Adventures / Wildlife Adventures

Rewilding Adventure Tracking Italy's Wolves in Winter

Clip snowshoes on to search for the elusive and magical wolves of Italy's Central Apennines Rewilding Area

From

Trip Ref #10314

Adventures / Wildlife Adventures

Rewilding Adventure Tracking Italy's Wolves in Winter

Clip snowshoes on to search for the elusive and magical wolves of Italy's Central Apennines Rewilding Area

DURATION

2 nights

LOCATION

Italy

ANNUAL LEAVE

1 day off work

SEASON

Dec-Mar

GROUP SIZE

Up to 8 people

MEETING POINT

Rome International Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Guesthouse

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

You need good fitness and a warm jacket! No snowshoeing experience needed, the hikes are fairly challenging and you pack in a lot in 3 days

An amazing adventure created in partnership with expert local wildlife trackers

Eyes peeled for the ultimate apex predator and keystone species - the wolf - the iconic symbol of rewilding efforts in this part of Europe

Head out on twilight hikes to hear the wolves howl before cosying up with classic Italian food in family-run guesthouses

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Victoria, February 2022

    I can not recommend this trip highly enough. I’m not generally good with strangers so going on a trip with seven others I didn’t know pushed me out of my comfort zone a lot. But I needn’t have worried. The group were fantastic, Valeria the guide was great. I learnt so much about the Apennine wolves and other wildlife, the ecology of the area and conservation efforts that have brought the national park to the wonderful haven it is now. The iris hotel was great comfortable rooms, great food and friendly staff. We didn’t see any wolves on the hikes (luck of the draw dealing with wildlife is always a gamble) but however on two nights of my stay I did see three directly outside the hotel from my balcony crossing their territory. I would advise people to pay for extra days to make the most of Pescasseroli, it’s a beautiful place and you really can spend hours just wondering around admiring the charms of the town whilst stopping for the occasional espresso also take the time to pop up to the castle ruins so you can see the breathtaking views. Already planning to head back for another round.

    Angela, February 2022

    I thoroughly enjoyed the trip - the Abruzzo's are a stunning region and well worth the trip out. We were unlucky to not see wolves; however they are elusive wild animals so nothing is ever guaranteed. We did hear them howling though, which was both eerie and beautiful. We also saw chamois, deer, foxes, hares and many signs of wolves (tracks, scat etc). Our guide Valeria was excellent, full of knowledge and passion for the region, and so helpful with extra tips for what to do / where to eat, and coming to my rescue with tape when the sole of my trusty hiking boot suddenly gave up on me. The hiking (both regular and snow shoe) was through some amazing scenery and should be manageable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Overall, I would definitely recommend the trip - whilst seeing wolves would have been the icing on the cake, not seeing them merely gives me a reason to go back and explore further.

    Vincent, January 2022

    What a gem of an area at just 2.5 hours of Rome. The hikes and wildwatching are truly special and can differ a lot from each other eventhough they are all pretty close to the hotel. Although seeing wolves is by no means guaranteed, if you love hiking in mountains and learning about all local animals, this trip is for you!

    Rose, December 2021

    I loved the trip to Abruzzo in Italy, the scenery was stunning, the wildlife was amazing as were the guides who were super knowledgeable and engaging. They are part of a brilliant organisation trying to protect, restore and connect habitats to support a range of wildlife including bears and wolves. This holiday helps ensure this work continues by donating a small % of the trip - so worthwhile and a great way to give back while still having a holiday

    Melissa, December 2021

    I really loved this trip to the Abruzzo National Park. We had some amazing wildlife sightings, including chamois and two bears, which was incredibly lucky. Thanks to our guides who were brilliant, their love for nature and being so accommodating. The trip is physically challenging which I enjoyed, the views and privilege of being in totally untouched nature totally worth it. Thanks to Valeria for helping with organising covid tests! Also the local restaurants are amazing 👌🏻

    Included

    Guides

    English-speaking, expert wolf tracker and rewilding guide

    Accommodation

    2 nights in boutique, locally owned guesthouses

    Meals

    All breakfasts and dinners

    Transfers

    Transfers between Rome airport and the Abruzzo Mountains, and everything in between

    Equipment

    Snowshoes, poles, binoculars, spotting scopes and use of a thermal camera

    Not Included

    Flights to and from the meeting point

    Travel insurance

    Personal expenses

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, Rome

    12:00

    Ends

    Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, Rome

    17:00

    Transfers

    Your host will meet you at Rome Airport and transfer you over to Pescasseroli, your base for the adventure approximately two and a half hours away from Rome. On Day 3, your host will drop you back at the airport in Rome after the return drive. We suggest you book any onward flights to depart after 18:00.

