Straddling the western chain of the Gran Sasso d'Italia
From the Valle del Chiarino to the foot of Monte Corvo, one of the least frequented corners of the Gran Sasso d'Italia massif, you go through beech woods up to the western chain to the spectacular Belvedere Pass (1789 m). A long and gradual descent on the slopes of Mount Ienca
leads to the grassland pastures adjacent to the provincial road that leads from Assergi to Passo delle Capannelle. A little further down the valley is the Sanctuary of San Pietro della Ienca, a private pilgrimage destination for Pope John Paul II.

Description of the trail
From the Rifugio Domenico Fioretti (1503 m) the trail crosses the meadow-pasture on the orographic left and begins to follow a well-marked forest road to the Prati della Corte. From here the route goes halfway up the woody side, reaches a meadow and continues into a beech forest
leaving to the right a path that goes down to the Vomano state road. The track follows an old mule track until you reach the dirt road (1430 m) which descends slightly from the main road to the Panepucci Alessandri Refuge. You take a left up the road that turns up the slope in hairpin
bends, cross the wide clearing of Fossa Ranni with a beautiful glance on the walls and the glacial cirques of the northern slope of Monte San Franco, and then climbing more steeply with a path leads to the grassy basin that houses the Rifugio del CAI (1700 m). It starts again
crossing a grassy valley and climbing halfway up you reach the Belvedere Pass (1789 m), reached from the side of Vasto by a dirt road. From here the long descent to the left of the dirt road begins to descend on the grassy slope of crossways touching a fountain and bypassing the
rocky outcrops of the Torretta. The path leaves the meadows crossing a dirt road that later leaves to cross the shrubbery in the direction of a farmhouse where it takes a dirt road that leads to the provincial road, which leads down to the Sanctuary of San Pietro della Ienca (1166m).

A jewel of the Middle Ages
The sanctuary is housed in a small medieval village completely restored in local stone, which was important for the foundation of the city of L'Aquila and in the seventeenth century became a remarkable center for the production of saffron under the Spanish domination. The small brick church has a regular planimetric configuration with a single rectangular hall, with a gabled façade. It has become "Church sub umbra Petri", that is a church particularly linked to the Roman Vatican basilica. Near the church there is the stele, the stone fountain, and the bronze statue of St. John Paul II with a palm, while it is in the act of blessing.


Length: 14 Km

Degree of difficulty CAI: EE

Difference in height uphill: 440 m

Downhill difference in height: 808 m

Altitude Max: 1600 m

Min height: 1023 m

Protected areas crossed: 

Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e dei Monti della Laga

CAI Section: L'Aquila

Recommended period:

April - November


Carta CAI Gran Sasso ed. SELCA 2009


113 - 113a - 113 -112 - 119

Profilo Tappa 24 Ufficiale
Altimetric Profile
The structures marked with smile 😉 are the "friendly structures" of the path



Hotel Nido dell'Aquila
Loc Fonte Cerreto,
San Pietro della Ienca, L'Aquila
Tel. 0862606840

La Grotta del Papa
Via della fonte vecchia snc,
San pietro della Ienca, L'Aquila
Tel. 3285777929
La Grotta del Papa




Information Points

Water along the way

112; 0862 366025