The Summer of the Great Bear

The story of a woman and the bear who saved her.

Writer and naturalist Giuseppe Festa is the witness to a unique animal and human story.

In the green heart of the Apennines, a female bear cub is in trouble. Motherless and hungry, she is rescued by the staff of the Abruzzo National Park. The cub, named Morena, is four months old, weighs just three kilos, and is not yet weaned: in this condition, she seems destined for a life in captivity. But perhaps all is not lost. Morena is given into the care of a researcher, Roberta, who is experiencing a complicated period in her own life. "If I can make it, so can you". This is the pact Roberta makes with the little bear.

A journey though the last, precious remaining Marsican bears and the people who fight to save them from extinction. A never-before-seen project based on rescue and release into the wild.

And just when the moment approaches for Morena to return to life in the wild, a new challenge presents itself: another cub is in danger, and needs immediate help before it’s too late.

  • Morena's story through the memories and accounts of those who looked after her and were themselves saved in the process by learning to view the world with a new sense of wonder.

  • Along a journey through past and present, rich in suspense and plot twists, Giuseppe Festa reveals the true essence of the marsican bear: an intelligent, majestic animal in grave danger of extinction, which embodies the extraordinary wealth of our natural heritage and the urgent need to protect it.
GENRE Non-fiction
TARGET All ages
FIRST PUBLISHER Garzanti (Italy), 2023


Giuseppe has a degree in Natural Sciences and works in the environmental education field. His great passions in life are writing, music and the outdoors. Founder and singer of the Lingalad folk music group, he has also written a number of nature reports for Italian broadcaster RAI, and starred in the award-winning documentary Oltre la Frontiera. His novels have been widely translated.