Abruzzo (pronounced [aˈbruttso]) is a region of Central Italy,
with an area of 10,763 square km (4,156 sq mi) and a population of 1.2
million. Its western border lies 80 km (50 mi) east of Rome.
The region is divided into the four provinces of L'Aquila, Teramo,
Pescara, and Chieti.
Abruzzo borders the region of
Marche to the
Lazio to the west and south-west,
Molise to the south-east, and
Adriatic Sea to the east. Geographically,
Abruzzo is divided into
a mountainous area to the west, which includes the Gran Sasso
D'italia, and a coastal area to the east with beaches on the Adriatic
Abruzzo is partially considered culturally, linguistically,
historically, and economically a region of Southern Italy, although
geographically it may also be considered central. The Italian
Statistical Authority (ISTAT) deems it to be part of Southern Italy,
partially because of Abruzzo's historic association with the Kingdom
of the Two Sicilies.
Abruzzo is known as "the greenest region in Europe" as almost half of
its territory, the largest in Europe, is set aside as national
parks and protected nature reserves: there are three national parks,
one regional park, and 38 protected nature reserves. These ensure the
survival of 75% of Europe's living species including rare species,
such as the small wading dotterel, golden eagle, the
Abruzzese) chamois, Apennine wolf, and Marsican brown bear. Abruzzo
is also home to Calderone, Europe's southernmost glacier.
Visiting nineteenth-century Italian diplomat and journalist Primo Levi
said that "forte e gentile" (strong and gentle) best describes the
beauty of the region and the character of its people. "Forte e
gentile" has since become the motto of the region and its
1 Provinces and politics
4 Flora and fauna
6.1 Main settlements
8.1 Medieval and
Renaissance hill towns
9.1 Popular dishes
Wines and liquors
11 See also
13 External links
Provinces and politics
Abruzzo is divided into four administrative provinces:
Main article: Politics of Abruzzo
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and Abruzzi e Molise
The church of
Santa Maria di Collemaggio
Santa Maria di Collemaggio in L'Aquila, as it was before
the devastating earthquake of 6 April 2009.
Cathedral of Madonna del Ponte, Lanciano
The Roman site Amiternum
Castello Caldora, Vasto
View of Pacentro
Humans have inhabited
Abruzzo since Neolithic times. A skeleton from
Lama dei Peligni in the province of
Chieti has been radiometrically
dated to 6,540 bp. The name
Abruzzo appears to derive from the
Latin "Aprutium", although in Roman times the region was known at
various times as Picenum, Sabina et Samnium, Flaminia et
Campania et Samnium. This region was known as Aprutium in the
Middle Ages arising from four possible sources: it is a corruption of
Praetutium, or rather of the name of the people Praetutii, applied to
their chief city, Interamnaes, the old Teramo.
Until 1963 it was part of the Abruzzi region with Molise. The term
Abruzzi derives from the time when the region was part of the Kingdom
of the Two Sicilies and the territory was administered as Abruzzo
Citeriore (Nearer Abruzzo) and
Abruzzo Ulteriore I and II (Farther
Abruzzo I and II), that being nearer and farther from Naples, the
capital of the kingdom.
Abruzzo Citeriore is present day Chieti
Abruzzo Ulteriore I comprised the
Teramo and Pescara
Abruzzo Ulteriore II is now the Province of L'Aquila. In
this province is found the city of
Corfinio (known as Corfinium in
ancient Italy), the chief city of the Paeligni, 7 m. N. of
Sulmona in the valley of the Aternus. The site of the original town is
occupied by the village of Pentima. It probably became subject to Rome
in the 4th century BC, though it does not appear in Roman history
before the Social War, in which it was at first adopted by the allies
as the capital and seat of government. It appears also as a fortress
of importance in the Civil War, though it resisted Caesar's attack for
a week (49 BC). These people were honored by
Caesar as citizens of
Rome. It is said that the name "Italia" came from this region because
of ancient coins that have been found here that date from about the
1st century BC. These coins have the name "Italia" on them and are
apparently proof of this fact. This theory of the origin of the name
"Italia" is debated by scholars, archaeologists and history itself.
There is much consensus however that the name "Italia" was originally
given to the region of modern
Calabria by the ancient
their foundation of
Magna Graecia (Greater Greece) in southern Italy
around the 8th century BC. It is also said by the Italian Government
Calabria was once called "Italia" by the ancient
Greeks in honour
of its inhabitants who were known as the "Itali". This occurred
hundreds of years before the coins of
Corfinio (Corfinium) were
apparently minted. The late archaeologist Massimo Pallottino also
claimed that the name was derived from the Italic tribes that settled
in modern Calabria. But it was not until the time of the Roman
conquests that the term was expanded to cover the entire peninsula.
