Practical information

Organizzazione: il Cammino si percorre in autonomia, questo sito non promuove gruppi organizzati né raccoglie le richieste di chi vorrebbe farlo in compagnia. Potete comprare la guida, studiarvi le informazioni che trovate in queste pagine, contattare le strutture e partire. Unica eccezione, se volete, La Compagnia dei Cammini organizza alcuni gruppi durante l’anno, info qui.

What is the best period to walk the trail? You can walk the Brigand’s trail all year round as it never gets above 1300 meters above the sea – except for the Duchessa lake variant (2000m), which we don’t recommend during the winter. This means that you can hike along the trail even in winter even though in this season make sure you pack snowshoes and that you are able to use them if you need. Furthermore, trail maintenance happens in spring therefore some parts of the walk might be obstructed by fallen trees.
In summer it gets hot, especially around mid-day. The trail is generally in shade and there might be a light breeze.
Avoid walking in August, if you can as it can get quite busy. Guest houses and camping sites have limited capacity and because of high demand you might struggle to find accommodation at this time.

GPS tracks: you can download the GPS tracks. A mountain bike track is available as well. It is advisable to always have these with you. Tracking apps can come in handy and are generally easy to use, however don’t rely solely on these. Enjoy the landscape and keep your phone in your pocket and only use it if in doubt.

Starting point: the Brigand’s trail starts from Sante Marie (AQ). You can drive there or catch the bus from Tagliacozzo (only runs in the morning). Unfortunately there is no train service from Rome however you can catch the train from Rome to Tagliacozzo and carry on by bus from there. Bus timetables are available here www.tuabruzzo.it and information on train services can be found here www.trenitalia.it.
All villages on the Brigand trail can be reached by car.

Parking in Sante Marie
You can ask the Salvacondotti office when you get to Sante Marie and there is a small, free car park on “via delle Preci”.

Following the trail: the Brigand’s trail is marked with red and white signs throughout. A Brigand’s trail logo is also visible. It is important to bring either a map, guide or the Meridiani special edition magazine with you. These contain important details, some practical info, contact details for hotels and guest houses, maps and even GPS tracks. In case of snow, be aware that the trail might be more tricky to follow and signs might be more difficult to spot.

Trail direction: we recommend that you walk the Trail clockwise. If you are considering walking it anti-clockwise, pay extra attention at Y junctions and crossroads as it might be harder to stay on the right track. If you walk anti-clockwise make sure you have GPS tracks on your phone.

Maps and guidebook: Il 15 febbraio 2022 è uscita la 4a edizione aggiornata della guida. Per richiederla scrivete a info@camminodeibriganti.it chiedendo le modalità di spedizione e pagamento.
Since April 2017 a new 25000:1 official map has been available (published by “Edizioni Il Lupo”). In 2019 a revised version has been made available too. The map can be purchased online or from local shops along the Trail (Salvacondotti in Sante Marie, Cartolibreria Grossi in Tagliacozzo, Casale Le Crete, edicola Berardino di Magliano).
In July 2020, a magazine on the Trail, containing useful and updated information and a map has been published by Meridiani Cammini.

How long is each leg of the trail? Each trail’s leg has been designed so that you can fully enjoy the walk. Even though some legs might appear short, don’t underestimate the challenge. Furthermore, having shorter distances to walk, you will have more time to enjoy the landscapes, villages and, why not? Having a chat with the locals, too. We advise to not rush through the walk but take your time and relax.

Transport of people and luggage: due to the lack of public transport, some locals are now able to offer these services. More info is available here.

Accommodation: We are happy to include, in this page the b&b, hotels and guesthouses who help us to maintain and promote the Brigand’s trail. We work very closely with them to make sure they satisfy our standards. Please, make sure you book the accommodation well in advance!

Camping: we welcome campers on the Brigand’s trail. However, make sure you are respectful of the places, the local communities and obey local regulations. Please refer to the camping rules and recommendations section further down. These exist to make sure that we can keep offering and supporting camping along the trail.

RULES AND RECOMMENDATION FOR CAMPING:

  • We recommend you stay in dedicated areas that for a small fee offer access to facilities, toilets and showers. However, you must book in advance!
  • If you decide to camp dedicated camping areas, please make sure to put you tent at least 500 meters away from any private homes.
  • It is forbidden to leave any rubbish behind you. Try to respect the nature.
  • You must properly cover your feces. Consequently, you must bring with you a shovel (e.g. aluminum ; see this example), as done in northern European countries. If you don’t have a shovel, you will not get your salvacondotti pass stamped!
  • Make sure to bring with you your own cutlery, glasses and plates (e.g. aluminum) to avoid plastic waste (according to European rules).
  • Please, bring with you water bottles to prevent dehydration along the trail. You can refill them along the way
  • More info on the camping sites at this page. If you want camp at “Riserva della Duchessa” (Cartore and Caparnie), you must get permission filling the form in this page of their website.

Water: drinking water is always available in the villages (e.g. fountains) and just a few outside the villages (e.g. Val di Varri, San Donato-Scanzano). Keep in mind that, due to drought, the access to drinking water can be rationed (in the afternoons). We are sure that locals will be more than happy to refill your bottles!

