THE UPPER PART
The small Verrino stream, whose source is at 1 200 on the sea level, at the boundaries of the village of Capracotta, shows wild scenarios and environments that make it a rare, well preserved ecosystem with a lot of factories traces along its banks.
The places orography, especially in the initial part, and necessity to overcome a remarkable difference of level of about 300 metres in 4 km only, define a particular uneven scenario.
The river often flows through unstable sides, prevalently composed by schistose rocks, but always covered with vegetation, essences of alders, willows, poplars, maples, laburnums, hazels, hornbeams, rovellas and the butcher’s broom constantly found in its brushwood.
As regards landscape, the area is listed among the extraordinary value elements, as “water jumps and natural waterfalls together with untouched and uncontaminated fauna and flora make the high part of Verrino river one of the most amazing and well preserved places of the whole area”.
On the hydrographical left of the path, you can have the whole view of a series of waterfalls appearing through thick vegetation, described by Lucchese as follows: “On the rocky sides, resulting more resistant to water erosion due to their calcareous nature, you can observe a very interesting and amazing rocky vegetation... Besides these species, there are thick ivy bushes creeping flourishingly.
These combinations can be observed on dripping sides or near waterfalls, which becomes so attractive, almost reminding a tropical vegetation, also due to shrubs clinging on the sides, like the holm-oak, the terebinth, the fig.
Finally, thick vegetation of musk and encrusting liverwort grow on the damp sides, contributing to increase the peculiar splendour of a unique and extraordinary environment”.
But its exceptionality is also due to a hydroelectric power plant, three mills, one of which is in a good state, and a copper plant, only present in this part as far as Casciano mill, in the proximity of the bridge of the ex 86 road. Further on, there is a series of foundries and mills, like “scamozza” one which is still functioning, run by the waters of Verrino which, after moving grindstones and hammers, flow into the Trigno, a little more than 20 km far away, in the resort of Sprondasino. It is a real course of industrial archaeology, whose elements could easily connected to a panoramic pedestrian path that should be arranged with some works.
The wild aspect of the place, the remarkable environmental values, the geological characteristics, the traces of past life make the area a “unique environment comparable with a natural monument, where man-nature relationship was not modified”. [pagebreak]
THE SURROUNDING AREAThe Verrino is situated in the centre of the High Molise Area, in connection with world-value environments: the fir-wood extending from the slopes of Monte Campo and Monte San Nicola as far as Pescopennataro and Sangro river, the M.A.B. reserve of Collemeluccio and Montedimezzo inserted into an international programme of Unesco as Biosphere Reserve, the fir-wood of Montecastelbarone, and nearby the National Park of Maiella and Abruzzo, Latium and Molise.
There are also historical-architectonical traces like the monastery of St. Luca, the ruins of the Samnite town of Monte St. Nicola, the medieval ruins with the sighting tower on the same mount, of the same age on Monte Capraro with the monastery where friar Ruele of Monte Capraro Rule lived, the first written vulgar document of the zone, the recent discoveries in Terravecchia, the Samnite wall of Monte Cavallerizzo.
The renowned “Oscan tablet”, useful document to interpret the Oscan-Samnite language, was brought to light in the resort of Macchia.
The remarkable environmental values include also minor traces of secular human activities.
The terracing, the dry stone walls also show the characteristic stony refuges shaped like beehives with pseudo-vaults.
A series of tracks, partially identified and marked also thanks to the collaboration with Italian alpine club of Isernia, is part of the path system that enables to go through the whole territory and goes on as far as neighbouring villages, as leading wire to admire the valuable environmental qualities of this unique territory and reach panoramic points with extraordinary views.
The Garden of the Apennine Flora, pure exemplar of vegetable biodiversity preservation, in which Verrino stream is the ideal continuation towards the valley as regards the complementary vegetation aspects, is reviving the scientific interest thanks to the increasing number of visitors and student-bodies.
The increasing attention to natural environment, also meant as primary element for better life quality and economic and social aspects, make it a successful territory also thanks to its tourist infrastructures. The cross-country skiing tracks of Prato Gentile, where numerous and important national events took place, together with descent systems of Monte Capraio, the Natural Riding Centre of Capracotta, the National Park of Maiella, Sangro river, the historical centre of Agnone, Pescopennataro and Vastogirardi, the Samnite theatre of Pietrabbondante are remarkable tourist attractions. So, approaching to the area is the occasion to enter a territorial context with a wide range of choices among history, art, landscape, fun and culinary art.
In completion and in alternative of the signalled path system, you can choose among new itineraries starting from the River Park Area:
· Pedestrian path of hydraulic wheels and factories
· Path of the traces of country-pastoral civilization
· Path of the flora
· Path of the natural areas (Rio Verde, National Park of Maiella and fir-wood of Pescopennataro)
· Path of Samnite traces. [pagebreak]
PATH OF VERRINO
The path allows to admire the striking view of the irregular stream course.
Starting from Capracotta, you reach the St. Croce Mill and go on towards the waterfall below Pisciarello Farms.
Passing through the path, which departs from the river and partially wanders through the thick vegetation, you can see the numerous jumps, slides and waterfalls following one another with no continuity.
It is one of the most attractive shows along our streams, in a still wild and well preserved environment.
On the way back to the village, the track leads to Fontana del Lama and overcomes the Incoronato Farms, allowing to appreciate the peculiarity of a less wild landscape but with the primitive features of medium mountain countryside.
(Source: The River Park of Verrino - Claudio Di Cerbo)