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Abruzzo meren lakes laghi




Abruzzo ti amo !

Abruzzo Tocca da Casauria forte e gentile sterk en vriendelijk strond and friendly people

Strong and gentle

Abruzzo is a region with a proud pastoral tradition that has seen hardship and poverty due to wars and an isolated geographic position, but whose generous people have emerged with an indomitable spirit of survival and loyalty to their land and to each other, earning them the motto ‘strong and gentle’. In fact, it was the nineteenth-century Italian diplomat and journalist Primo Levi (1853-1917) who chose the adjectives ‘forte’ and ‘gentile’ when he tried to describe the Abruzzese soul, where strength and kindness are manifested in the locals and in the surrounding environment. ‘Forte e gentile’ has since become the motto of the region.

Abruzzo excellente keuken

Excquisite cuisine

Abruzzo’s exquisite cuisine is renowned for its variety and richness. Both the agricultural and coastal areas of the region have contributed to its cuisine. With mountains and sea as its strategic borders, fishing and farming are Abruzzo's lifeblood. The cuisine therefore varies significantly from the coast, where seafood dishes are prominent, to the inland areas where legumes and meat -- especially mutton and pork -- reign supreme. Arrosticini, thin mutton skewers, are one of its most famous dishes. Simply salted and flame-grilled, they are ordered at family dining tables in the hundreds. Abruzzo also has a long history of pasta-making and has produced handmade spaghetti alla chitarra for more than 200 years. This variety of egg pasta is pushed through a wooden contraption that has stainless steel guitar-like strings. Antico Pastificio Rosetano at Roseto degli Abruzzi is one of several historic pasta production houses in the region that have been producing the pasta since the late 1800s.

Abruzzo ideale uitvalsbasis

Ideal location

Abruzzo’s ideal location right in the centre of Italy makes it an excellent starting point to discover some of the major Italian cities, famous all over the world. Some distances: From the beautiful Castel di Sangro to Napoli: 120 km. L’Aquila-Napoli: 230 km. From the Castello di Carsolo to Piazza Navona in the centre of Rome: 70 km. From Pescara (Adriatic coast) to Piazza Navona: 200 km. L’Aquila-Firenze: 360 km. Pescara-Montepulciano (Tuscany): 300 km. Pescara-Bologna: 360 km. Pescara-Venice: 500 km.

Abruzzo olijfolie en wijn

Wine and olive oil

Since many years, wine and olive oil tourism has been key to positioning Abruzzo as a destination of choice. When it comes to wine, Abruzzo is famous for its red Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, produced with the Montepulciano grape, distinct from the Sangiovese grape used to make the Tuscan Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Also the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC is judged among the world’s finest. The majority of the region's wine and olive oil production is in Chieti province and some of the first bottles of Montepulciano that received the famous DOC (‘denominazione di origine controllata’) quality assurance label are on display at the EnoMuseo (wine museum) at Tollo. Some notable local producers that have cellar door openings include the Cantina Cerretano who produce organic and vegan wine varieties at Orsogna and the Trappeto di Caprafico at Casoli, who also produce award-winning extra virgin olive oil. For instance the Villa Carrene, a family-run vineyard and cellar located a few miles from Sulmona in the medieval town of Prezza, offers wine tasting by appointment.

Abruzzo groenste regio in Europa nationale parken

Greenest region in europe

Almost half of Abruzzo’s territory is protected through national parks and nature reserves, more than any other administrative region on the European continent, leading it to be dubbed ‘the greenest region in Europe’. Abruzzo boasts three national parks, one regional park, and 38 protected nature reserves. They ensure the survival of rare species, such as the golden eagle, the Abruzzo chamois, the Apennine wolf and the Marsican brown bear. Abruzzo’s parks and reserves host 70% of Europe’s animal species. Its mountainous land is occupied by a vast plateau, including Gran Sasso (2,912 metres), the highest peak of the Apennines, and Mount Majella at 2,793 metres.

