6 Must-See Attractions in Abruzzo
Located on the east coast of Central Italy, the region of Abruzzo is one that is becoming increasingly popular with tourists. With the beautiful Adriatic Coast and vast natural parks, this part of Italy is perfect for people who are looking to escape the bustle of the modern world and explore a more rural side to Italian life. Abruzzo is known to be wild and untamed, mostly untouched by the modern world and as you explore the region, you will discover all this picture-postcard destination has to offer. Here are a handful of our top pick of attractions in the area!
The largest natural lake in Abruzzo, Lago di Scanno is a tranquil and picturesque destination just north of the Abruzzo National Park. The drive on the windy road through the rocky mountains to get there offers panoramic views of the breath-taking scenery of the region. The emerald green lake and fresh mountain air is perfect for relaxation, but, if you’re feeling more adventurous, take a dip in the clear waters or hire a paddle boat or bike to explore the lake further.
Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park
The national park was established in 1991 and is one of the largest protected areas in Europe. The park encompasses a collection of mountains, with the tallest peak, the Corno Grande, reaching 2,912 meters above sea level. This location can be enjoyed and explored by either horseback, bike or on foot, and with over 150 miles of trails, there is a route to suit all abilities and time frames. Not only does the National Park have incredible scenery, the wildlife in the park is abundant, with rare animals such as wolves, cats, boars and bears residing there. It is also recognised world-wide for the diversity of plants! If you want to learn more, read our article on the wildlife of Abruzzo.
The 13th century fortress is one of the oldest fort remains in Italy and it is also one of the highest in the Apennines, at 1,460 meters above sea level. The structure was originally built as a watchtower, but was later developed to shelter military personnel. The positioning of the fort, perched high on a hilltop, means the walk to see it can be quite a challenge, but the reward of the spectacular views from the top make it more than worth your while.
These ruins of an old Italic town are a true hidden gem, surrounded by the Monte Velino and Majella mountain ranges and luscious green hills. Here, you will find some stunning examples of Roman and medieval ruins including an ancient amphitheatre which is still used today for concerts, theatre and other events. In the local area, there is also a market place, thermal spas, castle ruins and a temple, making this a great location for a day trip.
Santa Maria di Collemaggio
One of the finer examples of Romanesque architecture in Abruzzo can be found in the regional capital, L’Aquila. The distinctive, geometric red/pink and white façade of the Santa Maria di Collemaggio contrasts beautifully against the greenery surrounding it. Construction of the church began in 1287 and it has been an important religious site throughout history, with the burial chamber of Pope Celestine V found inside. The structure is unique and distinguishable and if you are in the area, be sure to take advantage of a tour of the building.
The Abruzzo Coast
Abruzzo is a region in Italy that really has it all when it comes to landscapes; a dominating mountain range, mirror-like lakes and a breath-taking stretch of coastline. The Adriatic coast has miles upon miles of golden stretches of sandy beaches and bays. Along the shoreline are numerous historical villages and towns, perfect for evening meals, shopping and exploration.
Luxury villas in Abruzzo are a perfect way to discover this region. With its laid-back, traditional feel and plenty of untouched lands to explore, it may just be the perfect place to unwind on your Italian break. What are your favourite locations in Abruzzo? Let us know via our social media channels!