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Scanno - Experience magical moments in Abruzzo!

Updated: May 23, 2022

Scanno is often called the "village of photographers" and is not without reason one of the most beautiful and authentic mountain villages in Italy. In addition to the historic village center, the surrounding landscape is also dreamlike and definitely worth a visit. Whether with or without a motorhome - Abruzzo promises an adventure in many respects (see below).

1. Scanno - Heart of Abruzzo

Only about two hours away from the vibrant capital of Rome is the small mountain village of Scanno, embedded 1,000m above sea level in the heart of the Abruzzo National Park - which makes the journey to Scanno a true experience.

Street in Abruzzo

On bendy and narrow roads you will pass rocky outcrops, gorges and clear streams and can marvel at the wonderful nature.

Bears and many other animals are also living here, which is why you should drive extremely carefully.

Unfortunately, there are hardly any opportunities to stop briefly during the trip and just enjoy the breathtaking nature, as the roads are much too narrow for that and there are also only some designated viewpoints.

Especially if you drive through Abruzzo with a motorhome, you understand very quickly why the locals are mostly on the road with a Fiat Panda 4x4.

Passing Lago di Domenico and Lago di Scanno, you finally reach the beautiful mountain village of Scanno. It is best to park your car or camper as soon as possible, because the roads in Scanno are actually almost impossible to drive on or you should better leave it to the local population.

Scanno in Abruzzo (Italy)

Scanno is still very original and traditional. It almost feels as if time has stood still here.

Life still takes place in front of the houses, everyone knows everyone and fresh laundry dries on stretched lines in the narrow streets.

If you're lucky, there's a market and you can get something to eat right away, or you can simply stroll on foot through the many narrow and winding streets and staircases that lead higher and higher up into the labyrinth-like village.

And yes: we got "lost" in Scanno quite a few times, but at some point you get a better overview and find your way halfway :-)

Street in Scanno (Abruzzo)

You can also indulge in culinary delights in Scanno. For example, you should definitely visit one of the many bakeries and try the local delicacies. We recommend the "Biscotteria Artigianale Di Rosati Liliana", here we can highly recommend the traditional chocolate pastry (of which we unfortunately no longer know what it is called).

The bakery is quite hidden - we have therefore included it on the top of our map so that you can definitely find it.

In Scanno we generally ate the best (referring to our trip through Italy). Because here we had the feeling that it is 100% authentic cooked according to "grandmother's recipe". Among other things, we ate fantastic homemade pasta with ragu` alla bolognese, served with fresh, still lukewarm farmhouse bread.

Scanno in Abruzzo (Italy)

After a delicious dinner, be sure to find a nice spot to enjoy the twilight and sunset.

There are several beautiful places in Scanno - but our favorite was a small park opposite the historic village center of Scanno.

From there you get a wonderful view of the many little houses and alleys, which all shine wonderfully in a magical orange light as darkness falls.

The road to this viewpoint is aptly named "Via dei Fotografi", we have also marked the spot for you in our map above.

A tripod is helpful for taking photos at dusk. You should definitely have it with you so that you can achieve the maximum photo quality during the sunset. We had unfortunately forgotten our tripod and were totally vexed about it.

Scanno at night

In "preparation" for our stay, we have always read about the beautiful traditional garments of the inhabitants of Scanno. When we were on site, we could unfortunately not observe them - maybe you have more luck! :-)

What we noticed in general: the further south you are in Italy, the worse the roads become and the inhabitants speak little or hardly any English. Even instructions on how to reach a destination can be a bit of a challenge. Even better that there are hands, feet and Google Translate :-)


Info for campers: we have parked our camper at a bus parking lot not far from the village center of Scanno. However, this is not an official camper site - accordingly, there is of course no electricity connection, etc.. In general, there are relatively few RV parks in Abruzzo, which is certainly also due to the narrow roads, which are not always particularly RV-friendly ... more about our experiences regarding this, you will find below ;-)


2. Lago di Scanno - the heart-shaped lake in Abruzzo

About one kilometer from Scanno you can find the Lago di Scanno. If you look at it from a certain angle, it looks like a heart.

Heart-shaped lake Lago die Scanno in Abruzzo

This is how you reach the viewpoint to Lago di Scanno:

On the south side of Lago di Scanno you will find a paid parking lot, suitable for both cars and campers. From there you can reach a small path, which you have to walk along to reach the panoramic viewpoint, from which the lake appears heart-shaped.

The path to the panoramic viewpoint is called "Sentiero del Cuore". You will hike slightly uphill for about 40min.

When we did the little hike, there were hardly any other hikers on the way besides us. But that may also have been due to the somewhat modest weather :-)

3. How much does a vacation in Abruzzo cost?

Village scanno in Abruzzo (Italy)

A stay in Abruzzo/Scanno is roughly comparable to German prices. For lunch in a typical Italian restaurant we paid 35€ for two people.

For the drive to Scanno we had also pay a toll (in our case it was 14€). We didn't pay anything for our camper site because, as described above, we were parked in a bus parking lot (this is not a designated motorhome pitch, though). The pastries from the above bakery you pay by gram, in our case this was just under 6€ for about 3 pastries.

Off the record

At the beginning of the article we mentioned that Abruzzo was an experience for us in many ways. The "many ways" referred to the motorhome deposit, which we literally "left" in Abruzzo:

As we were on our way to the next remote mountain village, we suddenly ended up with our motorhome in one of the narrow alleys in the middle of Abruzzo.

As the road in front of us became narrower and narrower, we could not go any further, and thus had to conquer the mountain in reverse, which we had driven down so blithely just before. And because that was not difficult enough, it was raining cats and dogs :-)

In addition, there were honking Italians in small Fiat Panda in front of and behind us, who obviously could not believe why a huge motorhome like ours could drive on their narrow streets - a scene worthy of a movie.

Finally, we have mastered the situation well, but hit once and the motorhome deposit was thus gone :-)

...for the money we could probably have traveled by helicopter to Scanno, but then this "funny" story would not have happend :-)


Have you ever had a mishap similar to ours? How did you deal with it? Tell us about it in the comments or write us via the contact form.


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