Grand Highway of the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park
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The road is located in the Apennine Mountains and passes through Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, connecting Montorio al Vomano to Amiternum. The road ascends the Vomano Valley up to the 1,300 metres (4,300 ft) altitude Capannelle Pass of the Apennines, then winds its way down, passing through the archaeological site of Amiternum, eastwards towards L'Aquila.
The road is an enchanting portion of the old thoroughfare connecting the provincial capitals of Teramo and L'Aquila.
On 1 December 1984 the tunnel under the Grand Sasso was open to the public and from then onward this ancient but important artery transversing the Apennines has mainly served the local population living nearby. To highlight its new role as a touristic mecca, the Gran Sasso National Park administrators rebaptized the road "Strada maestra del Parco" (Grand Highway of the Park).
Over the years the canton buildings previously used by the road workers have been transformed one by one into forest ranger offices and tourist information centers. They serve as well equipped way stations for the many visitors who come to travel the area by car, on bicycle, or with a motorcycle.
Lake Campotosto can be reached in just a few minutes from the Grand Highway of the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park. Also nearby are the important Abruzzo ski resorts, Prati di Tivo and Prato Selva.
Not far from the Gran Sasso and midway between L'Aquila and Teramo, lies a high plain. One end opens into the (Passo delle Capannelle) Capannelle Pass, a well known gathering point for tourists and people wanting to make excursions into the surrounding park areas.
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