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Why Abruzzo?

Lush valleys, sun-baked beaches and majestic mountains offer a romantic distraction from a daily routine. The countryside awash with vines and olives, villages teaming with historic charm, welcoming smiles and curiosity, yet around every corner finer examples, ever more breathtaking.
Food becomes a familiar theme. Fresh, delicious and simple cuisine dominates, accompanied with local wine, and brought to a close with a shot of warm coffee and lemon liquor. The subsequent -passeggiata- amongst the elegance and pride of the locals is almost uncivilized without a smidgen of home made ice-cream on a wafer cone.

The kind and determined (forte e gentile) nature of a typical Abruzzi has been molded by their deep respect for tradition and culture. All generations participate together in farming, social and family activities. The generation gap promotes respect to the elders and equal participation from the youngsters. The streets are safe, crime is rare and binge drinking unheard of.

Abruzzi know how to live and they do it so well. Their towns and cities are focal points to a host of festivals and celebrations, some with the strangest of origins, and often kept alive because it-s just so much fun. The eventful social calendars are fuller through the summer period where it seems every evening somebody is letting off a fabulous firework display. Don-t forget the other months, however, for some really spectacular shows that will stop you in your tracks. Once the long summer is over the weather changes and the mountains fill with snow. When winter finally comes, the fun starts again when the skiing season kicks-off. It doesn-t have to be hard work though, walking through the fresh snow, sipping hot chocolates can be what it-s all about.

The big problem with Abruzzo is going back home. I gave in to that pain, and I now call Abruzzo home.

About Abruzzo

Abruzzo is a region to discover, it is famous for being the green region of Europe. Few regions in the world offer both mountains and sea within an hours drive. Abruzzo has something to offer all year round - summer beaches, winter skiing and long warm days in the spring and the autumn to walk around the hills and lakes.


The Appennini mountain range stretch along the boarder between Abruzzo and Lazio. The mountains are3000 meters high, so in the winter there is a long skiing season and in the summer you can escape the city heat and enjoy fresh cool air.


The Trabocchi coast stretches from Pescara south to Vasto. A Trabocco is a wooden fishing hut that sits in the Adriatic sea connected to the land by a, sometimes precarious looking, peer. They are protected and unique to Abruzzo. Large areas of the coast line are natural reserves. Abruzzo in 1805 had more European blue flags for beach quality than any other region in Italy. The Trabocchi coast in Abruzzo has both pebbled and sandy beaches. Some beach resorts are busy and organised and others are secret coves.

Typical village

Many of the surrounding villages enjoy spectacular views and then hidden in the woods you might find a medieval hamlet. For example Civitella Messer Raimondo is a small village at the foot of the Majella

Natural Parks and reserves

Abruzzo is the European green region with four Natural parks and twenty protected areas, where could it be possible to see bears, wolves, eagles, wild boars? For example Oasi of Serranelle is a WWF protected area in Casoli.


There are various lakes in Abruzzo. Lake Bomba is well organised and has three tourist resorts and a famous village just off its banks, Villa Santa Maria. Villa Santa Maria is famous for its cooking schools. Since 1805 Lake Casoli has received large investments from the region to develop its banks and tourism offerings. The lakes in Abruzzo offer a range of sports and activities for all ages for example hiring boats, canoeing, rafting and fishing.

Castles and Ancient buildings

Abruzzo is full of places of historical, cultural and religions interest. At Fossacesia there is a spectacular Gothic Abbey. In Lanciano the Cathedral was built on a bridge and is equally spectacular inside. There is also the Eucharistic miracle in Lanciano. In Roccascalegna a castle has been built on a precarious limestone rock.


Many of the Abruzzo cities have still kept their historical roots and cultural flair. They have regular festivals through the summer and insure that from May to October something is going on. The festival at Lanciano officially lasts four days, but for August to the middle of September is a period where each day there seems to be more and more happening. See if you have the energy to watch the opening ceremony firework display at 4 am September 14th which lasts about half an hour, followed by a brass band procession, pizza and a quick trip to the sea to watch the sun rise

People and weather

Even with all this to offer, what stands out are the people. Hospitality, warmth and time is something they have in abundance. The weather in Abruzzo is fantastic, warm enough to go for a swim five months a year, skiing for four months a year, and a generally mild temperature all year round.

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Abruzzo Abruzzo , Lanciano

Casoli , Atessa

San Vito , Fossacesia

Torino Di Sangro , Casalbordino

Roccascalegna , Torricella Peligna

Poggiofiorito , Scerni

Casalanguida , Paglieta

Frisa , Castel Frenano

Sant'Eusanio del Sangro , Fara San Martino


Civitella Messer Raimondo

Lama dei Peligni , Gessopalena

Altino , Lake Bomba

Bomba , Archi

Perano , Tornareccio


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Skiing in the mountains, swimming in the Adriatic, the green region of Europe is Abruzzo and its most amazing trait being the undiscovered gem in Italy's crown. Located in central Italy on the east coast two hours from Rome, four hours from Naples and six hours from Florence.

