Abruzzo has plenty of perfect places for snowshoeing. With kilometres of fields and mountain paths, from wide open mountain plains to narrow woodland tracks full of fresh snow — often with the only other signs of life being the tracks of the animals that have ventured out before you — you can wander for hours in a white wilderness.  

If you love getting into the mountains, you can extend your hiking season year-round and keep discovering the stunning scenery that Abruzzo has to offer from a whole new perspective. On the trips I’ve taken, I’ve rarely seen another set of snowshoe prints, and that sensation of breaking through fresh powder snow on a crystal-clear winter’s day is exhilarating. 


The list of places for snowshoeing in Abruzzo is almost endless, but here are some of my favourite locations to get you started:

Bosco di Sant’Antonio near Pescocostanzo

The gently rolling slopes of this ancient beech woodland, that plays such an important part in the history and culture of the internal Abruzzo mountain landscape, are easy to tackle for all abilities. Set in stunning surroundings, the trails are well marked and easy to follow. Snowshoes are available to hire from the Ski Touring School hut in the Bosco di Sant’Antonio parking area.

Passo San Leonardo

The forests on the slopes of the Morrone mountain range by Passo San Leonardo, are good for all abilities. Park at the hotel and head into the forests behind it. In the woods the slopes are fairly gentle, and therefore suited to all abilities, but with opportunities to tackle more challenging areas and push yourself further, should you want to.


Then there’s the valley leading up to Rifugio la Defenz (Defenz mountain hut) above Introdacqua. Starting from Introdacqua village, take the path up past the small but beautiful 16th Century church of Sant’Antonio, and then continue up the valley on CAI path route 2 towards Monte Genzana. This is a route of medium difficulty and you should have a reasonable level of fitness to tackle it. A perfect day out would be snowshoeing up to Rifugio Defenz for a packed lunch and then retracing your path back to the village. The hut is always open and has a table and seating area.

From Blockhaus to Monte Cavallo

Parking is at Villaggio Mira Stelle. This is a route suitable for more advanced snowshoers and mountaineers. In the winter, the main road is usually closed due to the snow. If the road is closed, head up to the rifugio by La Majelletta and follow the direction of the track to the Madonnina del Blockhaus statue. This is a good walk on its own, but if you feel you want to do more you can at this point head up to the peak above at 2140m. If you still feel fresh, extend even further by heading along the ridge up to Monte Cavallo peak at 2171m.

Passo Godi, Scanno

There are a vast numbers of routes you can take by just parking up at Passo Godi and heading out on your snowshoes. From easy to difficult, you can make excursions here as straightforward or as strenuous as you like. The rifugi at the pass are open year-round and are a great place to stop and have a bite to eat after a fulfilling day out in the mountains.

Local sections of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI) organise snowshoeing in Abruzzo excursions over the winter months. Contacting your local CAI to go out with them can be a great way to meet other winter mountain sport enthusiasts from your local community. In addition, guides from Majambiente, AMA Trekking, Majaexperience have regular group outings on snowshoes throughout the winter.

By Dougie Reid. Dougie is an ex Royal Navy Officer & now an RN reservist living in Abruzzo. A qualified survival instructor, he loves mountain sports and is a passionate road cyclist.

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