Cima della Fossa

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 41.90536°N / 14.02952°E
Additional Information GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map
Activities Activities: Hiking, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 6398 ft / 1950 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Cima della FossaCima della Fossa during the approach from the south
To the very west of the Majella mountain range in the Abruzzi Region of Appennino Centrale there is a long ridgeline of nearly 20km length which culminates in two mountains, Cima della Fossa (1950m) and Monte Rotella (2129m). While its height is not overly impressive the whole ridgeline is barren and far away from any other mountain so that no obstacles spoil the views. Thus summitting those two mountains can be a very rewarding experience, with the Abruzzi mountains forming the backdrop near and far.
Monte Greco
Cima della Fossa
Montagne del Morrone

Both summits lie centrally on this south-to-north running ridgeline with Cima della Fossa a few hundred metres south of Monte Rotella. At 1950m it is lower than most of the mountains of Appennino Centrale but thanks to ots location and the aforementioned barrenness it is a wonderful lookout. The huge plain of Piano delle Cinque Miglia lies at its western feet an further west rise the mountains of the Parco nazionale d'Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise. The Majella Range is up close in the east, Montagne del Morrone to the north-east, Velino-Sirente to the north.
Piano delle Cinque Miglia
Piano delle Cinque Miglia
There are two trailheads at both ends of the north-to-south running ridge, the city Sulmona in the north and the picturesque skiing village Pescocostanzo in the south. Elevation differences are huge - 1300m at Pescocostanzo, 2129m on Monte Rotella and 400m at Sulmona. A full traverse of the ridge requires clever organization and lots of stamina. Therefore most visitors hike the southern half from Pescocostanzo and back.
Serra Rocca Chiarano
Serra Santa Maria

Like all surrounding mountains, Cima della Fossa is made up from limestone. It is a withered type of limestone, which makes the mountains look like smooth, rolling hilltops. At closer inspection there are a lot of nooks and crevices which are perfect beds for wildflowers. In spring the slopes of the mountain are covered in blue and yellow violets (viola della majella, Viola magellensis)

Getting There

  • From Rome:
    • Take motorway E80 / A24 from Rome to Torano.
    • Switch to motorway A25, direction Pescara.
    • At the exit Pratola Peligna / Sulmona switch to SS17 south, passing Sulmona.
    • After Rivsindoli switch to SS84 and after a few km you'll reach Pescocostanzo

  • From Pescara
    • Take motorway E80 / A25 westward in direction Rome.
    • At the exit Pratola Peligna / Sulmona switch to SS17 south, passing Sulmona.
    • After Rivsindoli switch to SS84 and after a few km you'll reach Pescocostanzo


The route from either side of the ridge is absolutely straightforward. From Sulmona just follow the ridge. From Pescocostanzo head up the road to the ski lift, which turns into a dirt road to the upper ski station. From there a path heads up across the east slope of the mountain until it reaches the ridgeline. Follow this across Cima della Fossa until you reach the summit of Monte Rotella.

Red Tape

Orchis militansOrchis militans on the south ridge of Cima della Fossa
The whole ridgeline between Sulmona and Pescocostanzo belongs to the westernmost part of Parco Nazionale della Majella. Information about the park can be found at

Parco Nazionale della Majella.

On the slopes above Pescocostanzo ski runs have been developped. The usual national park restricions apply to the area above the runs. Sheep, cattle and horses graze on the mountain but there are neither gates nor fences.

Weather Conditions


The Pescocostanzo Ski Runs
The Pescocostanzo Ski Runs
There's ample accommodation'options in the area, however rather hard to find. Google searches often end up at the tripadvisor, casamundo or portals. There is a thriving community of British expatriates, many of whom offer apartments for rent. Maybe a good starting point is this site

Maps & Books


  • Digital Maps
  • Regular Maps
    I haven't been able to find a map for this area. Any suggestions are welcome!


    • Abruzzen
      Heinrich Bauregger
      Rother Verlag
      ISBN 978-3-7633-0413-2