The region is a diverse mix of mountains, green plains and sea and this mix explains why it has such a small population density at just 120 inhabitants per square kilometre. With one third of the region being protected national park, Abruzzo is often referred to as the lungs of Italy as it is the largest, unspoiled green space in Europe. Add to this the 133 kilometres of coastline and blue flag beaches and you can see why it quickly becoming popular with house buyers and holiday-makers alike.
It’s fair to say that the region has something for everyone, beaches and waterparks for sun-worshippers, stunning woodland and mountain walks for those looking for peace and quiet and ancient architecture and art for the historian in us all. And for the sporty ones there’s many great activities from white water rafting to skiing; in fact Abruzzo has Italy’s 5th largest ski resort with over 110 kms of piste at Roccaraso, with nearby Ovindoli and Campo Felice having another 60 kms, and the ski resort of Passo Lanciano has breath-taking sea views as you hurtle downhill.
Over the past few years Abruzzo has delighted tourists eager to see the real Italy, here medieval towns still host weekly markets with stalls groaning beneath the weight of field fresh fruit and vegetables where the local population go about their daily lives as they always have. Churches and castles are abundant and great respite from the summer sun with many a treasure inside.
The region has a plethora of great restaurants, everything from a budget pizzeria to fine dining, with the most popular being the menu fisso restaurants where you can get two courses of honest cooking for around ten euro. The wine won’t disappoint you either, the region's most famous is Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, one of the most widely exported DOC wines in Italy, and the local wines are delicious and such great value for money that you’ll need a designated driver perhaps?
Abruzzo is one of Italy’s youngest regions finally gaining independence from Molise in 1963. Nestling between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine mountains in the eastern part of central Italy, Abruzzo borders the regions of Molise to the South, Le Marche to the North and Lazio to the West.
Previously before coming to Abruzzo, Barry was a staff writer for Italy Magazine, the international number 1 magazine about all things Italian. Click the links to some of his articles that are specific to the Abruzzo region: