The Sirente "Neviera" - The "nevaroli" road
In past centuries and up to not too many years ago, snow and ice were the only source of refrigeration.
In many mountain places, it was customary to go and take ice from the "neviere", which were, and still are, narrow depressions facing North, often against steep rock walls where snow and ice survived also in the summer months. In these villages snow harvest more often than not became a source of income, as it was in Secinaro, a picturesque village just below the majestic Sirente chain, where since the late 1500's the "nevaroli" used to climb the mountain up to the neviera to collect the ice.
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Once on the site, the nevaroli were lowered through ladders and ropes to cut ice blocks. Then they would carry them down to the valley inside wicker baskets, wrapped inside dried leaves, on the back of donkeys and mules. In this way the Secinaro ice reached Rome and even Bari. The itinerary suggested follows along the steps of the "nevaroli".
- Leaving Secinaro or Rocca di Mezzo follow the provincial road connecting the two litle towns as far as km 12.350: here, at the ruins of the "Sirente" chalet cars can be parked. On the opposite side of theroad there is Fonte all'Acqua.
- Right of the ruins (south), take the mule path leading to Valle Lupara. After about 300 m, leaving on your right the path leading to Valle Inserrata (Canalone Majori, as written on a rock), follow the path towards Valle del Condotto
- Proceed without taking the many side pathways reaching first Pietra dell'Aura (1340 m)and later the meadows of Piano di Canale.
- At the end of the meadows, 1350 m, take a path to the rightinto the wood rising towards o Stazzo dello Scurribile (1750 m, 1.15. - 1.45 hours).
- Cross the pebble plain of the Neviera at the bottom, until you reach the path coming from Fonte Canale; climb up to the edge of the wood and depart from it.
- Take a steep path bordering a rock wall (Peschio Pedone) to finally reach the Neviera, 2030 m, 2.45 hours. From here you will enjoy a wonderful view on the Gran Sasso and Majella groups.
Pictures and drawing by L.Mazzeschi