Guide to Property in Abruzzo

Abruzzo is in the centre of the Italian peninsula, where the north of Italy meets the south.  Real estate prices in Abruzzo can be up to 50% lower than Tuscany for similar properties and there are many low priced farmhouses in need of renovation on offer.  Abruzzo has good accessibility, and offers skiing, beaches and an outstanding natural environment, so it is becoming ever more attractive to those searching for a second home in Italy.

It is one of the most beautiful Italian regions with the Apennine Mountains in the west sweeping down to long sandy beaches of the Adriatic coast in the east. 33% of the region's entire area has been made into a national nature reserve, the highest percentage of any region in Europe. This unspoilt landscape with its many species of animals is the ideal place to explore.

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Overview of Abruzzo

Gran Sasso Abruzzo

From the high mountains in the west: Gran Sasso, Monti della Laga and the Majella the terrain descends to the foot hills then towards the Adriatic coast, an area rich in history, traditions and art. There are narrow valleys, rich in olive groves and vineyards. The scenic Valle dell'Aterno is dotted with charming villages, monasteries and castles.

Brown Bear AbruzzoThere are numerous nature reserves such as the National Park of Abruzzo, the Park of Gran Sasso,  Monti della Laga and Majella, which provide protection for plant and animal species typical of the area, such as the golden eagle, the grey wolf and the Marsican brown bear.

The Abruzzo coastline is 130 km long and can be divided into two sections: long and sandy beaches in the north, while the sand and pebble beaches prevail in the south. There are resorts all along the coast such as Alba Adriatica, Giulianova, Roseto degli Abruzzo, Pineto and Silvi, all worth visiting.

The famous Trabocchi coastline between Ortona and San Salvo is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage of the World Site. Here you can discover the unique remains of an almost long-gone fishing era, the Trabocchi, peculiar wooden lake dwellings.

Art and Culture of Abruzzo

Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio, L'Aquila, Abruzzo, Italy Photo by Stemonitis

Artistically L'Aquila, located on the slopes of the Gran Sasso, has an inestimable artistic heritage: from the magnificent Basilica of San Bernardino, the sixteenth-century castle, the Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio and the fountain of 99 cinnamons, embellished with stone masks. L'Aquila is home to the Archaeological and Religious Art Museum. There are also the remains of the ancient Roman city of Alba Fucens. 

Pescara preserves the memory of the poet Gabriele D'Annunzio.

Chieti has a wonderful 11th century cathedral and the National Archaeological Museum, rich in prehistoric finds and evidence of Greek and Roman civilization.

Teramo has a medieval cathedral and the remains of the Roman Theater and amphitheater.

Villages still maintain their traditions through an amazing number of festivals throughout the year and by local craftsmanship.

Towns in Abruzzo

L'Aquila with its 70,000 residents is situated on the southwest of the Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso at 721m above sea level. A university town (founded in 1458), it is a lively and dynamic place with rich cultural life. It often plays host to jazz concerts and theatre performances. The squares (Piazza) are adorned with fountains, churches or period mansions.  Fashionable boutiques and nice restaurants combine to make L'Aquila an inviting town with charm. Enjoy the dolce vita in the town's many elegant caf├ęs and cappuccino bars.

Pescara is on the coast and has Abruzzo's airport. The oldest part of the city lies on the southern bank of the river and is full of restaurants and fashionable bars which get lively at night. You can also visit two interesting museums: the Abruzzo Museum and Gabriele D’Annunzio’s House Museum.

One of the most characteristic places is Scanno a village of the Sangro valley. Located    near a lovely lake, the town has narrow streets, baroque portals and ancient palaces. 

Sulmona is rich in history and traditions and was home of the poet Ovid. 

Sports and Leisure in Abruzzo

Sailing in Abruzzo

The Abruzzo region offers an extraordinary variety of activities. 

Rock Climbing

The Maiella (2793 m) and Gran-Sasso massif ranges (2912 m) offer the perfect environment for mountaineers, rock climbers and mountain bikers

Skiing 

Sixteen different sites are in operation in the Abruzzo region. The most important of these are Roccaraso and Campo Felice.  Cross-country skiers will find a large number of trails in the national parks such as Macchiarvana and Gran Sasso National Parks. 