Abruzzo is located in central
Italy and southern
Italy, stretching from the heart of the Apennines to the
and includes mainly mountainous and wild land. The mountainous inland
is occupied by a vast plateau including Gran Sasso, at 2,912 metres
(9,554 ft) the highest peak of the Apennines, and Mount Majella
2,793 metres (9,163 ft). The
Adriatic coastline is characterized
by long sandy beaches to the north and pebbly beaches to the south.
Abruzzo is well known for its landscapes and natural beauties, parks
and nature reserves, characteristic hillside areas rich in vineyards
and olive groves, and one of the highest densities of Blue Flag
Abruzzo region has two types of climate that are strongly
influenced by the Apennine Mountains, dividing the climate of the
coastal and sub-Apennine hills from the interior's high mountain
ranges. Coastal areas have a
Mediterranean climate with hot dry
summers and mild winters and rainy hills with a sublittoral climate
where temperatures progressively decrease with increasing altitude and
precipitation with altitude. Precipitation is also strongly
affected by the presence of the Apennines mountain ridges of the
region increases with the proportion being more abundant in the field
and on the slopes exposed to the west, instead of decreasing towards
the east and east-facing slopes. Often the
Adriatic coast are
sidelined rainfall from the west to the barrier effect of the
Apennines undergoing the action of gentle winds descending from it (or
Libeccio). The minimum annual rainfall, however, are found in some
inland valleys, sheltered from much disturbance to the blocking action
of mountain ridges, such as the Peligna Valley, or the valley of the
river Tirino, which in some places (Ofena, Capestrano) showed barely
500 millimetres (19.7 inches), and not along the coast where it never
falls below 600 millimetres (23.6 inches), for if
Teramo is relatively
little watered by rain (
Teramo less than 800 mm), the metre is
exceeded in Chieti, reaching maximum levels in the Adriatic, while
Vasto in Costa dei Trabocchi decrease again.
The highest rainfall occurs in upland areas on the border with Lazio;
they are especially vulnerable to
Atlantic disturbances. Around 1,500
to 2,000 millimetres (59 to 79 inches) of precipitation is typical
Pescara in 2010 showed a value close to 2800 mm).
Flora and fauna
Abruzzo National Park,
Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga
Maiella National Park, and Sirente-Velino Regional Park
Gran Sasso d'Italia
As with many
Mediterranean regions, Abruzzo's vegetation is
characterized by the presence of different
The coast and the surrounding areas are characterized by the presence
of typical plants of
Mediterranean shrubland, such as myrtle, heather
and mastic, while in the hilly areas other species grow, including
olive, pine, willow, oak, poplar, alder, arbutus, broom, acacia,
capers, rosemary, hawthorn, licorice and almond trees, interspersed
with oak trees. At elevations between 600 and 1,000 metres (2,000 and
3,300 ft) there is sub-montane vegetation, mainly characterized
by mixed forests of oak and turkey oak, maple and hornbeam; shrubs
include dog rose and red juniper. Elevations between 1,000 and 1,900
metres (3,300 and 6,200 ft) are dominated by beech trees. In the
Apennine Mountains at elevations above 2,000 metres (6,600 ft)
species include alpine orchid, mountain juniper, silver fir, black
cranberry and the
The fauna of
Abruzzo is highly varied, including the region's symbol,
Abruzzo chamois (
Rupicapra pyrenaica ornata), which has recovered
after risking extinction. Another animal typical of this region is the
marsican brown bear, along with Italian wolf, deer, lynx, roe deer,
snow vole, fox, porcupine, wild cat, wild boar, badger, otter and
The natural parks of the region include the
Abruzzo National Park,
Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, the Maiella
National Park and the Sirente-Velino Regional Park, as well as
numerous others natural reserves and protected areas.
Abruzzo (wine) and Tourism in Abruzzo
Until a few decades ago,
Abruzzo was a region of poverty in Southern
Italy; over the past decades, however, it has developed to such an
extent that it has escaped from the spiral of underdevelopment to
become the 'first' region of the 'Italian Mezzogiorno'. This confirms
its pivotal role in the national economic system. Since the 1950s,
Abruzzo has had steady economic growth. In 1951,
Abruzzo per capita
income or GDP was 53% of that of Northern Italy, the nation's richest
region. By 1971,
Abruzzo was at 65% and, by 1994, per capita income
was at 76% of Northern Italy's per capita income, giving
highest per capita GDP of Southern
Italy and surpassing the growth of
every other region of Italy. The construction of superhighways from
Teramo (A24) and
Pescara (A25) opened
Abruzzo to easy
access, state and private investment in the region increased, and
Abruzzo attained higher per capita education levels and greater
productivity growth than the rest of the South. As of 2003, Abruzzo's
per capita GDP was €19,506 or 84% of the national average of
€23,181 and well outpacing that of the South (€15,808). The
region's average GDP per capita was approximately 20,100 EUR.
