The Path of the Spirit is a 73 km long trekking path that can be covered in single stages or you can enjoy all your breath in three or four days. The path starts from the hamlet of Badia di Sulmona and ends at the Abbey of San Liberatore a Majella in Serramonacesca and leads the tourist, on the occasion to the wayfarer, to discover some of the most spectacular and magical hermitages in our country. It is no coincidence that the Path of the Spirit has recently been nominated as a UNESCO environmental, cultural and naturalistic heritage.
In spite of what one might think, this destination is not essentially linked to religious tourism, but it can also be highly appreciated by tourists who want to live an experience of green and sustainable tourism, a moment of cultural leisure or he is simply looking for a more intimate contact with his own interiority and spirit.
It is a journey that must be undertaken in a group or, in any case, in company; long walks in the shade of the woods, trekking through the natural paths of the green hills of Abruzzo, finding refreshment after a long walk at the various water points make this experience fascinating and relaxing at the same time.
Silence helps to fully perceive the flow of the water between the stones of the streams, the noise of the leaves under your steps and the intimate and deep music of nature; deer and roe deer populate almost all the wooded areas of the park, which also host the Apennine wolf and the Marsican brown bear.
This place, which has always been inhabited by small communities of farmers and especially shepherds scattered in the area around churches and abbeys, was the ideal choice for hermits and mystics who settled in the most inaccessible and isolated points of the mountain, collected in prayer and contemplation of God, far from human presence and in close contact with the harsh and wild nature of the area.
Following the traces of the hermit Pietro Da Morrone, future Pope Celestino V, the path starts from the large Celestinian Abbey in the hamlet of Badia di Sulmona: before climbing towards Monte Morrone, here you can visit the hermitage of S. Onofrio, set on a rocky slope and easily accessible. The most remote and suggestive place of the hermitage is the cave where the hermit went in prayer, whose walls are impregnated with water.
You can then go up to the top of the mountain passing through the hermitage of S. Pietro, a small church located on a relief that constitutes an observation point over the entire Peligna Valley and on the mountain ranges and minor reliefs of the wide western slope.
The Path of the Spirit subsequently climbs the Orfento Valley, offering the opportunity to discover one of the areas of greatest naturalistic value in the Park. Characterized by imposing limestone walls, the valley has beech woods and numerous bridges that allow you to cross the river. From here you reach the heart of the Path, touching three Celestinian hermitages. The first is the hermitage of San Giovanni, obtained from pre-existing cavities used since the Bronze Age, which can be reached by climbing a narrow ladder carved into the rock and, for a short stretch, crawling among the rocks.
After crossing the beech forest downstream, you go up towards the Abbey of S. Spirito, a succession of stairs and tunnels dug into the rock on several levels that lead to some suggestive environments, an evident symbol of the medieval monastic lifestyle. Near the hermitage, there is an equipped area, where the most daring can undertake exciting climbs on the wonderful Bear Wall.
Going down among the ferns towards the valley, we come across the hermitage of S. Bartolomeo in Legio, located on a rocky ridge, perfectly preserved and equipped outside with a gallery, a staircase and a water basin dug into the rock.
The last stage of the Spiritual Path takes place in the territory of Lettomanoppello with the Grotta Sant’Angelo and Serramonacesca with the hermitage of Sant’Onofrio and the Abbey of San Liberatore a Majella.
A wonderful and exciting itinerary that you have to discover.