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Smaakmakertjes adembenemende landschappen uitgestrekte stranden




On this page, we take you on a virtual journey through Abruzzo. These 'appetizers' will undoubtedly make your mouth water. Maybe they even will convince you to set the GPS coordinates towards the greenest region in Europe during your next vacation, with its countless medieval villages, breathtaking landscapes, and expansive beaches. Return to this page occasionally because we regularly add new tempting treats. A dream destination like Abruzzo only reveals its secrets gradually.

Abruzzo Pineto strand beach

'The sea, dotted with trabocchi'

The ‘Costa dei Trabocchi’ is named after a ‘trabocco’ (plural: ‘trabocchi’), best translated in English as ‘fishing machine’. Some say that they date back to the Phoenician times, others that they have more recent origins, and that they were a clever invention to assure a safe shelter to the fishermen who did not have, in this way, to adventure out to rough seas. The trabocco is made of pine wood, able to withstand the saltiness and the strong mistral winds that blow across the Adriatic. The shape is reminiscent of a proper stilt house at the end of a gangway jutting out into the sea, anchored to the rocks by large trunks, from which two or more long arms extend. These ‘arms’ are suspended a few metres from the water and support a huge net. Fishing is not a simple job. The depth of the sea in which the trabocco is positioned, and its facing – which should take advantage of the currents – are very important elements for the fishermen, who should be skilled enough in operating the net, lowered into the water using a complex system of winches and then promptly pulled up to retrieve the catch. At least four people are needed, sharing the tasks of spotting the fish and manoeuvring the net. The earliest and most ancient documents telling us about the trabocchi in Abruzzo date back to the XIII century. Father Stefano Tiraboschi of the Celestinian Order wrote in his manuscript about the life of pope Celestine V, that the Pope - while staying at the Monastery of San Giovanni in Venere (1240-1243) – enjoyed admiring the sea below, 'dotted with trabocchi'. The most famous trabocco is the ‘Trabocco Turchino’, so masterfully described by Gabriele D’Annunzio. ‘Il Vate’ spent days writing in the silence of his hermitage, located in San Vito Chietino, where the pebbly beaches and natural inlets with crystal-clear waters caught his attention. He described this trabocco in a famous passage of ‘Il Trionfo della Morte’ (‘The Triumph of Death’): ‘The great fishing machine—that collection of trunks freed from their bark, planks and cables, whose strange whiteness resembled the colossal skeleton of some antediluvian amphibian … seemed to have a life of its own, to have the air and figure of an animated body. The wood, exposed for years to sun, rain, and tempest, showed all its fibres…was denuded, was consumed, was white like a tibia, or shining like silver, or grayish like silex, acquired a special character and significance, an imprint just as distinct as that of a person on whom old age and suffering have achieved their cruel work.’

costa dei trabocchi
costa dei trabocchi mare blu
costa dei trabocchi UNESCO erfgoed


Pineto-Pescara: 30 km

Pineto-Ancona: 140 km

Pineto-Bologna: 340 km

Abruzzo Pineto pijnbomen

Pineto is a coastal town to the north of Pescara, with 14 500 inhabitants. Pineto itself does not contain ancient churches, palazzos or other antiquities. In the 1920s and 30s more and more people came to live close to the sea, so the administrative centre of Mutignano was relocated at Villa Filiani, which later changed its name and became Pineto. How come? In the early 1920s Luigi Filiani developed the area as a beach resort, enhanced by the planting of pine trees. Despite opposition from the then mayor of Mutignano, in May 1923 he received a concession from the Maritime Agency to plant a pine wood that would revert to the State after 25 years. Filiani levelled the ground and planted 2 000 umbrella pines (‘pinus pinea’) along the beach. Inspired by the poem ‘La Pioggia nel Pineto’ (‘Rain in the Pinewood’), he changed the name of the village to Pineto. The lack of massive beach facilities, so typical for many towns of the Adriatic coast, make it an attractive place. In 2010 was reopened the Parco Filiani, paradise for small animals and filled with pine trees, holm oaks and laurel, an ideal spot for walking or biking.


