Abruzzo is one of the most sparsely populated regions on the Italian peninsula. Always a wild and empty region, since the Second World War it has depopulated further, as people have left the land, and the traditional mainstay of sheep farming, for the cities and for America. A vacation in Abruzzo offers a taste of the unspoiled Italy.
Italian municipality in the province of L'Aquila
The regional capital of Abruzzo, with an imposing 16th century castle, the Fontana delle 99 Cannelle and the pink and white marble Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio with its Holy Door and Gothic interior.
6.5 miles of seaside promenade with wide sandy beaches
a medieval town famous for its sugared almonds, the 11th-century cathedral of San Panfilo, and the 13th-century church of San Francesco delle Scarpe
between the highest mountains of the Apennies, with both sunny beaches on the Adriatic Sea and a snowy winter
village in Abruzzo, Italy
Out of the three geographical areas (Marsica, Appennino and Sub-Appennino), one third of the region is designated either as national or regional park areas.
This region, where the north of Italy meets the south, is also one of the most beautiful in the country. Bordered by the Apennines to the west and fringed by the Adriatic on the east, it has some of Italy's most unspoiled scenery. In the Gran Sasso it has the highest mountain of the Apennine range. Stand atop the Gran Sasso and you have views of both the Adriatic and the Tyrrhenian (Mediterranean) Seas across the entire width of Italy. You could journey through the Abruzzo's valleys for days, never encountering another person, and when you travel up to the broad mountain plains of the Abruzzi, you'll meet the eerie sight of entire abandoned hill towns. Plan your holiday in Abruzzo with plenty of time to walk, drive and explore.
In the past decade, Abruzzo has increased in tourism tremendously, along with other Italian Destinations. Castles and Medieval towns are very popular tourist attractions near the town of L'Aquila. Abruzzo is also known for its skiing because they have 21 attractions only hours from Rome. The ski resort mountain heights can compare to the Aplines. However, Abruzzo is known for cross country skiing. Abruzzo is picturesque in its scenery. Many old villages were abandoned and remain largely intact, and the country side is rich with historic sites. It is often said that Abruzzo has as many castles as it does sheep. Most of this sleepy region has remained as it was in medieval times making Abruzzo the first stop for those seeking to take a glance at the past or a chance to see nature as it was hundreds of years ago, unspoiled and perfect.
If you do not like to ski, Abruzzo offers an abundance of beaches as well. Abruzzo's 129 km. sandy coastline is home to a many popular beach resorts, among them Vasto, on Abruzzo's southern coast; mid-coast, Silvi Marina, whose sands are considered among the best in Italy, Giulianova, Francavilla al Mare and Pineto, and on Abruzzo's northern coast Alba Adriatica and Martinsicuro.
- Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park (Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise)
The Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, an impressive national park founded in 1922, is host to every variety plant and animal imaginable and considered the most important park in Italy. No other park in Italy is better developed for camping and recreational activities. Great stands of beech, oak, and birch can be found in the park a long with beautiful wild flowers of every color and design. The brown bears of the region along with wolves, eagles, and large wild cats find refuge in the park, making Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo a haven for vanishing species.
In the Middle Ages the region began to be called Abruzzo, from the Latin Aprutium. Then the region was divided into two parts: Further Abruzzo and Hither Abruzzo. In 1860, with the Unity of Italy, the region of Molise was added to Abruzzo and they were called Abruzzi and Molise. In 1963 Abruzzo and Molise became separate entities once more.
Though Italians once thought of Abruzzo as a remote region separated from Rome by the Apennines, a modern expressway system has opened the region to tourism. Most of Abruzzo lies within a few hours of Rome and is covenient for day trips from the capital as well as Naples. Abruzzo's more populous east is made up of vast sandy beaches that stretch along the Adriatic; its west of hills that rise quickly to mountains. The mountainous region of l'Aquila, which lies nearest Rome, contains castles, ancient ruins and spectacular mountain vistas.
Abruzzo's main city and administrative town, L'Aquila, is a beautiful city in a picturesque mountain setting which makes it a great destination start for exploring the region. Pescara is pleasantly modern and offers all the features to be found in a city on the Adriatic: business, shops, entertainment. Chieti is full of history and nicely layered along the hill on which it is situated. Teramo is interesting and lively. Smaller charming town such as Sulmona and Scanno should also not be missed.
The region is 65% mountain 34% hills and the remainder flat land. The region has four provinces and each have a distinct climate. The province of L'Aquila is totally characterized by mountains, in the Chieti area it is rolling hills, while in Pescara and Teramo the areas are covered by a mixture of mountains and hill.