The Manoppello district lies between the River Pescara and Majella’s northwest massif, part of Majella National Park. Seen from the Val Pescara the mountain is furrowed by long valleys, proof of how glaciation shaped the land. Here there the farmland is fertile and the road rising up to Manoppello old town is set amidst vineyards and olive groves, flanked by the waters of the River Alba, as far as some clay hills. Here there are earth houses and ravines, with broom thickets and Mediterranean maquis. Climbing further, there are forests and mountain plateaus whose rolling slopes characterized by limestone evaporites, with chalk and bituminous impregnations. Not surprisingly, from Roman times the area was of great interest for the possibility of bitumen extraction and for the chalk pits still in operation.
The Piana del Legname area is found at 700 metres in altitude, along the municipal road that climbs from the Volto Santo sanctuary to the lower foothills of Majella. Here the rolling meadow is flanked by areas of mixed forest of hornbeam and manna ash, and there is a fully-equipped picnic area with benches and a fountain. It is a lovely place to relax and enjoy the unspoiled nature and picturesque view towards Pescara Valley and the sea.
The River Alento is just a stone’s throw from the abbey of San Liberatore a Majella, in a charming setting with a high level of humidity. The river waters are home to trout and the yellow-bellied toad. The riverbank trail winds around waterfalls and narrow ravines formed by partially eroded tuff.
Majella National Park’s wildlife area dedicated to roe deer is adjacent to the famous abbey of San Liberatore a Majella, and a few kilometres upstream of the village of Serramonacesca. The area is open to all and animals can be observed through the viewing slits cut into fencing.