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  • Abruzo Sebastiano De Bisegna to Pescasseroli!

    The outlying neighbourhood of San Sebastiano di Bisegna (altitude 1,tOU m) can be reached from the A24 Motorway by exiting at the Pescina toilgate in [Aguila Province and following the signs from Pescina for Drtona dei Marsi and Bisenga. The cycle route sets out from Piazza Bernardini in the small neighbourhood of San Sebastiano going up a nar· row road for 1.5 km till the road comes to a quarry {altitude 1,200 ml. The cyclist continues from here biking along the dirt road to the right that plunges into a wood. A very minor road coming from Bisegna joins from the right 3 km further along (altitude 1,340 ml The mountain biker goes past this fork and after a stretch of downhill riding comes to very beautiful Fonte Appia Valley {4 km, altitude 1,300 ml and to level terrain at last.

    The route enters at this point into territory belonging to Abrozzo National Park, a park which does an admirable job ol safeguarding a part of the natural heritage while drawing about a million visitors a year. A long stretch totally within forest and with a not very steep upward incline begins 500 m beyond the spring of Ponte Ao- pia itself. At the 5.5-km point from the start of the route lal- titude 1,540 ml the cyclist encounters the one stretch where the roadbed is very uneven: the rough surface carries on as far as a fork in the road l? km, altitude 1,600 ml. The route is along the unpaved road that branches right and continues for 2 km still within forest across terrain which is a mixture of flat and slightly uphill parts. The trees then begin to thin out and the view extends as far as the rounded peaks above. standing out in exquisite contrast against blue sky on days when the air is clear.

    The route comes to an enclosure for grazing animals 9.5 km into the ride laltitude 1,730 ml. The mountain biker cycles uphill for another 10 km and reaches "Pietra del Principe", the highest point on the route {altitude 1,800 ml.

    A long down hill stretch through woods is next, followed bythe long, 3~ km ride through verdarit Terraegna Valley, mountain-biking on the level that nature lovers certainly find unforgettable. At the end ofthe valley comes another short uphill section and then comes a long downhill ride through Prato Rosso Valley, passing near to the Prato Rosso Refuge {altitude 1,53ll m), a ride which continues to where the small road leading to the Pescasseroli Sawmill and limber Yards branches oft ata point 22 km into the ride.

    As extremely lovely and ide- al for mountain biking as it is, the choice of this itinerary among so many other, equally lovely routes feasible in Abruz- zo National Park has been made with the intentional aim of not disturbing the animals by the mountain bike’s style of approach, which is silent, sudden and unexpected. Persons especially interested in the National Parks fauna have the Pescasseroli Visitors Welcoming Centre available to them where there are animals roaming in large enclosed spaces. an education section for conferences and a small cinema which shows films about the F'ark's animals. For the way back to San Sebastiano the cyclist takes the road for Gioia dei lvlarsi as far as where the road for Bisegna branches off. Less than a few kilometres of uphill followed by downhill biking brings the cyclist to Bisegna and from thereto San Sebastiano, which is 20 km from Pescasseroli,


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