ChietiJanuary 27, 2017 in Italy
Chieti, a hilltop town with reputedly stunning mountain views was our next destination. We had the choice of dropping down to the coast road or taking the smaller but more direct mountain road via Penne. The high altitude vistas had been amazing so we decided to go for the latter, with the proviso that if driving got too difficult we'd turn back.
The snow grew in depth as we rose in height but the road itself was clear and ice free. The mountains around us looked incredible in the true sense of the word. Everything was going well until about half an hour into the drive when we reached a village and a wall of snow blocking the route ahead. Because it was a minor road, this was the extent to which snow ploughs had cleared. Luckily we were able to turn in a small piazza and make our way back to Teramo to take the coast road. We wonder what it must be like for those living in remote dwellings where the roads haven't been cleared.
Arriving at Chieti we were once again blessed with a beautiful far reaching view over the Gran Sasso mountains as well as the smaller Maiella range and the flat valley below. Sadly the sights were shrouded in a thick haze of bluish grey air pollution, blotting out details so effectively that the mountains appeared only in silhouette. There have been increased amounts of dumped rubbish as our journey into Italy has progressed and this area was no exception.
Chieti marked the furthest point south we've ever driven. We were looking forward to discovering the changes in climate, flora, fauna and ways of life that were ahead.
Rays of gentle morning sunlight shone on the mountains, revealing their detail to ys the following day. Before leaving we hiked up through the steep streets of the town to a viewpoint from where you could see both mountain ranges. We'd been able to see the more southerly Maiellas from the van and they had appeared huge, but they were looked almost insignificant when seen alongside the Gran Sasso massif. It rose to over 2000m above sea level and its snowy peaks took on rather a surreal appearance, almost as if they had been painted onto the landscape.Read more