L'Aquila earthquake led to a sharp economic slowdown.
However, according to statistics at the end of 2010, it seems that the
Abruzzo is recovering, despite the negative data regarding
employment. In fact, at the end of 2010, Abruzzo's growth was
1.47%, which placed it fourth among the Italian regions with the
highest annual growth rates after Lazio,
Lombardy and Calabria. In
2011 Abruzzo's economic growth was +2.3%, the highest percentage among
the regions of Southern Italy. The region is also the richest
region of Southern Italy, with a GDP per capita higher than any other
region of southern
Travel poster from the 1920s.
Abruzzo's industrial sector expanded rapidly, especially in mechanical
engineering, transportation equipment and telecommunications. The
structure of production in the region reflects the transformation of
the economy from agriculture to industry and services. Although
industry has developed strongly, it retains weak points due to the
existence of only a few large businesses alongside a huge fabric of
small and medium-sized businesses. Both pure and applied research are
carried out in the region, where there are major institutes and
factories involved in research in the fields of pharmaceutics,
biomedicine, electronics, aerospace and nuclear physics. The
industrial infrastructure is spread throughout the region in
industrial zones which have already been mentioned, the most important
of which are Val Pescara, Val Sangro, Val Trigno, Val Vibrata and
Conca del Fucino. A further activity worthy of note is seaside and
mountain tourism, which is of considerable importance to the economy
of the region. Agriculture, involving small holdings, has
succeeded in modernising and offering high-quality products. The
mostly small, agricultural holdings produce wine, cereals, sugar beet,
potatoes, olives, vegetables, fruit and dairy products. Traditional
products are saffron and liquorice. Most famous in the world is
Abruzzo's wine Montepulciano d'Abruzzo; in the late 20th and early
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo earned a reputation as being one
of the most widely exported DOC classed wine in Italy.
In the past decade, tourism has increased, in particular concerning
internal and European arrivals.
Abruzzo is world-famous for his
wildlife parks (
Abruzzo National Park,
Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga
Maiella National Park) and regional park (Sirente
Velino) and 38 protected areas between oasis, regional reserves and
state reserves and also in the inland mountainous region has several
ski resorts equipped; also coastal tourism and resort is very
developed, in particular be mentioned the Trabocchi Coast, a very
picturesque stretch of coastline known for the ancient fishing
machines that can still be seen by tourists. Abruzzo's wealth of
castles and medieval towns, especially around the town of L'Aquila,
has earned it in some quarters the nickname of "Abruzzoshire", by
analogy with the "Chiantishire", nickname sometimes used to refer to
Chianti area of Tuscany, but
Abruzzo is still off the beaten path
for most visitors to Italy.
Source: ISTAT 2001
Although the population density of
Abruzzo has increased over the last
decades, it is still well below the Italian national average: in 2008,
123.4 inhabitants per km2, compared to 198.8. At the province level,
the density is varied: as of 2008[update]
Pescara is the most densely
populated with 260.1 inhabitants per km2, whereas
L'Aquila is the
least densely populated with 61.3 inhabitants per km2, although it has
the largest area. After decades of emigration from the region, the
main feature of the 1980s is the immigration from third world
countries. The population increase is due to the positive net
migration, as since 1991 more deaths than births were registered in
Abruzzo (except for 1999, when their number was equal). In 2008,
the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that
59,749 foreign-born immigrants live in Abruzzo, equal to 4.5% of the
total regional population.
The most serious demographic imbalance is between the mountainous
areas of the interior and the coastal strip. The largest province,
L'Aquila, is situated entirely in the interior and has the lowest
population density. The movement of the population of
Abruzzo from the
mountains to the sea has led to the almost complete urbanisation of
the entire coastal strip especially in the province of
Chieti. The effects on the interior have been impoverishment and a
demographic ageing, reflected by an activity rate in the province of
L'Aquila which is the lowest of the provinces in
accompanied by geological degradation as a result of the absence of
conservation measures. In the coastal strip, on the other hand, there
is such a jumble of accommodation and activities that the environment
has been changed with negative effects. The policy of providing
incentives for development has resulted in the setting-up of
industrial zones, some of which (Vasto, Avezzano, Carsoli, Gissi, Val
Vibrata, Val di Sangro) have made genuine progress, while others (Val
Pescara, L'Aquila) have run into trouble after initial success. The
Guardiagrele have turned out to be more or less
failures. Outside these zones, the main activities are agriculture and
L'Aquila is both the capital city of the
Abruzzo region and of the
L'Aquila and second largest city (pop. 73,000). L'Aquila
was hit by an earthquake on 6 April 2009 which destroyed much of the
city centre. The other provincial capitals are Pescara, which is
Abruzzo's largest city and major port (pop. 123,000);
Chieti (pop. 55,000). Other large municipalities in
Avezzano (pop.41,000), an industrial and high
Vasto (population 40,636),
Sulmona (population 25,000) are three important
industrial and touristic centers.
