Seasonal settlements of shepherds and their families.
This itinerary is interesting both under a natural and historical-anthropological point of view, leading you through wooded areas and meadows with a splendid view on the Sirente group and on the Gran Sasso in the distance. The pagliare were the ancient mountain settlements built in limestone of the shepherds, in use until the early 1960's and presently inhabited only tourists for brief summer periods.
From May to September shepherds would move with livestock and families to these abodes high in the plateau; the two floors of a pagliara were usually used as living quarters upstairs and stables downstairs. One of the problems of the pagliare was the scarcity of water, and in the establishment of Tione it was solved placing a circular cistern in the center of the little settlement , with the purpose to collect rain water.
The whole population of Tione migrated to the pagliare in summer, men, women and children, with the priest in front, who stayed with them for the care of the souls.
In his book "Stagioni al Sirente" Massimo Lelj describes the time of departure for the pagliare:
"The pagliara was a group of farm houses, stables and haystacks that for six months of the year were closed, deserted in the vast, snowy loneliness on the plateau, frostbitten by the wind, the cries of the wood and of the wolves, next to one another and waiting, like children, for that long night to end, dreaming of the return of men and of seasons, the works, the animals, the odors of strawberries and hay when they all would come up there again, after four hours climbing, preceded by the young sacristan dressed in a blue vest and ecclesiastical robes, with the crucifix in thick silver... "(Lelj M)
Altitude difference: 496 m
Time going: 2.15-2.45 hours
Time returning: 1.45-2.15
From Rocca di Mezzo or from Secinaro follow the road connecting the two centers until you arrive on the "Prati del Sirente" where you will park your car. Take the path departing from the road on the opposite side of the kilometer milestone, and walk across a splendid oak wood.
The not very visible path will take you to a wide crest, which you will cross, proceeding then to the right through a deep valley where you will enjoy an unforgettable panorama on the Pagliare of Tione and on the Piane di Iano. Here the itinerary goes downward into a wood and joins a dirt road in Val Cardora.
Continue to the right for about 1 km then take a muletrack on your left which will take you to a small pond. Proceed to the left following the border of the plateau, and climb up the steep slant that will take you to the Pagliare of Tione.