If you are looking for an air-conditioned room with satellite TV and a swimming pool, then book at one of the many hotels in Caramanico. However, if you are looking to really connect with the Majella, its people and experience truly spectacular, authentic Italian hospitality, then look no further than Pietrantica.
We discovered Pietrantica by accident on Google after considering a number of other arranged walking holidays in the area. Pietrantica is an “agriturismo“, run by a local Italian family that provides accommodation in the Majella National Park. We had not experienced an agriturismo before and were worried about stopping with an Italian family as our ability to speak Italian is limited to a few key words. After a few email exchanges in English, we took the plunge and booked directly for 10 nights.
Pietrantica is located in Decontra (a small village just outside of Caraminico Terme) in the heart of the Majella National Park. Our room had been recently restored and was nicely furnished, had well equipped cooking facilities and a very nice bathroom - the photos on the website do not do the rooms any justice as they are modern and clean.
The Majella is a walker’s paradise with a wide variety of different walking options available – from mountain tops, gorge walks or exploring the numerous hermitages. Some of the walks start from your door in Decontra, enabling you to leave the car and go straight onto the paths. Walking in the national park is simply stunning; Sunday excepted, there are very few other walkers on the mountains allowing you to experience the vast wilderness to yourselves.
Marisa and Camillo are from the region and have an extensive knowledge of the Majella and share a huge passion and a healthy respect for its wilderness. They are official mountain and ski guides and are happy to advise you on walks (and the ones to avoid). If you want an English speaking guide, Marisa can arrange this for you, but we found that this was not necessary. Walking here was relatively straight forward. Armed with the 1:25,0000 map and a compass, we created our own walks across the Majella using the official walking routes. The majority of the paths are well marked and easy to follow using the “red and white” markings (which had been recently refreshed).
Marisa and Camillo really made us feel at home and very much part of their extended family during the time we were there. Most evenings we were fortunate to dine at Pietrantica with the family and the other guests. This was a great opportunity to unwind and sample Marisa’s home cooked food, made with fresh produce straight from their garden. This was really really really great tasting food, cooked simply and with love. Respect.
We came to Majella for the walking and we were not disappointed; we managed to walk 9 out of the 10 days and still left many paths to discover for another time. What we did not expect was the experience of stopping with an Italian family and sharing the passion for the Majella. We feel privileged to have met Marisa, Camillo and their family and have left with an ache in our hearts to return very very soon.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC