|Clck per allargare|
The first part of the leg was very beautiful and scenic. The initial part was along the asphalt road to Raiano, towards the pass of Mount Urano. There were no alternatives. The remains of the tratturo are clearly visible on the left-hand side of the road. Once on the pass, a spectacular panoramic view of the underlying Peligna Valley appears to the hiker. From there the village of Raiano can be reached by following the road or, alternatively, the "Monte Urano trail". The trail was not indicated on my maps, so I did not follow the signs. That was a shame, as I could have avoided several kilometres on asphalt! The traces of the tratturo are no longer visible going downhill: it possibly coincided with the trail which currently runs along the roadside but, more probably, the road itself runs over it.
Shortly before the village of Raiano, a small Alpini troops chapel, with a statue of the Virgin and Child, welcomes trekkers. The place is peaceful and completely surrounded by rocks. I took a small break and spent some time chatting with a former alpine soldier who was setting up the place for an event. Satellite maps told me that I was back on the tratturo.
In Raiano, I eventually found some references to the tratturo: it was the first time since I had left Celano. Some faded tourist information signs and a street named "Viale Tratturo" confirmed that the direction was correct.
On the way out of Raiano the journey continued on an asphalt road. The former tratturo ran on the bottom of a closed valley, so temperatures were very high: there was no wind at all. Small stretches of the tratturo can be seen from time to time on one side of the road. Nowadays it is divided into privately owned plots or used as craft trade area. A group of workers, on board of a van, mocked me: "Go walking in the mountains!" It sure would have been hard to explain to them the high value of my mission in search of the tratturo! However, they were probably right: with my large backpack and such high temperatures, I must have been a peculiar sight!
After the A25 Torano-Pescara highway, I left the asphalt for a dirt road passing close to a large disused military compound, entirely built on the tratturo. It must have been three kilometres long!
At the end of the barracks... asphalt... again! From that point on, making mistakes would be impossible: the long "Tratturo Street" continues up to Sulmona.
A tour is strongly recommended if you reach the town early: it's definitely worth it!