It’s an ideal place to ski for those who aren’t looking for long queues or black runs; rather some fun ski-ing, snowboarding or snow-biking down the 1,775 masl Colle Abetone. In total Prato Selva has 3 Blue Runs, 3 Red Runs & 2 Green Runs that are reached by its ski- and chair-lifts; a one-off pass starts at €16 per day – if you want to ski just for an afternoon, expect to pay €12 for 3 hours. A ski-school is available for those looking to gain some extra skills.
One thing I particularly like about the two northern Abruzzo ski-resorts unlike some of their Chieti cousins is that they are both situated above quite stunning medieval villages, perfect for exploring in and of course making the most of the delicious Teramo-style Italian cuisine. There is the opportunity to see a local rural culture and Apennine way of life, rather than faceless après ski tourism.
Fano Adriano, Prato Selva’s nearest village/small town has a history that stretches back to Roman times, the Orsini Family owned it in the C15th and were one of the larger patrons of the nearby Castelli for those that like this majolica type ceramic. The words quaint, compact, charming and even wealthy are all adjectives that could be sprinkled liberally in describing it. Try and visit its main church of San Pietro and take a look at its C17th ceiling. Sadly that ‘beautiful village’ tag has had an impact of the number of local home-owners; Fano Adriano like nearby Pietracamela is one of those desirable villages that ski-goers and thus second-home-owners itch to buy in, and it currently has a full-time population of just 1/5 of what it was 100 years ago, but it’s still worth visiting.
Within the area there are some great restaurants as well as National Park shops where one can buy delicious snacks, particularly good for those that visit in spring or summer. There’s a very nice deli, ‘Sapere’ within Fano Adriano, so you’ll never be caught short of yummy provisions if you do decide to self-cater or stay outside the ski-period to go walking in Abruzzo’s Gran Sasso Mountains.
If you are here over Christmas make sure you visit the traditional living nativity (Presepe Vivente) in nearby Cerqueto that is held on Boxing Day (26th December) in the evening, it normally starts around 18.30.
For music lovers, Fano Adriano hosts an International Organ Competition at the beginning of July that is worth a visit, there is something quite inspiring about organ music played up this high in such a setting, no matter what religion you are.
Webcam of Prato Selva