With its 2458 m Monte Gorzano is the main elevation of the 5th highest mountain-massive in the Apennines. This massive, the Monti della Laga, makes border between the regions of Abruzzo and Lazio (Rome). Besides Monte Gorzano, the range consists of five major peaks, Cima Lepri 2445 m, Pizzo di Sevo 2419 m, Pizzo di Moscio 2411 m, Cima della Laghetta 2372 m and Monte di Mezzo 2155 m. Being in the middle between Gran Sasso and the Monti Sibillini, these mountains always offer outstanding beautiful views, which give an impression of high altitude. The area is extraordinarily rich of water. Lots of rivers have their source here and countless waterfalls, jumps of 40 or more metres are no exception, run down the mountains. The biggest lake in the area, the Lago di Campotosto (1320 m), even if artificial, is for sure one of the most beautiful mountain-lakes in Italy. Especially in winter, when the water is frozen, this place is just “Yukon”! The Monti della Laga are among the wildest mountains in Italy, visitors are rare, there are absolutely no ski-lifts or slopes and you can hardly find any hotels or other accommodations. Moreover these mountains are protected by a National-Park, the Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga.
From Rome: take the Autostrada 24 –highway (direction east) and follow it until you reach L’Aquila (capital of Abruzzo). Leave the highway at L’Aquila Ovest. Continue towards Montereale and Amatrice (direction north-northwest). After a few kilometres, close to the village of Cermone there is a junction where you can decide whether to follow the street to Amatrice (western versant of Monti della Laga) or to cross Passo delle Capanelle (Mountain-Pass 1283 m), in direction of Teramo (east) for reaching the eastern versant.
Once arrived in Amatrice follow the indications for the Lago di Campotosto. After a few minutes and lots of curves follow the indications for Preta and Capricchia. After Capricchia continue to drive until you reach an evident parking area in the vicinity of a religious monument at about 1381 m.
From Milan, Venice, Bologna: take the Autostrada 14 –highway (direction south). Leave it at the Teramo-Giulianova exit. Continue towards Teramo and Montorio al Vomano (direction west). After Teramo and before reaching Montorio, leave the main road and follow the evident indications for Valle San Giovanni and Cortino. After Cortino turn right in direction of Altovia. Then, after Altovia again turn right, before you reach Valle Vaccaro, and follow the carriageway until you arrive at an abandoned hut where you park the car (Colle San Pietro 1681 m).
If you want to get to the western versant of the Monti della Laga leave the Autotrada 14 –highway at San Benedetto del Tronto, then follow the street towards Ascoli Piceno, Rome and Amatrice. Follow the indications for Amatrice, now see “from Rome”.
Permits are not required. There are no fees or seasonal closures. In winter, obviously, thanks to the snow, you won't be able to reach the trailheads by car. Nevertheless the Monti della Laga are within a protected area, the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park. Please visit the homepage for getting to know more about the local wildlife rules. However you can move freely on these mountains.
When To Climb
Monte Gorzano can be climbed all year round. In summer the normal routes from both sides are easy walk-ups. In Winter the more spectacular versant of Amatrice (west) offers very satisfying ascents on steep and thin ridges. No matter from where, in winter you have to start walking at about 1100 m. The temperatures can be very low and the snow hopelessly deep. In 2005 the area measured some 5 metres of snow, and Castelluccio, a little Village at 1450 m signed -37°Celsius. This is of course an exception!
It is not allowed to camp on these mountains! There are no guarded huts or bivouacs! There are just a few old huts in state of abandon, most of the time they're shut. Thanks to lots of broken windows, in case of emergency it is no problem to enter them. So they can still save you!
In Teramo and Amatrice you can easily find decent accomodations.