Shops, bars and restaurants:

  • Supermakets: Sante Marie, Borgorose, Torano, Corvaro, Rosciolo, Magliano dei Marsi, Scurcola Marsicana, Scanzano.
  • Bars and restaurants: Sante Marie, Santo Stefano, Valdevarri, Torano, Spedino, Corvaro, Cartore, Rosciolo, Magliano (Da Martino), Scurcola, Sorbo, San Donato, Scanzano.
  • In Nesce, Poggiovalle, Villerose and Grotti, you cannot find any shop/bar/restaurant. We recommend to either bring with you some food or book an accommodation for the night that offer food.

Bancomat (ATMs): You can find ATM machines in Magliano dei Marsi, Corvaro and Scurcola. Some places may accept card payment but be prepared in case cash is required.

Salvacondotto cards: Salvacondotto cards can be collected at the start of the Brigand’s trail at Sante Marie (Ufficio Salvacondotti, City Hall, first floor, right side). The opening times are 9 to 13 during the year, 8 to 20 during the summer (for out of working hours collection, we will leave it at the bar for you). Please contact the office via e-mail prior your visit (tel +39 0863 679132, cel 333 8601069, mail: ufficiosalvacondotti@camminodeibriganti.it).
The card is not required or essential to access any of the points of interest along the walk and it doesn’t give access to discounts either. This is just a way to remember the places you have visited. You can get your stamps from hotels/bars/restaurants that are part of our community.

Organized groups: if you want to organize a group tour, you can visit Compagnia dei Cammini webpage. They propose organized walks during the year, or they can help to organize private tours with guides.

The Brigandage Museum: you can explore this museum on Brigandage at the start of the trail. The museum is located in the Colelli’s Palace. It hosts plenty of original documents and antiques. Some examples are police reports, blackmailing notes by the brigands, weapons, uniforms, antique cameras and the reconstruction of a house of those times.
If you would like to visit it, please contact “Ufficio Salvacondotti” at +39 333 8601069 (booking required). The tickets’ price is 3 euros (per adult, no guide), 2 euros (per adult/group, minimum 6 people) and 4 euros (family ticket).

T-shirts and gadgets: Several gadgets, including T-shirts and souvenirs are available at the “Emporio dei Borghi” in Sante Marie which is located in the main square (telephone number +39 350 0250784 ) as well as in Casale le Crete (end of leg 6 of the walk) and other places.

Collaborations: the Brigand’s Trail is supported by voluntary work. Volunteers help cleaning the paths which, at these altitudes, can be a full-time job. This is due to bushes and shrubs quickly growing and covering the trails. Furthermore, they make sure trails are clearly marked with red and white strips throughout the walk and they even cover all the materials and expenses out of their pockets. It would be great, therefore if Walkers could contribute to keeping the Brigand’s trail by picking any litter they find or trimming shrubs or overgrown branches with some scissors whenever they can. Thank you very much!

Walking with dog: almost all accommodations welcome dogs, however, please make sure you contact the host and make specific arrangements with them to ensure a pleasant stay for your friends.

Encounters with Shepherd Dogs: for centuries, these lands have been characterized by farming. Therefore, it is possible to meet shepherd dogs looking after their flock of sheep. If you feel scared, take in consideration that they are just doing their job. These dogs are typically large, white “maremmani” shepherds and if they approach you barking you can follow the advise by Tomas Pirani, one of the most renown dog behavior expert from Bologna University, who studied with Roberto Marchesini: “these dogs may appear aggressive, but remember they are just doing their job. All they are saying is to leave their sheep alone. They do that because really, they have no intention of engaging in a fight. Rather, their intention is to clarify what the safe zone is. Don’t threaten them and don’t try to push back on them. Just stop and face them calmly while waiting for them to calm down. If you talk to them, do so reassuringly and try to go past their flock from the side rather than cutting through. Alternatively, just give them time to move. You should always keep your distance and they will let you know what distance they are comfortable with. Make sure you don’t challenge them, don’t stare them in the eye and don’t show fear. Finally, it goes without saying that it is not a good idea to threaten them with canes or to throw stones at them.”

The same rules apply in case you are walking with your own dog. If your dog knows their place in other dogs’ territories, you won’t have a problem but in general you will be responsible for your dog’s behavior.

Some people ask us whether we can send remove the shepherd dogs from the trail as they might be seen as a nuisance to walkers, however our answer is always that shepherd dogs are there to do their job. They were there long before the Trail was established, and we want to defend them as part of the most genuine Abruzzo heritage.
Anyone who wishes to walk the trail should make an effort of learning the local culture and traditions and learn how to behave when facing such circumstances.

Wolves: some people ask us whether there is a danger of meeting wolves along the walk, especially in the more mountainous areas such as Duchessa lake however please consider that it is unlikely for walkers to come face to face with them. Wolves stay well clear of humans and if you happen to see them, consider yourself lucky. Most certainly they will just run away so don’t do anything. Just stop and observe them.

Equipment: if you are looking for suggestions on what to pack, please visit Luca Gianotti’s page. Further advice can be found on on Luca’s book L’arte del camminare. Consigli per partire con il piede giusto.

Group private transportation: private bus trips can be book through Cesta Viaggi of Collelongo – contact details : robertocesta@tiscali.it +39 339 2742065

Mountain bike: the trail can be enjoyed on Mountain Bike too, even though some variants are recommended to avoid the steepest or most slippery parts. These variants can be found on the official map. Mountain Bike specific GPS tracks are available at this page. If you would like to cycle the trail, make sure you are physically fit and a technically competent rider.

Translated by Giorgio Potenza

E’ vietato l’uso del logo del Cammino dei Briganti senza autorizzazione.

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