1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Gran Sasso d'Italia

GRAN SASSO D’ITALIA (“Great Rock of Italy”), a mountain of the Abruzzi, Italy, the culminating point of the Apennines, 9560 ft. in height. In formation it resembles the limestone Alps of Tirol and there are on its elevated plateaus a number of doline or funnel-shaped depressions into which the melted snow and the rain sink. The summit is covered with snow for the greater part of the year. Seen from the Adriatic, Monte Corno, as it is sometimes called, from its resemblance to a horn, affords a magnificent spectacle; the Alpine region beneath its summit is still the home of the wild boar, and here and there are dense woods of beech and pine. The group has numerous other lofty peaks, of which the chief are the Pizzo d’Intermesole (8680 ft.), the Corno Piccolo (8650 ft.), the Pizzo Cefalone (8307 ft.) and the Monte della Portella (7835 ft.). The most convenient starting-point for the ascent is Assergi, 10 m. N.E. of Aquila, at the S. foot of the Gran Sasso. The Italian Alpine Club has erected a hut S.W. of the principal summit, and has published a special guidebook (E. Abbate, Guida al Gran Sasso d’ Italia, Rome, 1888). The view from the summit extends to the Tyrrhenian Sea on the west and the mountains of Dalmatia on the east in clear weather. The ascent was first made in 1794 by Orazio Delfico from the Teramo side. In Assergi is the interesting church of Sta. Maria Assunta, dating from 1150, with later alterations (see Gavini, in L’ Arte, 1901, 316, 391).