The sandy beaches, the hilly hinterland with plenty of opportunity for trekking, and hidden in the hills quiet little villages are some of the adventures that await you in Abruzzo. Furthest to the west in Abruzzo, the stern Apennine peaks dominate the landscape.
With three National Parks in the region you can experience nature in its purest form. A visit to Abruzzo is not only a trip through beautiful scenery but also a journey through history, from old fortified villages providing evidence of turbulent times in the past, to monasteries and churches built into the rock face and often built on top of old heathen temples. But when you are out in the superb countryside always remember that around the corner you may meet a lynx, a wolf or a bear…
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The high mountains of Abruzzo are a wonderful playground where you can blow off steam on a bike or on foot, by climbing the mountains, and watersports on the lakes and in the sea. You can climb the Apennine's highest peak 'Corno Grande' in the Gran Sasso National Park, and visit the castle of Rocca Calascio with the big towers. In Majella National Park you can visit the cave Grotta del Cavallone and the Brown Bear Museum, while the Abruzzo National Park allows for studying the abundant wildlife and the Lake Barrea.
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Chieti is an old town dating back to when Hannibal attacked the Romans on their own territory. Chieti sided with the Romans. Many buildings were erected during the Middle Ages including the cathedral as well as palaces and other churches which still dominate the historic centre.
L'Aquila is the capital of Abruzzi. It has a range of monuments including churches, palaces and castles from the Middle Ages as well as from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In addition it has a number of splendid fountains enhancing the various small squares in the town.
Pescara is often considered a more modern town in spite of its many older sights. Teramo blossomed during the great Roman Empire when theatres, amphitheatres and other great buildings were constructed. The town also has a many medieval monuments. During a stay in Abruzzi a visit to the town is definitely recommended.
Abruzzi was conquered by the Romans in 400 BC. Many traces of the Romans are still visible today in the archaeological area around Avezzano, including the ruins of the amphitheatre in Amiternum, the remains of the town of Alba Fucens, which is still being excavated, and in Chieti.
Later Abruzzi was incorporated into the Lombard duchy of Spoleto. The Lombards' rule ceased when the Norman kingdom of Sicily consolidated its powers in this part of Italy. Following this period, the kingdom of Naples ruled Abruzzi for more than 600 years.
The northern stretch of coastline in the region is flatter than the southern one, and has more long and wide sandy beaches. As a contrast the southern coastline is much rockier, but also here you will find nuce sandy beaches as far down as the village Vasto.
It is also possible to swim in some of the region's many lakes and rivers.
One of Abruzzi's greatest assets is its immensely beautiful and unspoiled natural habitat.
Huge wooded areas, rivers and lakes are a joy to behold when visiting Abruzzi. This richness in nature sustains a fauna unsurpassed in most other places in Europe. Bears, lynx, wolves and deer wander freely about the forests.
Abruzzi is an ideal destination for those who want to stay in scenic and natural surroundings and go hiking or climbing, or just enjoy the beauty of nature around them.
In Abruzzi seafood and food from the forest and mountains are popular. The most delicious saffron is also grown here.
Fish and seafood: Sardines and anchovies are often eaten fried, but fish soups are also a delicacy in Abruzzi. Typically they are made of various kinds of mussels, squid, lobsters and gurnard.
Meat, game and poultry: Lamb that has grazed on the green slopes of the mountains is especially popular in Abruzzi. Goats and pigs are also among local favourites, particularly suckling pigs. Many places serve game dishes such as hare and venison.
Sausages and ham: The best sausages in Abruzzi are cured Lonza Aquilana made of pork loin, Salame di Pecora made of sheep and Mortadella di Campotosto made of pork.
Cheese: Pecorino is the most widely available cheese in Abruzzi. A certain amount of goat's cheese is also made and this is mostly eaten fresh.
Sweets: Ferratelle, Neole and Pizzelle are common names for a type of cake eaten everywhere in the region. Typically the cake is rectangular and often tastes of aniseed. And don't miss out on the perfect little Confetti, that are sugar coates almonds originally from the village of Sulmona.
Wine and vineyards: The region's most commonly grown black grape is Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. It is used for ordinary red wines as well as for the big special ones. Trebbiano d'Abruzzo is the white grape of the region and can create exciting wines. Masciarelli, Cataldi, Valentini, Valle Reale and La Valentina are some of the best vineyards in the region.