Abruzzo

The region is essentially hilly and mountainous and stretches from the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea. It embraces the highest and hugest massifs of Central Italy, with landscapes of rugged and intact beauty, and peaks which often are higher than 2,000 meters. In this part of the Adriatic, the long sandy expanses are replaced by steep and rocky coasts. There are wide amphitheaters near L’Aquila and Sulmona and in the dried hydrographic basin of the Fucino. Geological karst formations with grottoes and “Doline” are present. The National Park of Abruzzo, in the western part of the region, harbors numerous animal species, such as the Marsican Bear and the Gray Wolf.


Cities: L’Aquila is the regional capital. Pescara, Chieti and Teramo are other important cities.


Art:  The region is rich in remains of the Roman civilization, which can be found at Minternum near L’Aquila, Alba Fucens, Iuvanum a Montenerodomo. Art saw its most creative period during the Middle Ages. Noteworthy cathedrals and abbeys, with a patent local imprint, were erected between the eleventh and the nineteenth century. The most important example is Santa Maria di Collemaggio, in L’Aquila. Sculpture attained a special development. An important and typical goldsmith’s craft, which produced splendid objects, dates back to the sixteenth century. Precious Renaissance examples can be found in Sulmona and L’Aquila.


Museums:  In L’Aquila, one can visit the National Museum of Abruzzi, with sections for paleontology, archaeology and medieval art (painting, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, lace, sacred ornaments, glass windows). Pescara has the Museum of the Folk Traditions of Abruzzo, which holds a didactic archaeologic exhibition. The Pinacoteca Civica in Teramo displays beautiful majolicas. Chieti’s National Museum of Antiquities houses important relics of the ancient Italics, Greeks and Romans, including some remarkable pieces such as the Warrior of Capestrano, of the fourth century B.C.


To Be Visited:  Sulmona, Roccaraso and Scanno: the Highland of the Five Miles and the National Park.