Three Hidden Gems in Abruzzo’s National Parks
Located on the east coast of central Italy, a region stretching from the Adriatic Sea to the heart of the Apennines, the vast territory of Abruzzo is quickly becoming one of Italy’s most popular holiday destinations. While the major city of Pescara, with its ten miles of beaches, attracts a large number of tourists every year more and more people are flocking to this region for its outstanding natural beauty.
There are three national parks in Abruzzo, covering over half of the entire region and making it one of the greenest areas in Europe. The most notable of these parks is the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo or the National Park of Abruzzo. Covering over 50,000 hectares of natural land primarily across Abruzzo but also stretching into Lazio and Molise, this area around the Apennines is a beautiful combination of indigenous wildlife, scenic mountains and traditional towns. Add to that the extraordinary Gran Sasso and Maiella National Parks to explore, and it’s no wonder that our luxury villas in Abruzzo are so popular right now!
If you’re looking for ‘Reasons Why You Should Choose Abruzzo for Your Italian Holiday‘, then consider these three locations as excellent examples of the many secrets hidden in this understated region.
Gole di Fara San Martino
The Gorges of Fara San Martino, located in the province of Chieti in the Majella National Park, are a grand monument to the power of the local landscape and the villages that lived and continue to live around it. Starting from the Fara San Martino, a small town known nationally for its pasta making traditions, this renowned trail that is 14km from bottom to top takes you past the remarkable remains of a Benedictine abbey that is supposedly over 200 years old.
This mix of an old civilisation, natural paths carved over thousands of years and excellent Italian cuisine makes this lesser-known location a must-see for anyone visiting the area.
Serra Rocca Chiarano
While not a single notable monument, this area of serene natural beauty is definitely something to see with your own eyes. Located outside the town of Scanno, just east of the National Park of Abruzzo, this remarkable mountain range is a walker’s paradise, allowing you to either walk to the top of the ranges or marvel at the rock formations from below.
Another incredible example of Abruzzo’s natural landscapes, this is a great place to visit – just bring your walking boots and plenty of water!
For those less inclined to spend their days walking Abruzzo’s vast swathes of natural land, there are plenty of quiet towns inside these beautiful parks that are full of unique quirks. A perfect example of this is Castelli, a small town in the mountains on the east side of Gran Sasso National Park with a big history.
Supposedly starting as early as the middle ages, when the local townspeople were taught how to pull clay from the rich mountains around them, the town of Castelli has developed a fruitful history of producing a unique style of ceramic art and pottery. The art form – appropriately named Castelli – is noticeable for its bright colours and stunning whites and was hugely popular not just in Italy but across affluent Europe during the 16th Century. Eventually, Castelli ceramics became known as a preserver of history, with many of them telling religious or sometimes political stories of their time, and some excellent examples of Castelli can even be found in the finest galleries of the world, such as the Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Castelli is hugely proud of its traditional ceramic techniques, and if you visit the town today you will find many modern Castelli’s that you can take home as beautiful and authentic souvenirs!
There is indeed a wealth of treasures to explore in Abruzzo, and many of these are off the beaten track. So, if you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience in the region why not move away from the cities and the beaches, and discover what secrets lie in Abruzzo’s incredible natural landscapes.