    Travel options

    Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Rome is well connected via numerous flights across the UK and Europe. US travellers can fly direct to Rome from various major US airports including New York, Miami and LA.

    Train travel to Rome is an easy and enjoyable alternative for those looking to avoid flying on this trip. Rome Termini Railway Station is well connected to various major hubs across Italy and in neighbouring France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. Travellers from the UK can take the Eurostar to Paris, followed by the TGV to Turin and then a Frecciarossa (Italian high-speed train) to Rome, all in a single day or with overnight stays in Turin or Milan.

    Day 1

    Guesthouse · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2

    Guesthouse · Twin tent

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 3

    Departure day

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    What is the food like?

    Breakfast at your accommodation is a classic international affair with cereals, bread, pastries and homemade cakes. Lunches are not included - you will buy packed lunches from the guesthouse or local shops and bakeries each morning to take with you on the wolf tracking excursions. Please budget €10-15 per day for your lunches. Each evening you'll be tucking into traditional Italian dishes including maccheroni alla chitarra - a special type of spaghetti, soup with orapi (wild spinach) and beans, gnocchetti and grilled meat. The wider region outside the rewilding area has a strong sheep rearing culture, so plenty of local dairy products are available such as pecorino, ricotta, caciocavallo and a rare goat's cheese called Marzolina.

    Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

    What is the accommodation like?

    Pescasseroli

    Your base for the adventure is in Pescasseroli, a beautiful and atmospheric rural Italian mountain village. You'll stay in one of the village's family-owned hotels and guesthouses, such as The Hotel Iris which offers traditional Italian hospitality surrounded by pine trees and mountain views. You'll stay in twin-share rooms. Depending on availability, you may stay at Hotel Valle dell'Oro, Della Piazza B&B, or the Albergo La Torre in neighbouring Civitella Alfedena.

    Day 1

    To the Abruzzo's

    Hiking

    1-2hrs · 2-3km · 150m up · 150m down

    Meet your host at Rome Airport, hop in the van and drive through rural Italy to the town of Pescasseroli - your base for the weekend. Check into your guesthouse and meet up with your guide who will give you the lowdown on the rewilding efforts in the area and brief you on the adventure to come. Head out for an easy afternoon hike to get your first taste of Abruzzo National Park and catch the sunset before tucking into an Italian feast for dinner.

    Day 2

    Wolf tracking

    Wildlife Tracking

    5-6hrs · 8-10km · 400m up · 400m down

    Wake for a sunrise hike along the southern slope of the mountain, through an area frequented by wolves. Whilst you cross your fingers for sightings, your guide will talk you through the history of the wolves in the area and the role they play within the rewilding of ecosystems as a keystone species. Wolves have been making a steady comeback in this part of Italy, thanks in part to the creation and ongoing management of the Central Apennines rewilding area. After lunch, you'll take a short drive to Civitella Alfedena to visit the Apennine Wolf Museum before some afternoon downtime at the guesthouse. Later, you'll head out for a torchlight hike and listen for the unmistakable howling of wolves.

    Day 3

    The wilderness of Pianoro Le Forme

    Wildlife Tracking

    4-5hrs · 6-8km · 350m up · 350m down

    Another dawn-start as you set out into the beautiful scenery of Pianoro Le Forme at the foot of Mount Meta. Eyes and ears open for deer, chamois, and hopefully wolves, if you're lucky. Hike on through beech forest and mountain pastures to Passo dei Monaci. Warm-up with a cup of Italian hot chocolate (the best kind) and a final taste of local delicacies before bidding farewell to the Abruzzo's and head back to Rome.

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    What's included?

    • Snowshoes
    • Poles
    • Binoculars
    • Spotting scopes
    • Thermal camera

    What do I need to bring?

