10 interesting facts about Abruzzo
Abruzzo is one of the hidden gems of Italy. Full of glorious countryside and untouched by the modern world, the region can offer you a holiday of a lifetime. Here are ten interesting facts about the region that will cement your desire to visit this beautiful region:
1. The region of Abruzzo is rectangular, covering 10,794 km2 and bordering the regions of Marche, Lazio, and Umbria, as well as the Adriatic Sea. Abruzzo is one of the least populated regions of Italy, with a population of 1.3 million people.
2. The first settlers in Abruzzo belonged to an Italian tribe named the Picenians; communities were formed based on skills and way of life, such as agriculture and fishing. There are now four provinces in Abruzzo: Pescara, Chieti, Teramo and L’Aquila.
3. The region boasts huge amounts of olive and table grape farming; however, Abruzzo produces less wines than other regions.
4. The land and climate is perfect for a series of flora and fauna, making this the best place for nature lovers. Abruzzo has three national parks with the most renowned being the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo. Founded in 1922, the park is home to a variety of plants and animals. Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo is the most important national park in the whole of the country, with a series of animals including the brown bear, wolves, eagles and large cats finding refuge in the park. The park has also been developed to be ideal for camping and recreational activities.
5. The three main rivers, the Aterno-Pescara, the Sangro and the Vomano, flow down from the mountains, carving deep gorges into the land, and straight into the Adriatic Sea. Because the mountains are close to the Tyrrhenian Sea, the climate endures heavy rain and snowfall, as well as low temperatures, making for a great skiing experience.
6. Abruzzo is steeped in history, with picturesque castles and small chapels dotted around the countryside. The villages maintain their medieval feel, and you can explore some of the fortresses built to protect the civilians.
7. Abruzzo comes alive with a series of festivals and pageant activities all year round. These festivals are rooted in culture and traditions, that make for an unforgettable Italian experience. Festivals include the medieval pageant festival and horse race in Lanciano in September, as well as the more unusual snake handlers’ procession, where live snakes are carried through the town of Cocullo, along with a statue of St. Dominic in May.
8. There are numerous regional dialects within Abruzzo, including the Sabine dialect used in parts of L’Aquila, the Abruzzo Adriatic dialect in the province of Pescara, Chieti and Teramo, as well as the western dialect in the province of L’Aquila.
9. Due to the diversity of Abruzzo’s land and climate the variety and richness of the food in Abruzzo is one of the best on offer in Italy. The organisation of Confescercenti found in a survey of foreign tourists that Abruzzo was the best Italian region to eat in.
10. There are three universities within the region:
University of G. d’Annuzio of Chieti and Pescara
University of Teramo
University of L’Aquila
Whilst Harvard University base a summer course of Italian language and culture programme in Vasto, a town on the southern coast.
If you are wanting a truly authentic Italian experience you should look at our Abruzzo villas, so you can experience what this magical region has to offer.
Image:A Passerini, available under creative commons.