Cerqueto is probably most famously known for its Christmas Presepe Vivente, but exploring the surrounding areas also reveals the most unexpectedly abundant technicolour multi variety orchid trail, with sublime views of Abruzzo’s “Sleeping Giant” the Corno Piccolo (2655m), perfect for those that fancy a gentle May ramble
You’ll see the orchid walk signposted as Rio S Giacomo’ (977 masl) at the foot of the village of Cerqueto, which is 740 masl. It is a relatively easy walk, but if you fancy extending your hike you can go on to Pietracamela, have lunch and walk back (1.15 hr each way); I am a plodder of a walker and we didn’t make the falls that were forecast to be 45 minutes away, although there was a cooling breeze the path isn’t shaded (take a hat!) so after an hour and with a very hot spaniel we turned back without regrets, as said the orchid display here is something else and took us ‘Londoners’ completely by surprise, it felt as if you had quite literally walked into the middle of a private orchid rave. I’d probably list this to be one of my ultimate Abruzzo picnic spots, listening to the river waters below, an incredible view and all possible to get to by a fairly easy walk and for those that fancy dipping their feet into a cooling rock pool (like our spaniel) you can ease your feet into the spring waters at the beginning (and end) of the walk.
The best English language page on walking around the Corno Piccolo & Corno Grande we have found is on Summit.org page – this is a collaborative community focused on climbing, mountaineering, hiking and other outdoor activities and is truly excellent in the information it provides & recommends