Abruzzo is the green region of Europe
with both mountains and sea within an hour's drive.

The strong heat of the summer sun invites excited youngsters and drowsy parents towards the sea . 130km of Adriatic coast to choose from requires an immediate decision as to which beach today, sand, pebbles, crowds, desolate, private, free. Driving to the beach mesmerises you into silent wonder. The rolling hills are cloaked with vine-yards and olive groves with a small medieval village perched on top, How did they build that?. Breaking the relaxing silence and open roads are the buzz of mopeds whizzing past. Wooden fishing huts (traboccos) from the 18th century dot the coast line and large green areas of protected natural parks. The water is clean, flat and warm and there is a light breeze with little humidity. A trip to the beach would be incomplete without a slice of the famous Italian pizza and a home-made ice-cream, more difficult choices.

The beach is the obvious first destination for a hot summers day. Abruzzo is however dominated by hills and mountains, so another most inviting choice is the lakes. Lake Bomba is encircled by endless dark green forest teaming with undisturbed wildlife. The air is fresh and the water sweet and cold. The lake is well organised with all the facilities but it has been developed with a strong respect to the surrounding forest so it still feels quite undisturbed and sparsely populated by tourists. At dusk, in the centre of the lake, lie still in your pedalo and watch the various birds of prey leave the safety of the thick forest to fish in front of your very eyes, swooping down and breaking the waters surface to clasp the unsuspecting fish.

What stands out, are the people,

hospitality, warmth and time is something they have in abundance.

Wherever you are in Abruzzo the horizon is dominated by the mountain range. Leave the flat, blue Adriatic sea and drive an hour inland to discover imposing rock and endless forests. The 'central Appennini' is surprisingly unknown, reaching 3000 meters high, covering 65% of the region, they are the highest peaks in Italy excluding the alps and offer the third biggest ski resort in Italy (Roccaraso). Vast areas are protected parks and undeveloped. They are home to wolves, chamois, brown bears, wild boar and eagles. The mountains are idea for all sports and retreats away from the heat of summer.

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Picnics are common in the mountains. The best locations are near natural springs or rivers, perfect for keeping the drinks and fruit cool. The Abruzzi love their food, and a picnic is a reflection on the importance of a hearty three course meal to keep them going through the day. The picnic starts with a volunteer (usually an older man) choosing a the best spot and saving it at five o'clock in the morning. The rest of the family and friends meet him later. Various fires are needed, to boil the water for the pasta and cook the meat. Another older chap will bring an accordion to play folk music and the younger generations play football and go for walks. The meal is served with red wine and finished off with coffee and a snooze. After a long day eating in the mountains, it's time to find your legs, walk to the car and go home.

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Sandy Beaches Escape to Lakes Old Charm Mountain Skiing
San Vito Marina Lake Bomba Lanciano Skiing at Roccaraso

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The Appennini mountains are the first choice for skiing for central and southern Italians. The range houses may resorts like Roccaraso, the biggest resort excluding the alps. Facilities are modern and run for at least three months a year. The views are breathtaking, running through valleys down towards the Adriatic sea in the distance. At sun set, watch the shadow of the mountain slide across the region, town after town, slowly reaching the sea at the end and darkness has fallen on Abruzzo. Yet, towards Rome in Lazio, the sun still shines bright.

Towns throughout the region tend to sit on top of hills. The location chosen in the mediaeval for defence and there they have remained. As the town develops they spread outwards. Walking from the outskirts of Torino Di Sangro to the heart of the town is like walking back in time. The closer you are to the centre the further back you seem to travel. The older the road the narrower it becomes, hence the popularity of very small character full city cars.

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Watching the Barman making a cappuccino sums up the Italian pride. A seemingly mundane task is carried out with attention, skill and pride. The Italian attention to detail and passion is reflected at all levels, whether making a simple yet perfect coffee, a designer dress or red super car. The cuisine in Abruzzo is just that too. Traditional recipes that have remained unchanged for generations, simple and fresh ingredients for fabulous Mediterranean flavours. A mix of both fish, meat and vegetables in their everyday meals. The best place for real Italian food is an 'Agriturismo' or farmhouse restaurant where most of the ingredients are produced on site. The cooks in Abruzzo produce world class food, oils and wines and in Abruzzo it is all very affordable.

The people are driven by history, pride, culture and tradition. This quality determines so much about the development in Abruzzo and their view on change. Every church has a festival, and neighbouring communities try to surpass each other with bigger and better music and fireworks. July and August become crazy with festivals.

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