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From Vibrata to the Laga Mountains

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The course we propose is actually quite long and should be traveled in at least 2 days. From the northern border of the province with Marche, travel the northern part of the Adriatic coast and then enter the heart of the vibratiane hills. From here, our itinerary will take you to the Teramo hinterlands and bring us to the mountain territory of the Laga.

First you leave Martinsicuro, the first of the “seven sisters” (the seven beach towns of the Province).The town was inhabited since Roman times and served as an important commercial hub, and is home to the Torrione di Carlo V, an ancient watch tower built in 1547 and also the Antiquarium which holds the archaeological findings of Castrum Truentinum.

Going south along the state road SS 16, we suggest a stop in the renaissance hamlet of Tortoreto Alto, with it's Torre dell'Orologio and Palazzo Comunale, both dating back to the 1700's. From here take the Provincial road 259 that'll bring you to the heart of the Vibrata area and allow you to discover small villages such as Corropoli (with the 11th - 12th century Badia di Santa Maria ad Majulanum) and Sant'Omero. Right next to the village is the pre-Roman church of Santa Maria a Vico (built probably on the ruins of a temple dedicated to Hercules) which is one of the most ancient in Abruzzo and one of the few that pre-dates the year 1000 and still maintains it's original structure.

Not far away, near the centre of Garrufo, turn left towards Civitella del Tronto and in about a half hour you'll reach the beautiful city-fortress, famous worldwide for it's monumental Bourbon Fortress.

From here take the state road SS 81 towards Ascoli Piceno. Soon after turn left towards Ripe and, once you park your car, continue towards the inside of the Gole del Salinello, a natural site of rare beauty, nowadays protected by the Gole del Salinello natural reserve. We suggest a visit to the Grotta Sant'Angelo, a prehistoric natural cavity, home to precious archaeological information.

Leave Ripe and proceed north-east passing by San Giacomo and once you pass by the skiing area of San Giacomo, continue on towards San Vito (Valle Castellana). The village, now almost completely abandoned, is about 5 km from the intersection.

We suggest a brief stop to admire this isolated hamlet amongst the green of the Laga Mountains, with it's historic buildings and Parish, an ancient Roman church discovered before the 12th century.

From San Vito the road signs easily bring you to Macchia da Sole, where our itinerary finishes with a visit to the ruins of Castel Manfrino, one the most fascinating and mysterious areas of the province. The watchtower was built in the 1300's by King Manfredi and then passed into the hands of the Angioini.

From this point many mountain paths take us to the Laga mountains (we suggest the path to the Cascata della Morricana, which is both easy and very fascinating.

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