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Gole di Celano

Not too far away from the autostrada connected Rome to Abruzzo the excursion through the Gole di Celano is a "classic" excursion in this most spectacular canyon. The Gole are the bottom of a deep valley dividing the mountains of the Serra of Celano from the Sirente. The itinerary can be made both ways.
(Slides by courtesy of Ugo Ianni - Guida Club Alpino Italiano, L'Aquila)
Introduction
itinerary Altitude : max 857 mt.
Altitude: min. 1379 mt.
Altitude difference: 522 mt.
Ascent time: Celano - Fonte degli Innamorati 2.45 hours
Descent time: Celano-Fonte degli Innamorati 2.15- Ovindoli - Celano 4.30
Difficulty: Easy excursion
Starting place: Foce di Celano or Ovindoli towards Val d'Arano.

Main Attractions: the spectacular itinerary follows between walls over 300 ft high. There is an enchanting spot called Fonte degli Innamorati (Lovers' Fountain) with a small waterfall. Other interesting spots are the top of Monte Serra di Celano (1923 m.) and the Italic military structures on Monte Secino. Fascinating is also the plateau of Piana di San Vittorino (1324 mt a.s.l.), which is reached through a path carved in the rock. In winter the itinerary is closed, since the valley bottom becomes a wild stream while in summer it is very hot, due to the low altitude in the vicinity of Celano.

The Itinerary
The itineraries are actually two, either from Celano to the Fonte degli Innamorati, or from Ovindoli to Celano (only descent). In the latter itineray it is advisable to drive in two cars, to leave one at the exit of the Gole at Celano.

Itinerary 1 starts from Celano (857 mt a.s.l.) and follows towards Pescina; here, at località Cappuccini, a white road is taken to the entrance og the Gole, near a small pinewood. Amid thick vegetation a narrow, only few feet wide corridor is reached, and the itinerary follows between high walls. After about 2.45 h. the Fonte degli Innamorati with waterfall is reached (1029 mt. a.s.l.). To descend 2.15 h are required.

Itinerary 2 (Ovindoli-Celano) starts from the village (1379 m.) and along an asphalt road proceeds to Valle d'Arano. A path will then lead you to a fountain (1332 m.) to proceed into the wood and reach a wide, beautifully panoramic meadow. The path then gets steeper and passes before the ruins of an ancient hermitage then goes down to the canyon's bottom (1000 mt a.s.l.). Then the Fonte degli Innamorati is reached, and after about 4:30 hours the itinerary ends at the Gole exit near Celano.

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