Climb Corno Piccolo

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Corno Piccolo or "Little Horn" as part of the Gran Sasso Massif, is the rocky heart of the Italian Peninsula, providing epic views from Adriatic to Tyrrhenian Seas. While not as high as its big brother, Corno Grande, Corno Piccolo is considered to be the most alpinistic and difficult to climb of the peaks that make up the central Apennines.

Corno Piccolo (8710') or "Little Horn" as part of the Gran Sasso Massif, is the rocky, limestone heart of the Italian Peninsula, providing epic views from Adriatic to Tyrrhenian Seas. There are numerous world-class climbing routes to the summit, the most straightforward being a hike from the ski resort Prati di Tivo, which can be reached off the A24 via SS80.

From Prati di Tivo, you can either take a ski lift or a service trail that begins behind the ski lift station to La Madonnina (6653'). From there you follow the obvious trail up and to the left into Vallone delle Cornacchie where the beautiful Refugio Franchetti (7982') awaits.

During the summer the Refugio is manned by a member of the Corpo Forestale dello Stato, equivalent to a US Park Ranger, who in addition to caring for the refugio, can loan you equipment, provide directions, and sell you a beer and lunch. The view from the deck is amazing.

From the Refugio, continue up to the saddle ("Sella dei Due Corni") between Corno Grande and Corno Piccolo. At the top of the saddle if you have your ferrata gear you can take the Via Ferrata Danesi (reported to be quite difficult and missing its iron cables in places) or Le Tre Spalle around and up to the summit. The trail is largely obvious and is marked with a "3D".

Pack List

Equipment is season-dependent. You do not need a permit to visit the park unless you're attempting to camp, which is not allowed without a special permit. Many climbing sleep under the ski-lifts in Prati di Tivo, aka "Hotel Chairlift".

  • Good hiking shoes/boots
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • Money to buy beer and food at Rifugio Franchetti
  • Ice axe early in the season, as snow can sometimes cover the Sella dei Due Corni
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How to Get There

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Added by Josiah Roe

The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark. - John Muir


Chillin, Hiking, Rock Climbing

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



7 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2500 Feet


Adult Beverages
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

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