Mutignano-Pescara: 30 km

Mutignano-Roma: 210 km

Mutignano-Bari: 330 km

Mutignano is a beautiful medieval village, situated on a hill about 6 km from the coastal town of Pineto. To tell you more about the exact position of Mutignano in Abruzzo’s history, we have to go back to Pineto, where we find the famous Torre di Cerrano. In front of this tower lie remains of the port used by the Roman town of Adria (now Atri), which is up in the hills behind Mutignano. This was the former ‘capoluogo’ (capital city) of the area, that grew up in the shadow of Atri. Nowadays, Mutignano is part of Pineto (una ‘frazione’ = small part of a village), but in the 10th century it belonged to the abbey of San Giovanni in Venere, and in the 14th and 15th century it was ‘invaded’ by an enormous migratory flow of mainly Albanian people, who fled for the army of the Ottoman Empire. Nice to visit in Mutignano is the Parco Castellaro, inaugurated in 2019 on the highest point of the village, and the Romanesque church dedicated to San Silvestro, the ‘Chiesa di San Silvestro Papa’. The church contains a spectacular painting called ‘San Silvestro e sue storie’ (Saint Sylvester and his stories) by the artist Andrea de Litio, who is believed to have been born around 1420 in Abruzzo.

Mutignano church kerk
Abruzzo Mutignano Chiesa di San Silvestro Papa
Abruzzo Mutignano village centre
Abruzzo Mutignano Pineto view zee sea mare


Vasto-Pescara: 75 km

Vasto-Bari: 240 km

Vasto-Bologna: 430 km

According to some, the city of Vasto (40 000 inhabitants) was founded by the Greek hero Diomedes. Archaeological finds from the area date from as far back as the 12th century BC. Under Julius Caesar, Vasto became a town of some importance due to its strategic position over the Adriatic coast. However, the city was later so devastated by raiding parties, that in the 11th century its name changed to ‘Guastaymonis’ or ‘The waste of Monis’. However, the brave people of Vasto rebuilt their city. After World War II, the city discovered its tourist vocation: besides the progressive development of its beaches in Marina di Vasto, Roman-era thermal baths, mosaics, cisterns and remains of an amphitheatre were found and restored. During the 1970s until the recent days, Vasto underwent a remarkable change and a fast growth, with several housing, road and other infrastructure projects built to accommodate the emigrating population from the inner areas of Southern Abruzzo, which have made it one of the most populous of the region. One of the highlights is the Chiesa di Santa Maria Maggiore, famous for the presence of a thorn from Christ’s crown. Interesting is also the ‘Sirenetta’ (Monument to the Little Mermaid), a work by the local sculptor Aldo D’Adamo.

Abruzzo Vasto piazza
Abruzzo Vasto city centre
Abruzzo Vasto Marina pier
Abruzzo Vasto Adriatische zee


Anversa-Sulmona: 15 km

Anversa-Pescara: 80 km

Anversa-Roma: 140 km

Abruzzo Anversa degli Abruzzo
Abruzzo Anversa degli Abruzzo view

Anversa degli Abruzzi is a small (304 inhabitants according to Istat 2021, of which about 15 in Castrovalva) and very attractive village, boasting truly breathtaking views in the valley of the river Sagittarius. Anversa is surrounded by the mountains of the Apennines and is considered as one of the loveliest villages in Abruzzo. The historical centre preserves a medieval atmosphere and is embellished by magnificent Romanesque churches (the Chiesa di San Marcello and mainly the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie), the ruins of the Norman castle, picturesque little squares and so much more. Important are the traces of the past, also attested by the presence of an Italic necropolis and ancient vestiges. Already in the early years of 1500 Anversa had a flourishing industry for the processing and the production of articles in ceramic art. In the following centuries the artistic workmanship of the ceramics was unfortunately abandoned. Was developed instead an intensive production of crockery and clay articles, with many families of craftsmen and artisans with ovens. Objects more typical are the pignata and the cuckoo.


Moscufo-Pescara: 15 km

Moscufo-L’Aquila: 100 km

Moscufo-Ancona: 160 km

Abruzzo Moscufo olijfbomen wijngaarden

The village of Moscufo has 3,000 inhabitants and is mainly known for its excellent olive-oil production. Together with the neighbouring villages Pianella and Loreto Aprutino, Moscufo is called the ‘triangolo d’oro dell’olio’ (the golden triangle of oil). Only in this region you will find olive oil under the prestigious label ‘Aprutino Pescarese D.O.P.’. The origin of the name Moscufo is not clear, but could have something to do with ‘Moscosus’ or ‘Muskulf’, the name of an ancient warrior. The main point of interest in Moscufo (apart from the many ‘frantoi’ = production and sale of olive oil) in the field of history and culture is the stunning Romanesque Chiesa di Santa Maria del Lago. This church was built in the 12th century, probably above an older structure. One could think that the name should be translated as ‘Holy Mary of the Lake’, but in this case ‘lago’ derives from the Latin ‘lucus’, which later transformed to ‘lacum’, meaning ‘wood’. The church houses a stunning pulpit, sculpted in 1156 (!) by Nicola da Guardiagrele, the artist who was responsible for some of the most important religious works in Abruzzo.

