10 Interesting Facts about Abruzzo
Abruzzo is one of the true hidden gems of Italy for tourists. Full of glorious countryside and relatively untouched by the modern world, our holiday villas in Abruzzo are perfect for those looking to discover a new side to Italy. Here are ten interesting facts that will cement your desire to visit this beautiful region:
1. Abruzzo covers over 10,700 square kilometres.
The southern region of Abruzzo is rectangular, with borders alongside Le Marche, Lazio, and Umbria, as well as the Adriatic Sea.
2. Abruzzo is one of the least populated regions of Italy.
With a population of around 1.3 million people, it is the seventh least-populated region in the country.
3. People have lived in Abruzzo since the Neolithic Period.
The earliest remains of civilisation in the area date back to around 6,500BC. The name appears to have come from “Aprutium”, a title given to the region by the Praetutii tribe of Central Italy. In the Middle Ages, their capital city was Interamnia, which is now the city of Teramo.
4. 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, making Abruzzo the perfect destination for nature lovers.
5. Abruzzo is predominantly mountainous.
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.
Some of these locations date back to the Medieval Ages. However, the region has also been shaped by Roman and Byzantine civilisations, and it was also a key part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the last ruling kingdom before Italian unification in the 19th century.
7. Abruzzo hosts a series of festivals and pageant activities all year round.
These festivals are rooted in culture and traditions and 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.
Certain areas of Abruzzo speak slightly differently, thanks to the history of the region. This is roughly split into Southern Italy’s Neapolitan dialect and the Romanesco dialect of Central Italy. Abruzzo variants include 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. Abruzzo is renowned for its fresh, local food and produce.
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. The region also boasts huge amounts of olive and table grape farming; however, Abruzzo produces less wines than other regions.
10. Abruzzo is one of Italy’s most successful regions.
Abruzzo was once a poor region. However, in recent years it has been one of the fastest growing economic regions of Italy and is widely regarded as Southern Italy’s most prosperous region! This is down to a range of factors, including a thriving education sector with three universities, and a growing tourism industry thanks to its bountiful natural lands.
We hope that this list will inspire you to discover this picturesque Italian region on your next break! If you are interested in learning more, why not check out our blog on six must-see attractions in Abruzzo?