Drink coffee at sunrise and enjoy sunset drinks on the mountains. At night track wolves and sleep out in the wild. Discover Italian food from the locals and taste delicious wines in this unique experience.
Boasting several world-class national parks, the Central Apennines are a nature lover's paradise. With craggy peaks topping out at nearly 3000 metres, ancient beach forests inhabited by bears, wolves and wild boar, and skies patrolled by golden eagles and griffon vultures, this complex topographic knot is the final refuge of many animals and plants that were once widespread across all of Italy's mountainous areas.
Led by your very own private guide and highly skilled local nature guides, and sustained by some of the finest local food and wine, a journey here truly is an exploration of Italy's "wild heart". During this four day privately guided experience you will discover the extraordinary connection between nature and the communities in the area; their challenges and possible solutions.
Day 1: Meet your private guide Simon Collier at Rome airport or a train station - depending on your mode of travel.
Transfer from Rome to Pescasseroli, where you will arrive at the hotel Villino Quintilliani for a lovely local Italian dinner and "meet the team".
You will also enjoy a special presentation on rewilding in the area by the Team leader of Rewilding Apennines: Mario Cipollone, and will be introduced to your local nature guide, Umberto Esposito.
Day 2: An early morning start to experience wolves & wildlife in the valley to learn about human/ wildlife conflict & mitigation. After breakfast in the hotel, you will enjoy an exclusive visit to the bear corridors with Mario Cipollone: in the Bear Smart Community Genzana you will see how they have dramatically reduced bear damages and increased social acceptance of the bears thanks to the installation of about 100 electric fences since 2015, deployment of bear-proof waste bins, and help the bear revitalizing the old town of Pescasseroli and its economy.
You will become aware of the importance in making the bear corridors functionally connected to the protected areas around. Later that day and after a hearty lunch to keep you going, you will hike to the Mountain Refuge Bisegna for special sundowners. Enjoy dinner with local wines and cheese at the refuge and gaze at the stars before a good night’s rest at the refuge.
Day 3: Wake up surrounded by mountains and enjoy a personalised early morning mountain experience, hike and wildlife tracking.
Breakfast back at the refuge before you leave for a midday hike & remote picnic lunch, visiting critical water points or see the extensive removal of unused barbed wire fences, and wells made safe by metal grids to prevent animals from falling and drowning in them.
Sunset drinks in the mountains & a unique wolf howling experience. Overnight and dinner back at the refuge, or opt for a wild sleep-out amongst the stars.
Day 4: Breakfast and hike down to town. Visit local entrepreneurs in the region, and hear their stories about how wolves and bears are part of the area, and of their life. Leisurely lunch in Pescasseroli.
Late afternoon wildlife watching in the valley, followed by drinks and a very special presentation by renowned photographer and Rewilding Appenines board member Bruno D’Amicis on photography in the region: a two-hour program featuring compelling stories of the landscapes and wildlife of the Apennines. Final dinner including Mario, Umberto and Bruno. Overnight in the Hotel Villino Quintilliani.
Day 5: Breakfast, one last Italian coffee at the village square, and departure back to Rome.
Rewilding Europe Levy: 5% of your booking sum goes to the local Rewilding Europe organization.
In the Central Apennines rewilding area Rewilding Europe is working with local partners to develop large “coexistence corridors” by connecting the local economy with wilder nature in five corridors collectively covering more than 40,000 hectares.
By reducing the damage caused by such wildlife, and by allowing communities to benefit from it, people living here will become ambassadors for the area’s wild nature.
Rewilding Europe is working with local partners to reduce bear mortality and conflict by installing traffic accident prevention measures, removing old fencing, restoring and improving signage, and distributing new mobile electric fences.
By working to establish a vibrant nature-based economy in the Central Apennines rewilding area, Rewilding Europe is providing local communities with an economic incentive to protect such wildlife.
Simon Collier was born in South Africa and started his safari career over twenty years ago at &Beyond Phinda, moving to Londolozi where he not only worked as a guide but also as a camp manager. He continued his career at Wilderness Safaris, as General Manager for Wilderness Explorations.
Currently living in The Netherlands, Simon is keeping a very strong connection to eco-tourism and nature, maintaining a strong role in guide training and mentorship within Europe.
Simon spent five years developing the wildlife & tourism industry across Europe and became an expert in developing sustainable businesses in rural areas in many countries.
He launched the European Safari Company in 2017 and started his own business in 2019: Nature Tourism Development.
Simon is passionate about wildlife & nature and has real experience in the field. He has excellent people skills and has hosted guests, media and partners.
“A day in the wild is a blessing, and the ability and opportunity to share this with other people a privilege. Europe’s wild has so much to offer and backed with a combination of local communities and cultures provides a dynamic experiences not to be missed.” ~ Simon Collier