Abruzzo Moscufo olijfolie olive oil
Moscufo olijfolie wijngaarden gouden driehoek van de olijfolie

The small village of Fontecchio (300 inhabitants) is located within the Monte Sirente community and the Sirente-Velino Regional Park. This region, including also L’Aquila, has seen a lot of devastation through earthquakes, the most disastrous being those of 1703 and 2009. There is archaeological evidence of the Roman settlement of Fonticulanum. Fontecchio’s historic centre preserves the characteristics of a fortified medieval village, with access gates, sections of high walls, towers and majestic palaces. Many fragments of ancient monuments that were found in the village are now displayed in the L'Aquila museum. Around the XI century the small sections of San Giovanni, San Pietro, Sant'Arcangelo, San Felice and ‘Fons Tichiae’, joined giving life to the ‘Castrum Fonticulanum’. However, although united for safety reasons, initially these small entities maintained each its own church, founding only around 1080-1095 the town parish church of Santa Maria della Pace, now home parish church of the town. The Convento di San Francesco d’Assisi is the most interesting church in the village, boasting a.o. beautiful fresco’s by Giotto’s school, and also a magnificent fresco series about the life of Mary Magdalene.


Fontecchio-L’Aquila: 25 km

Fontecchio-Roma: 140 km

Fontecchio-Napoli: 250 km


Fontefecchio torre

The ‘Torre dell’orologio’ and the Italian ‘six-hour clock’

The history of Fontecchio seems to enter quite brutally in the XV century, when, from May 1425, almost all of the castles of the district of Aquila are under siege by the unscrupulous mercenary condottiere Braccio da Montone, said ‘Fortebraccio’. Braccio da Montone was a ‘condottiero’. Condottieri were Italian captains in command of mercenary companies during the Middle Ages and of multinational armies during the early modern period. The term ‘condottiero’ in medieval Italian originally meant ‘contractor’, since the ‘condotta’ was the contract by which the condottieri put themselves in the service of a city or of a lord. The term, however, became a synonym of ‘military leader’ during the Renaissance and Reformation era. Some authors have described Napoleon Bonaparte (in virtue of his Italian origins) as the ‘last condottiero’. Turning back to Fortebraccio’s story: If for the remaining villages of the district a surrender was the natural epilogue of the invasion suffered, this did not happen for Fontecchio. Indeed, thanks to the deeds and the courage of its inhabitants, all boldly narrated in ‘De Bello Bracciano Aquilae gesto’ of the illustrious Girolamo Fonticulano Pico, the village managed to repulse the attack of the mercenary troops, also through the help of another noble condottiere from Fontecchio: Rosso Guelfaglione (member of the Benedetti family). In 1647, Fontecchio was attacked by Spanish troops. From the mighty fortified palace of the Corvi family, according to an ancient tradition, the marquise Corvi put an end to the long siege of the Spaniards, killing the leaders of the assailants with a sledgehammer. To commemorate the incident, every evening the ‘Torre dell’orologio’ (Clock Tower) beats 50 times, as many as the days of the siege, thus mixing history, legend, tradition, pride but above all breath of the distant times still imbued in the alleys and walls of Fontecchio. The clock, considered one of the oldest built in Italy, has only one hand and beats the ‘Italian’ hours. The ‘six-hour clock’ (in Italian: ‘sistema orario a sei ore’), was a system of date and time notation in Italy which preceded the modern 24-hour clock. In this system, the day starts at the evening Ave Maria at the end of twilight, approximately half an hour after sunset, and the following hours are divided into four cycles of six hours each. This practice in Italy dates to the Middle Ages. It originated from the monastic tradition of dividing the day according to prayer times. While common from the 1400s to the 1600s, it was replaced by the 12-hour clock first in the north, and in the south around the early 1800s. Many historic buildings in Italy feature old clock faces divided into six hours, which make four revolutions per day. A clock which counted only six hours had the advantage of being much simpler mechanically.