    BAGS
    Soft duffel bag or rucksack
    Daypack (20+ litres)

    CLOTHES
    Waterproof and windproof jacket
    Fleece jacket or similar
    Down or synthetic jacket
    Thick, warm and waterproof gloves
    Base layers (merino best)
    Buff or beck scarf
    T-shirts
    Thick hiking socks - multiple pairs
    Sunglasses
    Warm hat
    Something to sleep in
    Waterproof hiking boots (worn-in)
    Lightweight shoes for evenings

    OTHER
    Universal travel plug adapter
    Power bank or solar charger
    Passports (and visas)
    Travel Insurance documents
    Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
    Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
    Alcohol hand-gel
    Face mask
    Headlamp or torch
    Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)

    OPTIONAL
    Earplugs
    Energy bars and snacks
    Camera
    Thermos flask

    Double/twin room in Pescasseroli

    Payable Before Departure

    Double/twin room in Pescasseroli

    Single room in Pescasseroli

    Payable Before Departure

    Single room in Pescasseroli

    Optional Private Room Upgrade

    Payable Before Departure

    Optional Private Room Upgrade

    Private transfer from Rome Airport to Pescasseroli (each way)

    Payable Before Departure

    Private transfer from Rome Airport to Pescasseroli (each way)

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    What's the number?
    It works out on average at 88kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

    The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

    But what does the number mean?
    Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

    • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
    • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
    • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

    What are we doing about it?
    Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

    Want to know more?
    Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

    Our Rewilding Adventures take place in areas that are actively undergoing a process of ecological restoration known as rewilding. Increasingly, scientists and environmental activists see rewilding as a key solution to the ecological crises facing the planet. At Much Better Adventures we have followed this youthful movement closely, and it is clear that tourism has a role to play in helping to fund rewilding projects and show our adventurers the ecological transformations happening on the ground. Our trips explore these areas and particularly the species which are coming back to the returning wildernesses.

    On any of our Rewilding Adventures, you'll be guided by expert wildlife trackers with a deep understanding of the rewilding efforts and the ecological improvements occurring in the areas they live and work in. You will search for and learn about keystone species such as wolf and bison which are either expanding from small historical numbers or being actively reintroduced. You'll see up close returning tree coverage and wildflower meadows, and even witness rivers running clearer due to the land growing wilder and withholding sediments. We aim for our Rewilding Adventures to instil a sense of hope that the damage which human activity has caused to the wild places on our planet can be reversed.

    Every booking we take on a Rewilding Adventure directly supports and positively impacts the area in which your adventure takes place. Tourism provides a sustainable revenue stream to the local community, boosting the social and economic benefits from conservation and rewilding work, and therefore the incentives to support it.

    Included in the trip cost is also a Rewilding Levy of 5% which goes directly to the rewilding project connected to the trip. On top of this, the Much Better Adventures Foundation channels an additional 5% of our revenues (not profits) from every booking to support reforestation and rewilding projects that advance our goal to protect the worlds wild places, one adventure at a time.

    While we acknowledge that our Rewilding Adventures have a carbon footprint due to the need to travel to them, we have chosen the projects within our foundation for their potential to remove at least 2x more carbon from the atmosphere than enter it as a result of our trips.

    This is an easy adventure that can be managed and enjoyed by anyone with basic fitness levels. You'll be hiking and snowshoeing for a few hours each day with mild elevation gains of up to 400m, however, there are plenty of stops as you wait silently with binoculars to view the various wildlife, and hopefully a wolf pack or two. You don't need any snowshoeing experience.

    Snowshoeing is a type of hiking that uses a special type of footwear - a snowshoe - to spread your weight over a larger area to move easily across powder snow-covered terrain. While today's snowshoes look modern, snowshoeing has actually played a vital role in Arctic life for centuries, with traders and trappers using wooden versions to move freely through the wilderness.

    Snowshoeing is incredibly easy, comfortable and safe. You simply clip your snowshoe to the outside of your hiking boot and off you go. You'll be in the hands of local, experienced, and trained guides who know the area intimately and will guide you safely throughout the hike.

    Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

    Tips are not included in the trip cost and are not deemed compulsory in Italy. If you feel you received exceptional service from your guides then you are free to tip them at the end of your adventure, we suggest 10-15% of the trip cost would be a guideline figure in this scenario.

    The tap water in this part of Italy is safe to drink. Please bring along a reusable bottle or two to take with you on the wildlife tracking excursions.

    Yes, you can leave your main luggage in your room at the guesthouse or hotel in Pescasseroli.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

    We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

    If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

    All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

    From

    Full Financial Protection

    Your money is safe. Every booking is fully financially protected.

    Covid Refund Guarantee

    If your trip is cancelled due to Covid choose from free date changes, account credit, or a full refund.

    Similar Trips

    From