Abruzzo costa dei trabocchi

Costa dei Trabocchi

Abruzzo may not have the fabulous beach reputation of the Amalfi Coast, Sicily or Sardinia, but it holds its own in terms of long stretches of sandy beach along the Adriatic. The ones that consistently receive the Italian blue flag rating for pristine waters are in Chieti or Teramo province. For instance Ortona is popular with locals and boasts many beach clubs. Pineto is another resort town with sandy beaches shaded by pine trees that give it its name. To the south, Vasto was a famous Roman fishing village and boasts a sandy stretch, and the characteristic medieval town is perched high with lovely sea views. By many considered as the most beautiful stretch of coast in Italy is the famous ‘Costa dei Trabocchi’, which stretches 70 km from Ortona to San Salvo in Chieti province. Its most striking sight is a collection of fishing net structures known as ‘trabocchi’ (the plural of ‘trabocco’). Historically the trabocchi were used by fisherman to avoid deep waters and collect varieties like anchovies, sardines, sea bream and sea bass. While many are no longer in use because they can't compete with modern-day fishing technology, some are still managed by generations of fisherman and have branched out, now operating as restaurants.

Abruzzo schilderachtige meren Lago di Scanno

Picturesque lakes

Many of Abruzzo’s seven picturesque lakes have nearby camp sites or accommodation options as well as water sports like rafting and canoeing. Lake Bomba has tourist resorts in its vicinity and Lakes Scanno and Barrea are some of the prettiest, encircled by mountains and winding roads on approach. Especially Lake Scanno is known as one of the most popular Italian lakes, visited often by tourists from all over the world. The Sorgenti del Pescara (natural reserve with crystal clear springs) by the small town of Popoli is a favourite with locals, particularly on hot summer days.

Abruzzo ski wintersport winter sports

Ski resorts

Among Italians, but less so among foreign people, Abruzzo is known for its wonderful ski possibilities. With their mountain landscape, it's no wonder towns like Roccaraso, Castel di Sangro, Ovindoli and Campo Felice are magnets for avid skiers from Italy and other parts of Europe. The area gets a heavy and lasting snowfall each year and with the Cinquemiglia (a five-mile long, 1,200-meter-high plain), Abruzzo gives other Alpine destinations a true run for their money (at a fraction of the cost). What is great about most of these Abruzzo ski resorts is that they will have nearby a local National Park shop, so for self-catering foodies, you’ll be able to stock up on really tasty, high quality locally grown foods that are in turn supporting the local rural economy. Ski-passes range in price from approximately €15 to €40 for day passes. Skiing conditions normally last from December to March, and there are various websites with information and webcams providing up-to-the-minute reports on the quantity and quality of snow. Much of the skiing season you can find the smaller slopes quite quiet, but at weekends during the peak time huge numbers of Romans and Neapolitans descend onto the better slopes and queues can be substantial; particularly worth watching out for is the huge traffic build-up at the end of the first weekend in the new year, when all the skiing Italians return to their homes …

Abruzzo Roccascalegna middeleeuwse dorpen

Hiking and biking/medieval towns

As indicated in part 5 of this article, a third of Abruzzo is made up of national park, making it by far the most rural region of Italy. In the warmer months, hiking trails in many of the medieval towns in the mountainous areas are perfect for those who love the great outdoors. Some of the best are in the Abruzzo National Park and the Majella National Park. Let’s not forget that traditionally, a large share of the Abruzzo population used to be hill people, often working as shepherds in the mountains, or settled in exactly those hill towns that nowadays host some of the most beautiful hiking and biking trails in the region. Away from the crowds of more famous medieval towns like Tuscany's Siena or San Gimignano, places like Pescasseroli, Tagliacozzo and Santo Stefano di Sessanio provide authentic regional experiences and stunning scenery (some even with castles). One of the most distinctive is Rocca Calascio, which boasts a watchtower from the 10th century and remains the highest fort in all of Italy, at nearly 1,500 meters above sea level.

Abruzzo citytrips Sulmona Ovidius


Many cities in Abruzzo are worth visiting. L'Aquila (the “eagle of Abruzzo”) is both the capital city of the region and of the Province of L’Aquila and second largest city (population 73,000). L'Aquila was hit by an earthquake on 6 April 2009, which destroyed much of the city centre and is still being restored. The other provincial capitals are Pescara, which is Abruzzo’s largest city and major port (population 123,000), Teramo (in the north-east, with its medieval cathedral San Berardo), and the ancient Roman city Chieti (‘la città aerea’, the ‘city in the air’). Other beautiful places to visit include Guardiagrele, the ‘terrace of Abruzzo’, where people speak an Italian with elements of French in it, Vasto, with a beautiful stretch of beach below and an ancient city above, Lanciano, where you can visit the ‘Miracolo Eucaristico’, and Sulmona, the city of Ovidius.

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