Val Fondillo a short distance from Opi is one of the most beautiful excursions to do in the Abruzzo National Park. From the Fondillo Valley several mountain paths branch off, with varying degrees of difficulty. The excursion in Val Fondillo is also suitable for families with children and beginners. The VAL FONDILLO is one of the most beautiful places in the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise. It is rich in greenery, woods, natural rarities of restful and fresh clearings. Its ancient name was Fontilli from “sources”: along the valley, in addition to the five main springs, there are many smaller ones that together, with their excellent water to drink, feed the stream Fondillo. The valley, with an altitude between 1084 and 1960 asl, initially narrow near the locality Grotte Fondillo, then opens up in a fan forming a real amphitheater flanked by the mountains M. Amaro (1862 m) and M. Dubbio (m 1702), connected to each other by the large Serra delle Gravare.
THA PICNIC AREA
The picnic area at the entrance of the valley is equipped with benches, tables and grills (all recently renewed). Toilets are located close to the parking lot situated nearby.
Tables are placed in shaded areas; firewood is available upon request and can be used for tasty barbecues.
The picnic area is situated in large clearing equipped with sports facilities, where children can move freely and play, and adults can sunbathe, walk or explore the alpine church situated nearby.
The snack bar sells fresh drinks and local products to accompany the picnic, as well as anything that you may have forgotten at home.
Finally, to aid digestion or simply to conclude a healthy day outdoor, there is the possibility of horse riding, shooting with bow, and visiting the Museum of the Forest.
RECEPTION – BAR – RESTAURANT
After leaving the car at the parking lot, visitors can get all information to learn about and explore the valley from the reception, located in the building of the snack bar.
The reception specifically provides information on hiking routes, rules of conduct in the park, activities and services offered in the structures located at the entrance of the valley.
The reception also sells gadgets and artwork of the park and allows to book guided tours, horse riding and archery.
After getting back from a hike, it is possible to sit at the tables inside the reception and get refreshments (drinks or snacks), whereas, for a proper meal, the restaurant offers simple but tasty local products.
MUSEUM OF CHAMOIS
Housed in a typical building in the historic center of Opi, the Museum of the Chamois allows to have a close meeting with this agile inhabitant of the park’s cliffs.
Inside the museum, besides admiring the structure of a typical house belonged to one of the village’s few wealthy families, it is possible to get information about characteristics, eating habits, and behaviours of the Abruzzo’s chamois (rupricapra rupricapra ornata).
The children section of the museum offers games designed to learn recognising the different animal species of the park.
Finally, a visit to the close observation point overlooking a wildlife area allows the most lucky ones to see live the small herd of chamois that was recently reintroduced in the area.
Admission to the museum and to the observation point is free of charge.
Museum hours: 9.00-13.00; 15.30-19.30. Open daily from 15 June to 15 September, on weekends and public holidays in the rest of the year.
The association “Cavalcata nel Parco” (“Ride in the Park”) offers the possibility to experience the thrill of horse riding, for a short path in the riding stables or for a guided tour along the valley on particularly charming routes.
Younger guests can instead ride ponies and stroll on the short trail in the picnic area.
Val Fondillo boasts of prehistoric, pre-Roman and Roman presences, whose evidences were found in excavations carried out in the last decade.
The richness and fertility of the forest allowed for abundant harvesting of firewood and timber, used both for house heating and for producing furniture and railway material.
The valley has been for centuries the realm of lumberjacks and muleteers who, braving the steep slopes, have provided wood for the warehouse, the latter initially a private property and then (in the 60’s) run by an Opi’s cooperative at that time the most important enterprise of the valley.
The museum is open during the months of July and August and on weekends, with hours 9.00-18.00.
Hunting has been the primary source of sustenance for mankind, the arc being the tool par excellence.
Yet, hunting represents the antithesis of contemplation and respect for wildlife, and is of course forbidden in a national park.
Practicing archery on nonliving targets can however represent an enjoyable moment of sports and healthy competition, that can also help immersing ourselves in our ancestors’ world.
Archery is run by Mr. Bruno (tel. +39 333 4667619), who will provide tools and guidance to perform archery safely and with the right technique.
A DONKEY FOR FRIEND
Nature walks with donkeys. • environmental education • nature trekking • onotherapy
For the most “cuddly” (2-99 years) Make friends and take care of donkeys; walk along a ring route For explorers (6-99 years) Adventure with donkeys: walk on paths and dirt road, overcoming natural obstacles For groups of min. 6 participants (5-99 years) Group recreational and educational activities with donkeys info and reservations 331.9727262 poster a donkey for friend trades “The rediscovery of the donkey jobs” Educational walk to rediscover more closely with the children the “noble work” of the soma Walks and activities with donkeys every day at 18:00 info and reservations 347 360 06 39
“Fondillo” playroom of Officine Sinergiche The Ludoteca is an educational, recreational and cultural service open to those wishing to experience gaming; it is set up with pedagogical materials produced by hand, with natural elements and of organic origin, at the service of creativity, imagination, skill, experimentation of children aged between 5 and 14 years. For organized groups, the presence of a manager is required. Younger children can only attend in the presence of parents. OPEN ALL DAYS from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. playhouse fondillo foto10 The Ludoteca aims to promote socialization, creative and expressive capacity, education to autonomy and freedom of choice for minors. The activities carried out within the Ludoteca are aimed at promoting and enhancing through play, creativity, social skills and respect for the group rules of each child. Through the play experiences children experiment and develop cognitive and affective, relational and communicative skills, discovering their own interests and attitudes. The Ludoteca aims to promote interventions aimed at children and respect for children’s rights within the community