Gran Sasso : Michelin's recommendations
Your tour of the Gran Sasso leaves from l'Aquila. Once you have admired its Fontane delle 99 cannelle, visited its churches such as Santa Maria di Collemaggio and San Bernardinoand its 16C castello, head for Campo Imperatore via Fonte Cerreto. Enjoy the grandiose mountain countryside grazed by large flocks of sheep and herds of wild horses. It was from here that Mussolini escaped on 12 September 1943 in a daring raid by German airmen whose plane landed and took off near the hotel in which Il Duce had been interned. Return to Fonte Cerreto and follow the road for Valico delle Capannelle then take the direction of Montorio al Vomano. The tour skirts the foothills of the Gran Sasso as it follows the long green valley of Valle del Vomano before entering magnificent gorges with striking stratified rock walls. On leaving Montorio, bear right towards Isola del Gran Sasso and follow directions to Castelli. This town built on a wooded headland at the foot of Monte Camicia has been famous since the 13C for its ceramics, of which the 17C ceiling of the Chiesa di San Donato is a fine example. Just outside the town, the former Franciscan convent (17C) houses the Museo delle Ceramiche which relates the history of Castelli ceramic production from the 15C to the 19C through displays of the works of its leading exponents.