Campo Imperatore, the alpine meadow in the L'Aquila province of Abruzzo, is the largest plateau in the Apennine Mountains sitting at a towering 2,100m above sea level.
The plateau is home to a variety of species of animals ranging from semi-wild horses and cows to predatory animals like the Apennine Wolf and Apennine Wildcat. The alpine cows that roam the grasslands were once used as draught animals but are now reared for meat and milk production, with the quality of the meat being recognised throughout Italy.
Campo Imperatore is also home to one of the oldest ski resorts in Italy, which was famously used to imprison Benito Mussolini during WW2 before he was liberated by German Paratroopers, who used gliders to land on the plateau. The ski resort is now widely used by visitors from all over the world, owing largely to its proximity to Rome.
The area is also a backpacker's paradise offering stunning views, camping areas and trails for both walking and cycling where you can truly immerse yourself in nature. Campo Imperatore is also one of the stages of the famous Giro d'Italia cycle race.