While waiting for our big adventure next year, we are spending this summer still exploring the incredible places that our stunning region of Abruzzo has to offer. Unlike some other more obvious areas of Italy, Abruzzo doesn’t hand you a tourist itinerary on a plate. There is so much to see and do, but you still have to discover the majority of it by yourself…it can, at times, be rather frustrating, but I have to say it does add to the sense of adventure. After 5 years of living here we are still on our mission of discovery and there doesn’t seem to be an end to the places to go.
Bolognano Waterfalls is one of the magical places we love to visit since we discovered it a couple of years ago. Who needs to pay for a man made water park when Mother Nature can provide her own? Located along the Orta river close to the small town of Bolognano, a marked walking path drops down through the gorge to the river’s edge from where you follow the river, cross over a couple of times and finally climb up the rock to the spectacular site of the natural rock pool. Deep enough to jump, dive and swim, it is an adventurous family’s paradise.
For those with a really adventurous spirit (and lots of water confidence) you can head even further up the river for more swimming, scrabbling over rocks and what my boys call nature’s very own ‘lazy river’.
Our hints and tips
The walk down to the gorge takes about 20 minutes and although not difficult, it is steep in places – you need to have a head for heights at certain points. The path is well maintained and clear to follow to the river’s edge.
Take some insect repellent – this is nature’s playground after all – but only use it if really necessary as the chemicals can get washed into the river and damage the local ecology.
Take a small rucksack (backpack for my American friends out there!) with water, snacks and a change of shoes – you will get wet! Rock shoes are ideal if you have them. The rucksack means you’ll have your hands free to steady yourself on the rocks where necessary.
Get there early! The rock pool is in the shade until about 11 am in the height of summer. As soon as the sun comes round the locals know it is the most stunning place for sunbathing and cooling off, so the rocks can get a little crowded. We tend to head further up river when the hustle and bustle gets too much.
Go on a weekday. For the same reason of missing the crowds – ok we’re not talking the colosseum or vatican, but it is a popular spot among the Abruzzesi so take advantage of them being at work and head over on a weekday.
Do you have any incredible Abruzzo must sees that you want to share? If so, leave a comment.