In the vicinity of Popoli, we are in the province of Pescara, in Abruzzo, we can visit an unspoiled oasis, or the Guided Nature Reserve Sorgenti del Pescara, a magical place, with colors ranging from the green of nature to the blue of the sky and of the water that will give life to the Pescara river.
We are in a historic place in Abruzzo that can be reached by following a short path on foot and which takes us inside a site of about 50 hectares located at the foot of the Capo Pescara hill.
Guided Nature Reserve Sorgenti del Pescara
The beauty and uniqueness of the Guided Sorgenti del Pescara Nature Reserve are given precisely by the spectacle that can be admired in the stretch of water where the river rises. It is not a waterfall that gives life to the stream but an underground spring made up of over 60 springs that bring the water to the surface. More or less large, the springs, with a perpetual gurgle, feed this enchanting lake basin giving life to one of the most important rivers of Abruzzo: the Pescara.
Each season reserves unique colors at the Sorgenti Reserve Guided Nature Reserve Sorgenti del Pescara the landscape takes on typical shades in spring when flowering is at its peak, it is green in summer and shows the warm colors typical of autumn. Finally, winter presents melancholy sunsets.
Several species of trees populate the Guided Sorgenti del Pescara Nature Reserve. Walking here you will find specimens of plane trees, monumental willows, ash trees, ash trees, Aleppo pines, gigantic poplars, but also dogwood and lime trees.
If the panorama that can be admired at the springs of Pescara is unique, the fauna that lives undisturbed in this reserve is also noteworthy. 110 species find their ideal habitat here. If you are lucky you can meet coots, mallards, the marsh harrier, but also egrets and the grebe. The lower waters are inhabited by little egrets and the Bittern. During the migration period, the gray heron stops here. But many other bird species also live here.
The village of Popoli
The village of Popoli rises at the entrance of the narrow gorges that separate the Gran Sasso massif from that of the Majella. Recently become a spa center, its waters have particular characteristics, the city is known as “the key of the three Abruzzi” precisely because it is located at the confluence of the Aterno with Pescara, but also at the entrance to the Peligna basin and the ancient road that leads to Aquila through the Navelli Plain.
On the scenic main square stands the Church of San Francesco, built in 1334, but restored and transformed in 1400. Preceded by a high staircase with two Romanesque lions, it has a stone block facade with architectural motifs from different eras. The rose window is Renaissance and the statues of Saints Francis and Anthony of Padua stand out on the sides. Inside, the church has a single nave and the frontal of Ramondo Pompei is preserved. The bell tower was built in three different periods between 1480 and 1714. Near the church stands the eighteenth-century Civic Tower, while the Ducal Tavern, of medieval origin, is the typical architecture of the 1300s.
The castle and Palazzo Cantelmo
On a hill, you can see the remains of the Cantelmo Castle, dating back to the beginning of the year 1000, commissioned by Charles I of Anjou to strengthen the defensive lines.
Palazzo dei Cantelmo, built in the 15th century by the will of Giovanni Cantelmo, is formed by the merger of several residential units and is located in the town. The main entrance is reached by a staircase surmounted by a Roman mask. The current facade is from 1824.
The Church of Santissima Trinità from the 1700s has an austere façade located at the top of a flight of steps. Finally, the Church of San Lorenzo, with a simple facade and a single nave interior. The holy water stoup from 1554 is interesting.
What to eat
The local cuisine offers tagliatelle with trout, gnocchi with porcini, pappardelle with wild boar, and crayfish specialties.
How do I get to the springs of Pescara?
The entrance to the Guided Sorgenti del Pescara Nature Reserve is located in the municipality of Popoli, it is accessed via an asphalted path that runs along the river, while to reach the springs you must follow the path after taking the Capo Pescara Municipal Road.