Abruzzo International Airport, Port of Pescara, Adriatic
railway, Autostrada A14 (Italy), Autostrada A24 (Italy), and
Autostrada A25 (Italy)
Abruzzo International Airport
Abruzzo International Airport is the only international airport in the
region. Open to civilian traffic since 1996, has seen over the years
more and more increase the number of transit passengers thanks to the
airlines and low-cost flights. Today, the airport has a catchment area
of over 500,000 passengers annually and connects the city of Pescara
and the entire region with many Italian and European destinations.
L'Aquila-Preturo Airport is located in the nearby village of Courts
and was recently renovated and modernized to accommodate flights
presidential G8, specifically moved into the city after the earthquake
in Abruzzo. Soon the airport will also be open to civilian traffic.
The port of Pescara.
There are four main ports in Abruzzo: Pescara, Ortona,
Over the years the Port of
Pescara became one of the most important
tourist ports of
Italy and the
Adriatic Sea. Heavily damaged in World
War II, it underwent some 60 years of major restoration and was reborn
as a modern marina with advanced moorings and shipbuilding facilities.
It has been honored with the European Union's blue flag for the
quality of services offered. The port of
Pescara has lost passenger
traffic because of its shallowness and silting, but its fishery and
aquaculture activities are thriving.
There is a significant disparity between the railways of the Abruzzo
coast and the inland areas, which badly need modernisation to improve
the service, in particular the Rome-
Pescara line. Some services have
schedules similar to those of a century ago. The situation is so bad
that often it is faster to travel by road, normally bus.
Existing railway lines:
Adriatic railway (through the whole of
Italy from north to south,
Adriatic Sea): The question that interests the Abruzzo
region is included in the Towns of
Martinsicuro and San Salvo. Unless,
that delimit the borders with
Molise regions, namely, the
113 km (70.21 mi) between the stations of intercurrent Alba
Controguerra and San Salvo. The interchanges are made
by the respective railway lines
Teramo and Pescara-Rome.
Sulmona – Pescara: Pescara-
Rome railway line is along
the railway line Bologna-
Bari on the
Adriatic sea other line is
important because through the Tyrrhenian coast, passing through the
provinces of Pescara,
L'Aquila and ends the path to Roma
Tiburtina railway station. The railway, which covers the Abruzzo
Region, extends for 170 kilometres (110 mi), ranging from
municipalities to the province of
Oricola and Pereto.
The infrastructure in question is the following interchanges: Sulmona,
Terni – Sulmona, Avezzano- Roccasecca,
Bologna and Bari.
Sulmona – Carpinone: the infrastructure in question is a
continuation to the south of Terni-Sulmona, as part of the
Pescara – Naples. After that Brenner is the
highest railway station in Italy, whose tortuous path, characterized
by steep slopes, passing through the station Rivisondoli-Pescocostanzo
and wedges in the
Abruzzo National Park
Abruzzo National Park and the Maiella. The line is
the interchanges of railway lines Rome-
Rieti – Terni. Reached Carpinone, divides west to east
Benevento and Caserta.
Terni railway: Trafficking in question connects the regions
of Umbria, Lazio,
Molise and then along the line-Carpinone
Sulmona. It therefore crosses the inner Abruzzo, finding interchanges
Avezzano and Pescara-Rome-Roccasecca, in their respective provinces of
Terni and Rieti. It concerns a type of regional traffic in
that, across the Tyrrhenian perpendicular colleague Abruzzo, Umbria,
Lazio and Molise. The question of interest is included in the Abruzzo
Tornimparte and more precisely in the stations 75
kilometres (47 mi) intercurrent
Sulmona and saddle horn.
Avezzano railroad – Roccasecca: infrastructure test starts on the
track in the town of Avezzano, crosses the territory of Marsica,
passes through the valley and Bush get into the
Lazio region, in the
town of Sora. Her journey ends in the town of
Roccasecca which marks
the end of
Lazio and the entry in the
Campania region towards Cassino.
Therefore, the only online exchange that meets the railway line is
Rome station Avezzano.
Teramo (a branch railway line
Adriatic you forward
towards the interior until Teramo) railway line
Giulianova – Teramo,
the network is complementary to the Adriatic, fulfilling a liaison
function between the capital and the coast. Therefore, the only rail
interchange is characterized by the
Adriatic railway line
Martinsicuro rail-Broad-San Salvo. With its 24
kilometres (15 mi) journey infrastructure is the result, a SS80
along the path to the location of the industrial districts of Teramo,
before merging the SS 16 that accesses the port Giulianova.
Lanciano – Castel di Sangro): The infrastructure in
question are an important transition between the Tyrrhenian and
Adriatic Sea, as in
Pescara station meets the respective points of
connection of the FS
Pescara – Rome, while that
L'Aquila lines FS –
Sulmona – Carpinone.
This position transition, attributed to the infrastructure an
important strategic military role in World War II, a stage when the
bombing of the German armed forces air, marked the temporary
suspension of the subject line of repair work. Like other regional
railways direct L'Aquila,
Sulmona and Roccasecca, through a circuitous
route mountain typically characterized by steep slopes, although in
terms of localization of production facilities is to signal the
passage of the railway in the industrial area of Valle del Sangro .
Salinello Bridge on the A14
Road and motorway networks in the
Abruzzo region are relatively well
developed, there are three highways that serve the region:
L'Aquila – Teramo, was built in the 70s and
Lazio and more specifically to the
via L'Aquila, performs an important liaison function of the region,
both Tyrrhenian to the Adriatic, due to the presence of several knots
of connection roads and highways. The
Gran Sasso tunnel, the longest
road tunnel entirely on Italian territory, was opened in 1984. It
Teramo on the A24 making the northern Abruzzo
coast reachable within two hours from Rome.
Numerous infrastructure connecting adjacent junction as directional
Torano it branches in the A25 to Pescara,
SS80, SS81 to
Chieti and on the A14 Bologna-Taranto, exit on the
Rieti Valley Jump -Terni, exit west on SS80 to
L'Aquila-Teramo, near Tivoli and the connection to the A1 motorway
allows easy connections with
Naples and Milan, the highway
construction has contributed greatly to the economic development of
the region .
Highway A25 Torano –
Pescara allows the connection
Rome and Pescara, as of the release of Torano begins its
journey where it intersects with the A24, flows in the Conca del
Fucino exceeds the
Abruzzo Apennines coming to Peligna Valley and ends
at 'exit Pescara-Villanova to join the A14.
Taranto said the A14 "Adriatica" includes
743 km (461.68 mi) of route, including the cities of Bologna
and Taranto. Inaugurated in 1965 is now a major tourist
infrastructure, as through the coastal towns of Emilia Romagna,
Molise and Puglia.
Abruzzo is the infrastructure in
question, including the toll of South Broad and Val Vibrata, which
mark the border with the
Marche and Molise. Regarding the links, the
A14 meets the SS16 and the SS652 Bottom Sangro Valley near Broad and
SS80 in Giulianova.
Castel del Monte, one of Abruzzo's little-known hill towns
Gabriele d'Annunzio from Pescara
Abbazia di San Liberatore a
Ovid from Sulmona
Cathedral of San Giustino (Chieti)
Fishing trabucco of San Vito Chietino
The most important museum is
Museo Archeologico Nazionale d'Abruzzo
Museo Archeologico Nazionale d'Abruzzo in
Chieti housing the famed warrior statue Warrior of
Capestrano found in
a necropolis from 6th century B.C.. Of cultural importance are the
Cathedral of Teramo, its archeological museum and the Roman theater,
the Castello della Monica, the astronomical Observatory, the famous
L'Aquila Basilica of
Santa Maria di Collemaggio
Santa Maria di Collemaggio – with the remains
of Pope Celestine V, the Museo Nazionale d'Abruzzo, Santa Maria del
Suffragio, the Forte Spagnolo, the 99 Spouts fountain, Gabriele
D'Annunzio's house in Pescara, Campli's
Scala Sancta and its church,
the church of Santissima Annunziata in Sulmona, the cathedrals of
Chieti, Lanciano, Guardiagrele, Atri and
Pescara along with the
castles of Ortona,
Celano and Ortucchio.
Santa Maria di Collemaggio
Santa Maria di Collemaggio every 28–29 August is
celebrated the Perdonanza Celestiniana, remembering the indulgentia,
Pope Celestine V
Pope Celestine V to any who, "truly repentant and confessed"
would visit that Church from the vespers of the vigil to the vispers
of 29 August. Sulmona's
Holy Week is commemorated with big
traditional celebrations and rituals, such as 'La Madonna che Scappa
in Piazza', where a huge statue of the Madonna, carried by a group of
Sulmonesi part of Confraternities, runs through the square towards her
Son resurrected. At Cocullo, in the province of L'Aquila, is
yearly held the 'Festa dei serpari' in which the patron saint's statue
covered by snakes is transported in a procession, it attracts
thousands of both Italian and foreign visitors. In many Abruzzo
villages in January is celebrated the Anthony the Great's feast with
massive and scenic bonfires. In the past, the region of Abruzzo
was well known for the transumanza, the migratory movement of sheep
principally south to the region of
Puglia during the cold winter
months. The Feast of St. Biagio, the protector of the throat and
of wool dealers, is the most widespread in Abruzzo. One of the most
interesting and engaging rites takes place on 3 February in Taranta
Peligna where every year since the sixteenth century an evocative
ritual is carried out, entailing the distribution of "panicelle", that
are small loaves, made of flour and water, in the shape of a blessing
hand, which are distributed to the faithful. Between the province of
Teramo and L'Aquila, under the
Gran Sasso Tunnel are found the
Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso(LNGS) of the INFN, one of the
three underground astroparticle laboratories in Europe. Interamnia
World Cup the largest international youth handball competition
worldwide takes place on a yearly basis in Teramo. It will reach its
42nd edition in July 2014.
Abruzzo historical people there are the Roman orator Asinius
Ovid who were born in
Gaius Cassius Longinus
Gaius Cassius Longinus a Roman senator and a
leading instigator of the plot to kill Julius Caesar, and Pontius
Pilate who was born in the province of
Teramo and is best known for
authorizing the crucifixion of Jesus.
Abruzzo religious personalities
include Saint Berardo,
John of Capistrano
John of Capistrano who led a crusade against
the Ottoman Empire, Thomas of
Celano author of three hagiographies
about Saint Francis of Assisi,
Alessandro Valignano who introduced
Catholicism to the
Far East and Japan; the Polish Pope John Paul II
loved the mountains of
Abruzzo where he would retire often and pray in
the church of San Pietro della Ienca. When he died Cardinal Stanislaw
Dziwisz, gave the local
Abruzzo community of some of the late
pontiff's blood as a token of the love he had felt for the mountainous
area. The greateast Italian poet of the 20th century Gabriele
D'Annunzio was from Pescara, other very important Abruzzo
personalities in the field of humanities include poet Ignazio Silone,
Ennio Flaiano who co-wrote La dolce vita, philosopher
Benedetto Croce, composer Sir
Paolo Tosti and the sculptor Venanzo
American artists and celebrities such as Madonna, Michael Bublé, Dean
Martin, Bradley Cooper, Perry Como, Henry Mancini, Nancy Pelosi, Rocky
Marciano, Rocky Mattioli, Bruno Sammartino, Mario Batali, John and Dan
Fante, Tommy Lasorda,
Dan Marino have publicly boased their Abruzzo
origins. Important international movies shot in
Abruzzo include George
Clooney's The American, Jean-Jacques Annaud's The name of the Rose,
La Strada and I Vitelloni, Schwarzenegger's Red Sonja,
Ladyhawke, King David, Francesco, Keoma, The Barbarians, The Fox and
the Child and Krull.
Renaissance hill towns
The fortress of Civitella is the most visited monument in Abruzzo
View of Casoli
Medieval village of Scanno
Before the earthquakes
Abruzzo was the region with the highest number
of castels and hill towns, but still today it holds many of Italy's
best-preserved medieval and
Renaissance hill towns that rival those in
Umbria and Tuscany.
Abruzzo boasts indeed twenty of The most beautiful
villages in Italy, 2nd only to
Umbria which has 22. These awards
are not just for aesthetic beauty but also are for art and culture,
historical importance and livability. The abrupt decline of Abruzzo's
agricultural economy in the early to mid-20th-century saved some of
the region's most beautiful hill towns from the onslaught of modern
development. Many lie entirely within regional and national parks.
Among the most well preserved are Castel del Monte and Santo Stefano
di Sessanio, which lie in the
Gran Sasso National Park on the edge of
the high plain of
Campo Imperatore and nestled beneath the Apennines'
highest peaks; both hill towns, which were ruled by the Medicis for
over a century-and-a-half, have relatively little tourism. Between the
two towns sits Rocca Calascio, the ruin of an ancient fortress popular
with film makers. Both
Roccascalegna are two
Abruzzo villages in the province of Chieti. Within
Gran Sasso National Park is also found Castelli, an ancient
pottery center whose artisans produced ceramics for most of the royal
houses of Europe.
Civitella del Tronto
Civitella del Tronto played a crucial role in the
history of the unification of Italy. The fortress of Civitella is
today the most visited monument in the whole
Abruzzo region. Other
medieval hill towns located fully within Abruzzo's park system are
Pacentro in the
Maiella National Park
Maiella National Park and
Pescasseroli in the Abruzzo
National Park. Pacentro, which features a 14th-century castle with two
intact towers, has been little touched by modernization. The Shrine of
Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, in the province of Teramo, with
average of 2 million visitors per year is one of the 15 most visited
sanctuaries in the world. Capestrano, a small characteristic town
in the province of L'Aquila, is the hometown of Saint John of
Capistrano, Franciscan friar and Catholic priest, as well as the
namesake of the Franciscan missions San Juan Capistrano in Southern
California, the mission
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Mission San Juan Capistrano (Texas) and the
city of San Juan Capistrano in Orange County.
The duomo of San Flaviano, centre of the ideal city design of Giulia.
In the last twenty years, studies showed Giulia (the name of the city
founded in 1471 by Giulio Antonio Acquaviva) was an example of
Renaissance ideal city, following the experiment of
Pienza (1462), and
the new theaching of
Leon Battista Alberti
Leon Battista Alberti and Francesco Di Giorgio
Martini. It's thought the project was realized by
Baccio Pontelli in a
first time and the same Francesco Di Giorgio Martini in a second,
because of the bond between the founder of Giulia and the most
important courts of the time (
Urbino in specific). But these names has
been retracted and studies are underway.
The proximity to Rome, the protected natural reserves and landscapes
which award the region as the greenest in Europe, the presence of some
of the most beautiful Italian villages, its rich and heterogeneous
gastronomy along with a long history of deep-rooted local tradition
Italian culture make
Abruzzo rank fifth among the
Italian regions by tourist arrivals after Calabria, Marche, Sardinia
and Trentino. In 2010, arrivals totalled 6,381,067 Italian and 925,884
In 2015, the American organization Live and Invest Overseas included
Abruzzo in the list of World's Top 21 Overseas Retirement Havens. The
study was based on such factors like climate, infrastructure, health
care, safety, taxes, cost of living and more.
Campus of University "Gabriele d'Annunzio"
There are three universities in the
University of L'Aquila
D'Annunzio University of Chieti–Pescara
University of Teramo
Harvard University bases an intensive summer
Italian language and
culture program in Vasto, a resort town on Abruzzo's southern
The regional accents of
Abruzzo include Teramano, Abruzzese Orientale
Adriatico and Abruzzese Occidentale. The first two form part of the
dialect of southern
Italy also known simply as "Neapolitan" due to the
region having been part of the Kingdom of
Naples and the Two Sicilies,
while the Italian of
L'Aquila Province is related to the Osco-Umbro
dialect of central Italy, including the one of Rome. The dialects
spoken in the
Abruzzo region can be divided into three main groups:
Sabine dialect, in the province of
L'Aquila (central Italian dialects)
Adriatic dialect, in the province of Teramo,
Chieti, that is virtually abandoned in the province of Ascoli Piceno
(southern Italian dialects)
Abruzzo western dialect, in the province of
L'Aquila (southern Italian
See also: Cuisine of Abruzzo
Spaghettoni alla chitarra" of Teramo
Typical "bocconotto" of Castel Frentano
"Sise delle Monache" from Guardiagrele
Renowned for its variety and richness due to the heterogeneity of its
territory, Abruzzo's cuisine is among the best in Italy. In 2013 an
Italian organization Confesercenti survey of foreign tourists showed
Abruzzo is the best Italian region to eat in. Both the
agricultural and coastal aspects of
Abruzzo have contributed to its
cuisine. Due to the mountains, much of
Abruzzo was isolated from
international influence until the 20th century. As a result, the
region's cuisine remained unique.
One of the most popular regional dishes is
Spaghetti alla chitarra
which is made by pressing or cutting pasta through a chitarra, an
implement to form long thin noodles similar to spaghetti. The pasta is
served with a tomato-based sauce, often flavored with peppers, pork,
goose, or lamb. This dish is complemented by regional side dishes,
such as the bean and noodle soup, sagne e fagioli. This soup is
traditionally flavored with tomatoes, garlic, oil, and peperoncini.
Other popular dishes include:
Gnocchi carrati, flavored with bacon, eggs and pecorino cheese
Scrippelle, a rustic French-style crêpe served either mbusse (a type
of soup) or used to form a sort of soufflé with some ragù and
stuffed with chicken liver, meatballs, hard-boiled eggs, and cheese
Pastuccia, a polenta stew with sausage, eggs, and cheese
Across the region, roast lamb is enjoyed in several variations. Some
of these variations include:
Arrosticini, a skewered lamb dish
Pecora al cotturo, lamb stuffed with a variety of mountain herbs and
cooked in a copper pot
Lamb cooked whole in a bread oven
Agnello cacio e ovo, a lamb-based fricassee
Seafood is also popular, especially in coastal areas. The variety of
fish available to the area has resulted in several fish-based Brodetti
(broths), coming from such places as Vasto, Giulianova, and Pescara.
These broths are often made by cooking fish, flavored with tomatoes,
herbs, and peperoncino, in an earthenware pot. Rustic pizzas are also
very common. Some of these are:
Easter Pizza, a rustic cake with cheese and pepper from the Teramo
Fiadoni from Chieti, dough of eggs and cheese well risen, cooked in
the oven in a thin casing of pastry
A rustic tart pastry filled with everything imaginable: eggs, fresh
cheeses, ricotta, vegetables, and all sorts of flavorings and spices.
Teramo are the spreadable sausages flavored with nutmeg,
liver sausages tasting of garlic and spices. The ventricina from the
Vasto area is made with large pieces of fat and lean pork, pressed and
seasoned with powdered sweet peppers and fennel and all encased in the
dehydrated stomach of the pig itself. Atri and
Rivisondoli are famous
for cheeses. Mozzarella, either fresh or seasoned, made from ewe's
milk, although a great number of lesser known varieties of these
cheeses can be found all over
Abruzzo and Molise.
The sweets of
Abruzzo are world-famous and include:
Confetti, sugar-coated almonds, from Sulmona
Torrone Nurzia, a chocolate nougat from L'Aquila
Parrozzo , a cake-like treat made from a mixture of crushed almonds,
and coated in chocolate.
Ferratelle (also known as Pizzelle). A wafer cookie, often flavored
Croccante, a type of nougat made from almonds and caramelized suger,
often flavored with lemon
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wine labelled as being made from old vines.
Best-known is the extra-virgin olive oil produced in Colline Teramane
Teramo hills), marked by the quality level DOP and considered one of
the best in Italy.
Wines and liquors
Renowned wines like Montepulciano DOCG and
Trebbiano d'Abruzzo DOC are
judged to be amongst the world's finest. In 2012, a bottle of
Trebbiano d'Abruzzo ranked No. 1 in the top 50
Italian wine award.
The region is also well known for the production of liquors such as
Ratafia and Genziana.
San Vito Chietino
Apollo Butterfly in Gran Sasso
Ponte sul mare in Pescara
Abruzzo Wild boars
Prati di Tivo ski slopes
Duomo of Teramo
L'Aquila 99 Spouts Fountain
San Bernardino Basilica in L'Aquila
Church of SS Annunziata in Sulmona
Shrine of Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
Palazzo Savini in Teramo
List of museums in Abruzzo
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Abruzzo.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Abruzzo.
Official site of the regional administration
Abruzzo tourist board website
Map of Abruzzo
In the land of bears and castles, Financial Times, 29 June 2007
Italy as it used to be The Guardian, 16 April 2005
Life in Abruzzo, a chronicle of
Abruzzo life written from a hill
village in the
Gran Sasso Mountains
Things to do in Abruzzo
Cities, towns and villages
Simplicius, Constantius and Victorinus
1703 Apennine earthquakes
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Gran Sasso raid
Moro River Campaign
35th G8 summit
Politics of Abruzzo
Elections in Abruzzo
List of Presidents of Abruzzo
Gran Sasso d'Italia
Regions of Italy
Ancient Italian peoples
Phoenician / Carthaginian colonies
Italy under Odoacer
Guelphs and Ghibellines
Early Modern period
Revolutions of 1820
Revolutions of 1830
Revolutions of 1848
Sicilian revolution of 1848
First War of Independence
Second War of Independence
Expedition of the Thousand
Third War of Independence
Capture of Rome
Monarchy and the World Wars
Kingdom of Italy
World War I
World War II
Years of Lead
Years of Mud
Chamber of Deputies
Council of Ministers
Regions by GDP
Science and technology
Fathers' rights movement
Festa della Repubblica
World Heritage Sites
Coordinates: 42°21′58″N 12°23′40″E / 42.36611°N
12.39444°E / 42.36611; 12.39444
ISNI: 0000 0004 1754 9817