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Regione Abruzzo

This is a regions of parks (no fewer than 3 national parks in the region!), nature reserves and green areas; other typical sites include canyons, waterfalls and lakes, offering numerous rare species of birds, plus grottos that include Cavallone, with its rich store of stalactites and stalagmites, and Stiffe; mountains, of course, are also found in abundance: the Gran Sasso, with its towering, rocky peaks, plus the solemn, majestic massifs of the Maiella, not to mention the hill country, with its treasure trove of springs, woods and streams, in the midst of unspoiled.
Of the wild, unyielding animals, the Marsicano Bear is the Region’s most important species, though still very hard to come across, a characteristic it shares with the wolf, the eternal wanderer of the Apennines and an animal in excellent condition through the mountains of Abruzzo.
The Gran Sasso, with its pointed peaks, steep walls and jagged crests, all of which lend it a truly Alpine appearance, projects an almost brutal strength and beauty. On the slope of the Gran Sasso nearest Aquila, the picturesque ruins of the mighty castle of Rocca Calascio can be admired, with its four angled towers; found nearby are the unique octagonal temple of Santa Maria della Pietà, dating from the fifteenth century, the venerable burgh of Castel del Monte, a portion of whose perimeter wall is still intact, and the enchanting medieval town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio. Sitting on the side of the Gran Sasso nearest Teramo, on the other hand, is the centuries-old town of Pietracamela.
The awesome plateau of Campo Imperatore opens the heart to intense emotions and unbelievable views; 8 kilometres wide and 27 in length, it is a level expanse perched at an altitude of 1800 metres, with an allure that no number can describe: splendid trails, ski-excursion routes and shelters. And the return to the valley offers one last thrill: a magical sunset!
Framed by the impressive backdrop of the Gran Sasso is the city of Teramo, with its gentle hillsides, where the grapes for Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, the region’s most important vintage wine, are produced. The historic downtown area features narrow, winding streets that follow a medieval layout, plus the Cathedral with its grandiose front entrance. The medieval burgh of Campli is also charming, with its sturdy defensive walls and the fourteenth-century Eastern Gate. The oldest portion features 15th-century architecture filled with porticos, as in the case of the beautiful Palazzo del Parlamento. The bell tower of the Church of Santa Maria in Platea was constructed in the style typical of the area, being topped off by an octagonal prism decorated with tiles. Surrounded by oaks and olive trees, Atri’s bell tower rises up from the Cathedral, around which the rest of the town grew. In the Monastery of Santa Chiara, the Clarissan nuns still prepare the traditional ramaioli, tasty sweets made with marmalade, for holidays. Refined tile decorations, especially common in churches, can be viewed in Castelli, another hillside town at the feet of the Gran Sasso. And the striking natural backdrop also brings out the best in Montorio, a town set in a site where the hillsides, with their vineyards and fruit groves, are framed by the mountain walls. At a certain point, the hills slope down to the sea: Giulianova is an elegant seaside town of Roman origin; in its upper section, on the hillside, visitors will an atmosphere straight out of ancient times.
Characteristic features of the Province of Aquila include its striking, majestic churches (of particular note in the city of Aquila is the Fountain of the 99 Pipes!), the forbidding rock formations that stand guard over the “tratturi”, the centuries-old roadways used by shepherds and animals, and the green expanse of the Navelli plateau; here, at an altitude of more than 700 metres, a small purple flower produces a spice with a special aroma: ginger.
Pescara, hometown of Gabriele D’Annunzio, is a city with a wealth of cities, abbacies and museums, in addition to a handsome port-canal. Of particular interest is the poet’s home, with objects that once belonged to him: those who taste the parrozzo, a bread-shaped cake covered in chocolate, should keep in mind that the name was coined by none other than the transgression-loving author of Pleasure.
After crossing the pretty Five Mile plane, the visitor arrives at the intriguing towns of Rivisondoli, Pescocostanzo and Roccaraso. The small burgh of Pescasseroli, cloaked in greenery, can point to a major crafts tradition: fourteenth-century laces, wrought-iron products and gold filigree. Those fond of sweets, on the other hand, cannot fail to visit Sulmona and taste the delicious, colourful candied almonds.


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Abruzzo Region ENTER


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