Tagliacozzo-L’Aquila: 50 km

Tagliacozzo-Roma: 80 km

Tagliacozzo-Pescara: 125 km

The village of Tagliacozzo (6 400 inhabitants) is located in the western part of the Marsica, not far from the border between the Abruzzo and Lazio regions. From here the trip to Rome is far shorter than the one to the eastern border of Abruzzo (the Adriatic Sea). Not far from the centre of the village are the ski paradise of Marsia and the residential area ‘Piccola Svizzera’ (Little Switzerland). The name of the village is said to derive from the phrase ‘collina tagliata’, which means ‘hill that is cut’. And indeed, Tagliacozzo seems to have been cut into mountain Civita, really an unbelievable spectacle! The precise date of Tagliacozzo’s founding is not known, as documents are available only from the 12th century onwards. In the late Middle Ages the village enjoyed a period of wealth, and again became a centre of importance during the 1860s. Today Tagliacozzo is a town often visited by tourists from Rome. Edward Lear wrote: ‘I have never seen anything more majestic than the entrance to Tagliacozzo: it is a steep ravine that seems to be made for art.’

View on Tagliacozzo

The Battle of Battaglia and the Beheading of Conradin (16)

Battle of Tagliacozzo

The importance of the Battaglia di Tagliacozzo (Battle of Tagliacozzo) for Italians is more or less equal to the importance of the Battle of Hastings in the history of England. This battle saw the collapse of the Swabian rule over southern Italy. The battle was fought on 23 August 1268 between the French troops of Charles of Anjou and the army of the duke of the Swabians, Conradin. The basic fact leading to the battle: the German emperors of the Hohenstaufen line, who had inherited the kingdom of Sicily from its Norman rulers in 1197, had continually attempted to consolidate their more long-standing claims to Northern Italy, an ambition which was vehemently opposed by many northern Italian states and by the Papacy. At the time of the battle, Conradin was only 16 years old. But not only did this young guy lay claim to the throne of Sicily, he was also King of Jerusalem from 1254 (!) to 1268. What you and I know very well, because we have learnt from history: on the battlefield things are not always as they seem to be. Conradin’s army dominated the initial phase of the battle. They overwhelmed Charles' first two divisions and put them to flight. A man wearing Charles' armour and who was accompanied by the Angevin banner was killed by Henry of Castile and the banner captured. The Hohenstaufen forces did not realize the man they had just killed was Henri de Cousances and not Charles himself however. Believing the battle was won, they then split up, some to pursue Charles' fleeing divisions, others to pillage the Angevin camp. At this point Charles sprung his trap; his hidden elite reserves entered the fight and decimated Conradin's forces. As soon as young Conradin realised that he had lost the battle, he fled to Rome where he attempted to board a ship to Sicily. Instead he was arrested and turned over to Charles, who had him imprisoned in Naples. There, on 29 October 1268, two months after the battle, Conradin was beheaded.


The small city of Sulmona is one of the prettiest of its size in the whole of Abruzzo. It is located in the Valle Peligna, a plain once occupied by a lake that disappeared in prehistoric times. In the ancient era, it was one of the most important cities of the Paeligni and is known for being the native town of the Roman poet Ovid, of whom there is a bronze statue, located on the town's main road and named after him. Sulmona boasts an impressive array of Roman ruins and churches, and a number of interesting museums. You will undoubtedly need a number of days to enjoy all of them. Sulmona acquired its importance and wealth partly as a result of its proximity to the Via Tiburtina.

Sulmona-Pescara: 70 km

Sulmona-Roma: 160 km

Sulmona-Napoli: 170 km



Ovidius: 'Sulmo mihi patria est'

The Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso (commonly known as ‘Ovid’) was a contemporary of the older Virgil and Horace, with whom he is often ranked as one of the three canonical poets of Latin literature. The imperial scholar Quintilian considered him the last of the Latin love elegists. Ovid’s works have been interpreted in various ways over the centuries, with attitudes that depended on the social, religious and literary contexts of different times. He became one of the best known and most loved Roman poets during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Some of the famous writers who were inspired by Ovid: Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca, Giovanni Boccaccio, William Shakespeare and Gabriele D’Annunzio. The city of Sulmona, where Ovid was born, has been twinned for years with the city of Constanta in Romania, where Ovid died in exile. Ovid was a court poet, loved and revered by Augustus and the Roman people for a long time, until the day when he suddenly lost the favours of the emperor who issued an edict with which he was ordered to leave Italy for Tomi. The reasons are still uncertain (the same Ovid mentions in an elegy that perhaps it was for a work not appreciated by the emperor or an ‘error’, an episode of which he was imprudently protagonist). The most important work of Ovid is ‘Metamorfosi’, composed of 15 books, which collects most of the myths of Greco-Roman tradition through a succession of intertwined stories. It is a work that has influenced much of Italian literature, from Dante to D'Annunzio. He was the poet preferred by young people and elegant Roman environments thanks to his youthful work made of stories and love poems, the ‘Amores’. The book that gave him most fame however was the rumoured and scandalous, for the time, ‘Ars Amatoria’, an erotic book with which he dispenses advice on courtship to men and women. While he was at Tomi he composed the ‘Tristia’, a melancholic work of exile from which the famous four words ‘Sulmo mihi patria est’, which have been on Sulmona’s civic coat of arms since the Middle Ages, were taken. The twin statue of Ovid present in Sulmona was erected In Constance and the Romanian city loves the poet so much as to dedicate to him the annual ‘International Festival of Art and Culture’. Also, the name ‘Ovidiu’ is the most common among Romanian males. The outrage of the centuries has left no tangible remains of Ovid at Sulmona, but the places so loved and praised in his choruses still retain the same names and ancient suggestion: the ‘Fonte d'Amore’, dear to the god Amores, where he visited his beloved Corinna, a sensual vestal, is still there, even if it no longer dispenses the aphrodisiac water of falling in love. The Temple of Ercole Curino, believed for centuries as his dwelling, is still known today as ‘La Villa di Ovidio’.

Ovidius  Sulmona
Confetti di Sulmona

Sulmona's Confetti: Gift to William and Kate

Sulmona's confetti, a typical sweet delicacy from one of Abruzzo's most beautiful towns, is renowned throughout Italy and beyond. There are various types, the most distinctive of which consist of bouquets, colorful flowers, daisies, or poppies. Moreover, each "confetto" (singular of "confetti," much like you would speak of a single "spaghetto") in a bouquet comes in different flavors, from chocolate to caramel, from apple to orange. There are also sculptures or different depictions of plants or anthropomorphic figures, custom-made for the customer, or confetti sculptures evoking popular fantasy characters from youth culture. The history of confetti is ancient; its modern production dates back to the 15th century, and it evolved into a product of artistic craftsmanship during the same era. In addition to almonds produced in the Peligna Valley and Abruzzo, almonds from Sicily are also used, harvested in the provinces of Syracuse, notably the famous Pizzuta di Avola almond, and Ragusa. According to legends, confetti was already being produced in the Peligna Valley during the Roman conquest (1st century BC). However, certain sources indicate that a small artisan workshop emerged in the 15th century near the Santa Chiara monastery, and even the nuns dared to venture into this art. In the 20th century, Sulmona's confetti experienced a period of significant economic development, with the construction of many factories (including some from the 19th century), the most famous of which is the Pelino factory. Colors Specific colors are used for confetti given as gifts on special occasions. White confetti is naturally given at weddings, pink for birth and the first wedding anniversary, light blue for baptism and first communion, red for graduations, and green for a bronze wedding anniversary. In the historical center of Sulmona, various confetti shops can be found, with the most well-known and oldest being the "Mario Pelino" shop, followed by "Di Carlo," "L'Unica" (1932), and "Panfilo Rapone." The almonds are coated with a syrup of white or colored sugar and rolled in copper basins until the sugar layer is complete. After drying with warm air, the water evaporates, leaving a uniform sugar coating on the almond's core. Sulmona's confetti are not prepared using flour and starch, and the uniqueness lies in the quality of the almond itself and in the outer coating, which is "polished" in the final phase. The treatment is like that of a true work of art, as a painter or sculptor would say... William & Kate At the wedding of the British heir to the throne, William, and Kate Middleton, the Pelino factory sent a special box of confetti as a wedding gift. Starting from the 1960s, with the rise of industrial production, the old factory in Introdacqua was closed in favor of a new building in a more strategic location. However, local policies managed to preserve the tradition, along with the descendants of Pelino, allowing the historic factory not only to remain operational but also to open a museum filled with objects and videos that tell an engaging history. Founded in 1988 and recognized as a national monument in 1992, this museum - a unique example among material culture museums - is housed on two floors of the beautiful Art Nouveau building of the Mario Pelino confetti factory. It illustrates and summarizes the history of local confectionery production through interesting and rare historical artifacts displayed in three exhibition spaces: administrative management instruments, old machinery, equipment and tools, a rich collection of gifts, quotations, diplomas, and recognitions. Overall, it's a tribute to the confectionery masters who, since the late Middle Ages, have brought the artisanal production that made Sulmona world-famous. A highlight of the museum is the suggestive reconstruction of an 18th-century workshop with machines used for the production and processing of sweets (copper pans), tools (a sieve, a wire cutting machine, a peeling machine, a polishing machine, several mills, mortars, multiple filters for sugar syrup), and various glass jars with the old ingredients that form the core or the covering of the candy. Info Address: Via Stazione Introdacqua 55, Sulmona. Contact:, tel 0864 210047 Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM and from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

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