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: