The two summits of Monte Mileto seen from the west
La Montagna del Morrone
is a north-west to south-east running chain, which rises abruptly above Val Peligna
in the Abruzzo region of central Italy. With summit altitudes of more than 2000m the elevation difference to the valley floor (less than 300m) is huge, limiting the number of visitors to those areas where easily reachable high trailheads can be found. The chain stretches for more than 15 km between the Gole di Polpoli
in the north and Passo San Leonardo
in the south-east. This latter pass separates Montagna del Morrone
from the higher Majella Range
, to which nevertheless it is associated. Both ranges have been included into Majella National Park
(Parco Nazionale della Majella).
Montagna del Morrone
consists of a chain of several summits, starting with Monte Mileto
(1920m) in the south-east, culminating in Monte Morrone
(2061m) in its centre and ending with Monte Rotondo
(1731) in the north. Monte Mileto
as the southernmost summit stands aside from the remainder of the chain and thanks to the proximity to the higher Majella Massif itself offers great views towards that range across Passo San Leonardo
In general elevation differences between trailheads and the summits of Montagna del Morrone
are huge but here, in the southern part of the chain things are differennt. Passo San Leonardo
can be easily reached by car (even though seismic activity in the area often shuts down the roads into the mountains and creates serious cracks and bumps) and from there you'll have to scale about 700m only. Thus quite often Monte Mileto
is climbed in tandem with iits neighbour Monte la Mucchia
(1986m) or even the highpoint of the chain, Monte Morrone
All three mountains have round-topped, hill-like summits with somewhat steeper slopes on their eastern sides. Monte Mileto
is twin peaked with the lower south summit separated from the northern main one by a shallow saddle. The mountain - like so many others in the Abruzzi Region
is home to quite a number of wildflowers, most prominent among them the Majella Violet
, different types of gentian (which forms vast blue patches) and different kinds of orchids.
Majella seen across Passo San Leonardo, the trailhead
The best trailhead for Monte Mileto
and the north of Montagna del Morrone
is at the road pass Passo San Leonardo
, which can be reached as follows from the closest airports:
- 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.
- After Sulmona switch to SR487 through Pacentro and on to Passo San Leonardo.
- From Pescara
- Take motorway E80 / A25 westward in direction Rome.
- At the exit Pratola Peligna / Sulmona turn off onto SS17 through Sulmona and to SR487 to Passo San Leonardo as described above.
San Leonardo Chapel in front of Monte Amaro
From Passo San Leonardo
the route to Monte Mileto
is rather straightforward. You leave the chapel in the path towards the north, where a narrow path winds up steeply through beech and oak forest. It uses two large switchbacks until it reaches the timberline close to Monte Mileto's north ridge. It stays underneath to the east, however, heading up in parallel to the ridge, reaching it after anothe couple of switchbacks. From there simply follow the broad ridge towards the north and main summits.
For descent there is the option of a loop around Monte Mileto. Descend towards the northwest to the next saddle from where a large loop trail leads around Monte Mileto
to the place where the original path joined the north ridge. This loop requires an additional 400m elevation loss and gain but offers great views of the typical terrain of Montagna del Morrone
Southern view from the loop trail
There is a second route, starting in the hamlet Roccacaramánico
starting at 1000m. It negotiates a dense forest to the north of Rava dell'Inferno
, an extremely steep ravine coming down from the saddle between Monte Mileto
and Monte le Mucchia
is part of Parco Nazionale della Majella
. The usual restrictions apply. For more information see the park's website
Western view during the final ascent
There's ample accommodation'options in the area, however rather hard to find. Google searches often end up at the tripadvisor, casamundo or booking.com portals. There is a thriving community of British expatriates, many of whom offer apartments for rent. Maybe a good starting point is this site
Closer to the mountain, there's Rifugio Pietro Celidonio
on Passo San Leonardo
. Also, a shelter lies to the north of Monte Mileto
, Casa Capoposto
. It can also be directly reached from Passo San Leonardo
Maps & Books
- Digital Maps
- Regular Maps
Edizioni il Lupo