Gran Sasso in Abruzzo

From its rugged, mountainous national parks to its less touristy Adriatic beaches, Abruzzo is, as noted by writer Giorgio Manganelli, “a great producer of silence.”

Abruzzo is considered the greenest region in Europe owing to the fact that it is made up largely of parks and nature reserves, including three national parks. Approximately half of Abruzzo is parkland.

Rustic Abruzzese restaurants in towns near Lazio (i.e., driving distance from Rome) are popular places for long Sunday lunches.

Map of Abruzzo

Abruzzo or Abruzzi?

Until 1963, the region now known as Abruzzo was part of a territory known as the Abruzzi and Molise. The terminology dates from the time when the area was part of the Kingdom of Sicily — a heritage that also groups Abruzzo with the Italian south or Mezzogiorno despite its central location.

Many people, particularly Italians who moved away from Italy during the 1960s and before, still refer to the area as Abruzzi. But Abruzzo is the proper name for the region.

Top Things to Do in Abruzzo

  • Visit Abruzzo’s national parks for hiking and fishing in summer and skiing and sledding in winter. They include the Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise National Park, Gran Sasso and Lago Mountains National Park, and the Majella National Park.
  • See L’Aquila, Abruzzo’s capital and the region’s second-largest city. L’Aquila sits in the shadow of mountains and abounds with beautiful churches (many still undergoing repairs following the April 2009 earthquake).
  • Enjoy Abruzzo’s Adriatic beaches. Pescara, Abruzzo’s largest city, is a seaside resort with many sandy beaches. Other options include Vasto and Giulianova.

Photos of Abruzzo

Below are photos I have taken while visiting the region:

  • Fried fish food truck on the highway in Abruzzo
  • Candied almond ('confetti') bouquets in Sulmona
  • Statue of Ovid in Sulmona
  • Sulmona
  • Lake below Scanno
  • Scanno
  • Guardiagrele
  • Hanging hams
  • Sunday lunch in Abruzzo with fresh fava beans and ciambelle al vino
  • Leaving Abruzzo for Lazio
Posts on Abruzzo

Giulianova: A Beachside Gem in Abruzzo

Beaches in Abruzzo don’t get much press. They are far from most tourist sites. But that’s exactly what makes them enjoyable. We had an opportunity – thanks to, of all things, a winning raffle ticket – to visit the Abruzzo seaside town of Giulianova. And we were pleasantly surprised. Giulianova…

Abruzzo / Destinations / Italy News

L’Aquila Earthquake Info

The full extent of the damage to L’Aquila and the surrounding area after yesterday’s 6.3 earthquake is still not known. As of now, there are at least 179 confirmed dead and numerous buildings, including the Church of Maria di Collemaggio, lie in rubble. Even though this is still a developing…

Abruzzo / Accommodations / Destinations

Authentic Accommodations in Abruzzi

Those who may have watched CBS Sunday Morning* yesterday probably caught the Allen Pizzey “Postcard: Abruzzi” piece, which profiled a castle in the village of Santo Stefano di Sessania, Abruzzo (or Abruzzi, if you will) that has been converted into “authentic” accommodations for those few tourists who wander off the beaten…

Abruzzo / Destinations / Italy News

Vasto: An Unspoiled Beach in Abruzzo

Earlier today, we wrote about the travel potential of the region Puglia, this year’s emerging star of Italian tourism. Well, if Puglia is the new Tuscany then some years from now Abruzzo will be the new Puglia. Richard Norton-Taylor writes about Vasto, a largely “unknown” beach on the Costa Abruzzese…