An iconic paved road to Campo Imperatore

Campo Imperatore is a high mountain plateau at an elevation of 2.167m (7,109ft) above the sea level, locaated in the Abruzzo region of central Italy.

Campo Imperatore
Campo Imperatore

The road to the summit is called Strada Regionale 17bis/C. It’s paved, with some steep and narrow sections. At the summit there are a a few constructions: a weather observatory, a cableway high station, the Albergo Campo Imperatore, an hostel, the alpine church consecrated to "Madonna delle Nevi", the Alpine Botanical Garden and the Ski Area.
Located within the Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga, the road is pretty steep. Starting from SS17bis road, the ascent is 9.8km long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 492 meters, with an average gradient of 5.0%. The maximum slope is 8.2%. A hotel midway on the top of Campo Imperatore is where the Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was imprisoned from August until September 1943 when he was freed by a Nazi commando operation.

Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. The road is usually closed from October to June. The visitors are advised to always dress clothes suited to high mountain environment. It depends on the season but even in summer it can be rather windy and cold.  All the buildings in Campo Imperatore, except for the Botanical Garden, are connected through an underground tunnel system that could be used when the meteorological situation becomes dangerous. In particular it exists a tunnel connecting directly the observatory and the cableway. Campo Imperatore has been popular with filmmakers. The location has been used in more than twenty films, among them The American, The Name of the Rose, Krull, Ladyhawke, Il sole anche di notte, and L'Armata ritorna.