Upon entering the Parco Nazionale, one no longer feels onself a tourist but rather a pilgrim of nature. The newly inspired traveler is filled with sensations of wonder as, upon passing the two granite signposts emblazoned with the logo of the park, the black bear, The arriveal rings as a vital conquest. In this precise moment one senses to have left behind the daily routine and embarked upon a voyage that takes one back to a time and place where man has lived for ages without having despoiled his surroundings.
Whether one enters Barrea by way of its glimmering lake, or by traversing the forests and clearings by way of Pescasseroli, the Parco Nazionzale D’Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise offers the visitor a splendid scene of theatrical beauty. On this marvelous mountain stage is played the story of man and wolf, bears and chamoix who together have shared this natural landscape since time immemorial. And these two roads, along with a third that descends the slopes from Passo Godi, converge upon a village whose heart is constructued on rocky architecture; a beating heart that lies suspended between pleasant slopes and an inviting river, the Sangro, that continues along its rough course, clean and uninterupted. This heart is Villetta Barrea. And at its center you will find Hotel degli Olmi.
Civitella Alfedena and Lake Barrea welcome the visitor with the ancient hospitality of the people who live in the Parco Nazionale. A place where respect for culinary tradition and age-old pastorilism are wed with the contemporary exigencies of modern tourism.
This heart beats with a gentle and simple rhythm, offering hope to those who enter this protected natural reserve. The point of arrival is Villetta Barrea; but it is also a point of departure. The hiking trails and rough-beaten paths are many. From the most accessible to the steepest for the ardent trekker. These woodland trails reveal fresh water springs that emerge beneath timeless beeches that echo the call of wild deer. Be ready to sight our friendly black bear. It is truly a marvelous voyage that takes one into the heart of the Parco Nazionale. But our trek also takes us back in time. Back to an era when the woods were populated by the Safini, then traversed by Roman legions. Pilgrim monks following their Abbot Azzone also crossed the area, and then the Aragons whose laws regarding sheep farming stamped an indelible mark that sustains our culture still. Indeed, it is possible to live within nature without destroying its sustaingin resources. Even today, the contemporary inhabitants of this ancient land are inspired by its age-old traditions and wed these to the most modern tourist facilities.