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Pietracamela, a small mountain village

A hidden gem in the mountains, worthy access to the wonders of Gran Sasso


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Where is


64047 Pietracamela TE, Italia (1,551m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

The locality Prati di Tivo is one of the wonderful accesses to the Gran Sasso. You get there by passing through the small village of Pietracamela, which is far from being a mere place of passage. If you take the time to visit it, you will discover a medieval gem perched at 1005 meters above sea level on the slope of Corno Piccolo. The narrow streets and stone houses tell a very long history of simple people, mainly shepherds and farmers, but it is precisely this traditional vocation that hides a surprising beauty.

Why it is special

The magnificent panorama of mountains, forests and endless skies is likely to distract you from a multitude of small details that tell of life in past centuries in the small mountain village. If you sharpen your eyesight you will discover that many houses bear engravings on the lintels of their doors, or on the windows, as in the case of "Casa Signoretti": they are dates, mainly, but also indications about the inhabitants and their activities, as in the case of the scissors that appear above the mullioned window of Casa Signoretti, who knows, probably indicating that a shearer lived there.

Not to be missed

In summer, it becomes even more difficult to pass quickly past the village of Pietracamela, which comes alive with various initiatives of the local proloco and other associations. Among these, one of the most heartfelt is the patronal festival dedicated to San Leucio on July 11, with the traditional procession through the streets. But winter also provides some unforgettable moments: can you imagine what this snow-whitened village, embraced by the mountains, must be like when it is illuminated by the warm light of the flashlights of the New Year's Eve torchlight procession? Simply unforgettable!

A bit of history

Pietracamela was born in the 12th century, at a time when the population of Abruzzo was seeking shelter from invaders by taking refuge on the heights. Its history followed that of a great many small villages, subjected to the feudal rule of various families until the 19th century. With the advent of the Kingdom of Italy there was no lack of brigandage, and then, little by little, the depopulation typical of small mountain villages began. The rebirth of Pietracamela , however, is linked to tourism: many trails start from here , to the Madonnina del Gran Sasso, the Franchetti Refuge, or the sources of the Rio Arno just to name a few.


The municipal coat of arms bears a rather unusual animal at these latitudes: a camel! It is related to the name of the town, Pietracamela, formerly Petra Cumerii and Pietra Cameria. The first noun, "petra" or "stone" undoubtedly refers to the rock to which the village clings, but for the second, there is no confirmed hypothesis. According to some, it refers to an invading people called "Cimerii," according to others, Cameria would derive from "cacumene" meaning on top, but the version to which the coat of arms refers refers to the profile of the mountain seen from the hamlet, much like the two humps on a camel's back.

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Antonio Di Ferdinando

The view from this location is unique! 360° between the mountain and the sea, following the glide of the hills with your eyes.