1800s. Sunset at the Civita Vecchia acropolis.
Dinner: in hotel
Overnight stay: Hotel***, B&B

Sunday
Tour of Isola del Liri, industrial archaeology itinerary. Departure for Casalvieri.
Lunch: traditional local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit to balloon factory. Departure.
The fee includes: 1 overnight stay with breakfast, 3 meals, 1 tour guide for 1 day, 1 LAG rural animator  for 1 day.

PEACE THROUGH REMEMBRANCE

Visiting the areas between Mt. Cairo and the Mainarde where fighting took place is an opportunity to reflect upon the past war and those that even today afflict numerous areas of our planet. The itinerary goes through some places on the renowned “Gustav” line: the shortest distance between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Seas, which divided Italy and also blocked the Liberation process for so long.

Saturday
Arrival in Cassino, martyred city (mausoleum of peace in Rocca Janula), visit to the exhibition of historical photographs in the abbey showing the destruction  of Montecassino.
Lunch: restaurant.  Visit to one of the largest war cemeteries. Departure for Vallerotonda where a historical interpretation of the site will take place.
Dinner: traditional local restaurant.
Overnight stay:  Hotel***

Sunday
Departure for Acquafondata and Viticuso (boroughs of the Institutional Committee “Battle of Montecassino, remembrance and warning"), with guided tour of the Second World War trenches. Packed lunch. Other possible itineraries are: Terelle, Colle S.Magno, Vallerotonda (shrine to the Martyrs of Collelungo) and Frosinone where the local sculptor, Umberto Mastroianni, has created a monument to those fallen in all wars.
The fee includes: 1 overnight stay, 3 meals, 2 days with a historical expert and LAG animator.

PEOPLE AND PLACES  YESTERDAY AND TODAY

FROM SATURNIAN CITIES TO STONE TOWNS

The route connects two of the five Saturnian cities (Anagni, Alatri, Arpino, Atina, Ferentino or Antino), which are characterised by their impressive city walls, with medieval castles and towns whose working of stone was a traditional element for thousands of years.

Saturday
Arrival in Arpino, guided tour of the town and the acropolis in Civita Vecchia.
Lunch: in traditional local restaurant. Departure for Atina. Visit to museum and archaeological area. Walk through historic town centre and visit to Palazzo Cantelmo.
Dinner: traditional local restaurant.
Overnight stay: Hotel***

Sunday
Tour of the medieval village of San Donato Val di Comino, meeting with craftsmen; stone working shop.
Lunch: restaurant with traditional products from the Valle di Comino.
Departure for Alvito (medieval castle and noble houses), Vicalvi (visit to Longobard castle), onwards to Fontechiari for visit to Napoleonic cemetery in stone. Departure for Monte S.Giovanni Campano with dinner in the old town.
The fee includes: 1 overnight stay, 3 meals in restaurant, 1 tour guide for a day, 1 LAG rural animator for a day.

THE LAND OF ANCIENT PEOPLES

Saturday
Arrival in Atina, Samnite city conquered by the Romans. Visit to the civic archaeological museum. Lunch: in holiday farm.  Outing to San Biagio Saracinisco and visit to Omini Morti, the site of an impressive Samnite necropolis dating back to the VII-VIII century B.C.
Dinner: traditional local restaurant.
Overnight stay: Hotel***

Sunday
Visit to Arpino, an extremely important Volscian and Roman city. Journey in search of evidence of Cicero and Caius Marius, and the Cavalier D’Arpino's paintings. Departure for Boville Ernica, visit to the Pelasgian walls and the medieval castle with its 18 towers. Departure.
The fee includes: 1 overnight stay, 3 meals, 1 tour guide for 2 days.

THE ART OF HANDICRAFTS, MAKING THINGS WELL

This itinerary proposes giving visibility to local historic objects which express the creative re-elaboration of  forms from the past, and show a practical knowledge of craft-making which unites ancient know-how and modern skills, imaginative power and artistic rigour.

Thursday
Arrival and accommodation in San Donato Val di Comino, tour of the old town and of some handicraft workshops: stone, iron, wood, ceramics and lace.
Lunch: traditional local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit to the Museo della Civiltà Contadina (Rural Civilization Museum). Departure for Atina. Visit to a glassmaker's workshop.
Dinner: in holiday farm.
Overnight stay: Hotel***

Friday
Visit to the archaeological museum of Atina to appreciate the objects created by Safin craftworkers.
Lunch: traditional local restaurant. In the afternoon, tour of Villa Latina, visit to the Zampogna Bagpipe Museum and educational workshop on bagpipes.
Dinner: in holiday farm.
Overnight stay: Hotel***

Saturday
Outing to Posta Fibreno. Visit to the Mill. Creative workshop in holiday farm on the art of basket weaving.
Lunch: in holiday farm.
Departure for Monte S.Giovanni Campano, visit to ceramics workshop.
Dinner: in holiday farm.
Overnight stay: Hotel***

Sunday
Departure for Arpino, visit to the Fondazione Mastroianni and to the museum of Modern Art.
Lunch: traditional local restaurant. Departure for Veroli, meeting with craft workers in wrought iron.
The fee includes: 3 overnight stays, 7 meals, 2 educational workshops of 3 hours each (bagpipes and baskets), demonstrations by craftspeople, 1 LAG animator for 4 days.

Photogallery