Water Sports

A modern yacht harbour in Pescara where sailing competitions are held during the summer months.

Pescara is also a well-known venue for national and international beach volleyball tournaments.

There are several beach resorts with good facilities all along the coast. Montesilvano, Pescara, Tortoreto, Giulianova, Silvi Marina, Roseto and, further south, Ortona, Vasto and San Salvo.

You can enjoy all the typical sports associated with thesea  and white water rafting in the national  parks. You can also discover the rivers  such as Aterno, Tirino, Pescara and Sangro by canoe.  

Golf

Thanks to the excellent climate, a round of golf is possible all year round. Cerreto di Miglianico Golf Club enjoys views of the snow-covered Maiella peaks. The 18-hole course is located in the picturesque Val di Foro and is suitable for all handicaps.

The Circolo golf d'Abruzzo close to Chieti is another excellent course. The course boasts a fantastic location situated between small hills and lakes and is framed by the Gran Sasso and the Maiella ranges.

Food and Wines of Abruzzo

Bruschetta in Abruzzo

Abruzzo has a rich gastronomic tradition, with specific dishes linked to individual provinces. Found everywhere in Abruzzo is homemade pasta called maccheroni alla chitarra.  

Bruschetta is spicy bread with tomato and hundreds of different toppings to choose  from.

Typical of Teramo are scrippelle, thin sheets of pasta in broth. On the coast the cuisine  is fish based, often seasoned with   tomato.

A typical recipe of Chieti is the scapece,  fried fish preserved in vinegar and guazzetto a fish soup.

Menus of lamb, goat, and sheep are abundant everywhere in Abruzzo, especially in the  mountains.

Desserts are often based on almonds and honey, such as cicerchiata, small balls of fried dough covered with honey, and  bocconotto which is typical of Chieti

The typical Abruzzese meal is accompanied by a selection of the best regional DOC wines: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Sangiovese and Trebbiano d'Abruzzo. There are many organic wine producers, especially in the Chieti and Teramo provinces.

History of Abruzzo

Geographically, Abruzzo is a region of central Italy, but has always been linked to the history of Southern Italy. The mountainous terrain hindered communications, and was the cause of the isolation the region throughout its history. In ancient times Abruzzo was inhabited by several peoples, until conquered by the Romans in the third century BC.

After the decline of the Roman Empire, the region broke up into small feudal states and during the early Middle Ages Abruzzo was under the control of the Lombard Duke of Spoleto. In the 12th century the Normans conquered the territory, which became part of the Kingdom of Sicily and under Frederick II of Hohenstaufen Sulmona was the regional capital. In 1272 Charles I of Anjou divided the territory of Abruzzo into two provinces, with a common governor residing in Chieti.

In the 18th century Abruzzo became part of the Bourbon kingdom of Naples. In 1860 the region became part of united Italy. In 1948 Abruzzi was joined with Molise, to the south, to form the region of Abruzzi and Molise; but in 1963 the two regions were separated again.

Geography of Abruzzo

Surface: 4,168 square miles
Coastline : over 150 Km<
Population : 1.3 million
Bordered by : Marche to the North, Lazio to the West, Molise to the South and the Adriatic Sea to the East

Provinces  
L'Aquila (regional capital), Pescara, Teramo, Chieti.

Getting To Abruzzo

Airports
Pescara, Rome (117 km from L'Aquila)

Road
Motorways : A14 coast road, E80, A24

Climate
Abruzzo during spring and the early summer is a wonderful show of colour in the form of the spring bloom ("Fioritura"). The daytime temperatures at this time of year are a comfortable 20°C. It's quite likely that the peaks of the Apennines will still be covered in snow forming a wonderfully picturesque background. Temperatures at the coast rise to approx. 24°C during high summer and 20°C inland. Temperatures can rise to over 30°C on some days. You will usually find a welcome fresh breeze in the inland areas and the cooler mountain regions are within a short distance. The autumn also offers similar temperatures in which to enjoy the wonderful colours of the season. From November onwards, you should expect more rain. You will find favourable conditions for cross-country skiing during the winter.

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