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Abruzzo is situated in a mostly mountainous territory. Its border goes from the heart of the Apennines to the Adriatic sea, through an area totally immersed in the nature. This region is great for those who love high mountains and its sports. Among the rock walls there are resorts equipped for skiing and winter sports, like Pescasseroli, Rivisondoli and Roccaraso. Passing through this area you can admire the rich history of traditions and artistic heritage that never ceases to surprise visitors.
There are numerous nature reserves such as the National Park of Abruzzo, the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga and the Majella, which house and protect species such as the golden eagle, the wolf and the bear Marsicano. The Abruzzo coastline is characterized by long and sandy beaches in the north, while to the south prevail pebble beaches. Inside the region we find many castle, that constitutes different paths to visit in the greenest region of Italy. The provinces are: L’Aquila (regional capital), Pescara, Teramo, Chieti.
Things To See
L’Aquila is the city rush, situated on the slopes of Gran Sasso, with its rich as artistic heritage: from the magnificent Basilica of San Bernardino to the sixteenth century castle, the Basilica of Santa Maria of Collemaggio to the fountain of 99 spouts, enhanced by many masks in stone.
The city of “the Celestine Pardon” offers endless routes of history, art and faith. Unfortunately, its art treasures have suffered much damage due to the April 2009 earthquake. In the city you can still see the history of Abruzzo, from the famous Castle of Celano, now houses the Archaeological Museum and the Sacred Art, to the remains of the ancient Roman city of Alba Fucens. Pescara stands out in the Adriatic coast: it is an important tourist center and moreover the city preserves the memory of the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio. The coastal resorts are many and various for characteristics: Tortoreto, Giulianova, Silvi Marina, Roseto and, going down to the south, Ortona, Vasto and San Salvo. Close to the coast is Chieti which has a wonderful eleventh-century cathedral. Absolutely to see is the National Archaeological Museum, rich in prehistoric finds and proof of Greek and Roman civilizations.
Another important town is Teramo, with its medieval cathedral and the remains of the theater and of the amphitheater of the Roman era. Scanno is a lovely village, with its narrow alleys, baroque gateways and old buildings located near a lake. Rich in history and traditions is Sulmona, birthplace of the poet Ovid that safeguard precious artistic evidence as well as the famous Hermitage of Celestine V.
What to Do
The Abruzzo landscape offers different types of holidays, all exciting and full of surprises. Roccaraso, Rivisondoli, Pescasseroli and Campo Imperatore welcome visitors with modern equipment and a large number of slopes to skiers, snowboarders, snow rafting, while the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise offer a great landscape to see. There are many sports to practice in contact with nature: walking, hiking, mountain biking or trekking routes in protected areas or sites of special natural value as the stunning gorges of Sagittarius, the Zompo the waterfalls stone, or lakes Penne and Serranello, where you can also spot the rarest species of birds. In the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga you can walk a horsepath for hundreds of kilometers through marvelous natural surroundings of unique value. In the Adriatic side it is possible to practice aquatic sports in extensively equipped and modern facilities.
During evenings, you can find party and a lot of fun in discos, clubs and restaurants in the various sea resorts, in the coastline, that are very well equipped.. Home of a lake now drained, old territory of the Roman Empire, there are the ruins of Alba Fucens, Roman cities at the foot of Mount Velino, and a few kilometers from Avezzano the ruins of ancient Roman domus and native necropolis. In pristine environments there are some religious relics. One of the most important is Hermitage of Celestine V, set in a rocky wall, or the Romanesque-Gothic church of Santa Maria di Propezzano in the Vomano valley or even the church of Santa Maria in Valle in Porclaneta municipality of Magliano de ‘Marsi (AQ). Finally, the events of the beautiful region are inspiration for lovers of village festivals like the “Perdonanza” in L’Aquila, the feast of Serpari of St. Dominic in Cocullo, the Rivisondoli Living Nativity, on September Lancianese and the many fairs in the small villages.
What to Taste
Abruzzo has traditions linked to each province. Sovereigns on the table are the “maccherroni alla chitarra”, homemade pasta cut with a frame with steel wires and the “scrippelle del Teramano” that are thin sheets of pasta in broth. In the Adriatic side are very popular dishes made of fish, usually served with tomato to enhance the taste of the “poor fish” Among the main courses, a typical recipe of Chieti it is “scapece”, fried fish preserved in vinegar. The same is the guazzetto or “fish soup” which is mainly consumed in the coastline and a little bit modified in the areas of Teramo.
However, for those who love meat, various and rich menus of lamb, kid, mutton. Cured meats, such as ham, loin and ventricina, are the highlight of the mountain areas. The typical meal in Abruzzo is accompanied by a selection of the best regional DOC and IGT wines. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Sangiovese and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo. There are many organic wine production especially in Chieti and Teramo. Among the most appreciated desserts we can find torroni, very known the ones od L’Aquila, the confetti of Sulmona, and the cicerchiata, that consists of small balls of fried dough covered in honey, but also mostaccioli and the renowned bocconotto, typical of the Chieti area.
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