Day 6: Friday, May 27, 2022
Sirolo to Capitignano
180 km, 1825 m of climbing

This is going to be a day with two distinctively different parts: The first is going to be quick and easy, the second will take time and effort. The first 95 km should be accomplished over three hours, unless you want to dip into the sea or stop for Espresso, because it is almost perfectly flat and mostly straight. Keep the Adriatic on the left and you can’t get lost.

Originally, I had planned to head into the mountains via Ascoli Piceno, which would have taken us as far as Martinsecuro. Now, we will stay on the coast for just 10 km more, turning west at Giulianova in order to enter the Abruzzi mountains via Teramo. To get in to the zen of climbing, there’s a little hill over the next 30 km to elevate us to 400 m before dropping off to 250 m. At the village Montorio al Vomano the real climb begins, taking us up steadily to about 1400 m.

Strada Statale No. 80 is a well built road, which nowadays should have rather low traffic because of the major highway A24 taking a much easier and faster way towards L’Aquila — at least that is what I have read. SS80 is described to be very scenic and a perfect entry to the Gran Sasso National Park, a nature preserve around the Abruzzi’s highest peak, the Gran Sasso at almost 3000 m. I have travelled the road for a bit on Google Street View, and it is pretty indeed. As there won’t be many villages directly on route (there are a number up the mountains to the left and right), it will be advisable to have enough food and water or to use the options along the road. Make sure to have visible and running front and rear lights as the route passes through 6 or 7 tunnels of different length. On the upside, we will also pass two reservoir lakes (though the road runs along some 30 m above water level, it seems).

About 167 km into the ride, the route leaves SS80 to turn right on SR577 to take us beyond the hills to Lago di Compotosto, the largest reservoir lake in the region. On a mountainside to the south of the lake we will reach the day’s destination. The campground belongs to a village on the other side of the mountain, which thus is out of reach in practical terms. Therefore we will need to make dinner arrangements at the campground — a service which the owner seems to be offering.

Agricampeggio Cardito
Via del Lago, Capitignano
Tel: +39 347.0046838

© Josef Janning 2021