The Abruzzo (Abruzzo in Italian) is known as the 'Green Region of Europe'. Not surprising when you know that they are home to no fewer than 3 national parks, old forests, high mountains and hilly landscapes. But the Abruzzo also offers beautiful beaches along the Adriatic coast, while inland you will find towns with an ancient history and small villages. In short, whether for a few days or for a longer stay, in the summer or winter, for action or relaxation: this region has a lot to offer everyone.
You will discover in this article what the most special sights of the Abruzzo are.
Table of contents
- Where are the Abruzzos?
- 1. Pescara
- 2. Costa dei Trabocchi
- 3. Eremo S. Bartolomeo in Legio
- 4. Sulmona
- 5. Scanno and the Lake
- 6. National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise
- 7. Alba Fucens
- 8. Caves of Stiffe
- 9. L'Aquila
- 10. National Park of the Gran Sasso e dei Monti della Laga
- 11. Roseto degli Abruzzi
- Would you like to discover the most beautiful places in Abruzzo for yourself?
- Your most beautiful places in Abruzzo?
Where are the Abruzzos?
The Abruzzo (Abruzzo) is a region just south of central Italy. The region is sandwiched between Le Marche and Molise and exactly on the other side of Lazio, where Rome is located.
To help you discover the Abruzzo for yourself, we have therefore put together a list of 11 places that should not be missed during your trip.
Pescara is a large port city and above all a well-known seaside resort. With its 10 kilometers of well-equipped beaches, you can always find a nice spot by the water.
Pescara Vecchia is the oldest part of the city, where once stood the only bridge connecting the city to Castellammare. Now old houses and modern buildings alternate and there is a lot to do, especially in the evening.
Just like on the Piazza della Rinascita on the other side of the river Pescara, by the way, where you will also find all kinds of bars, clubs and restaurants.
And don't miss the Ponte del Mare: the largest bicycle and pedestrian bridge in Italy and one of the largest in Europe.
2. Costa dei Trabocchi
What you absolutely have to see with your own eyes in Abruzzo is the famous Costa dei Trabocchi (Trabocchi Coast) south of Pescara.
If you follow the winding coastal road from Francavilla al Mare to San Salvo, you have a wonderful view of jagged coves and beautiful pebble and sandy beaches.
You pass the nature reserve Punta Aderci and beautiful places such as Ortona, Fossacesia and San Vito Chietino. But the most spectacular is the twenty characteristic ones overflow that you see standing in the sea.
Fishermen once used these wooden structures on stilts to fish with the nets attached to long arms without sailing out.
Today, some of the overflow converted into a restaurant. A good reason to stop along the way, see them up close and nice to eat!
3. Eremo S. Bartolomeo in Legio
Looking for the perfect place to recover from the chaos and hectic of everyday life? Or just want to go for a long walk?
Then the Hermitage of San Bartolomeo in Legio in the woods of Majella near Roccamorice is the place to go.
The road to this hermitage is literally carved into the spur of a rock some 700 meters above sea level.
If you don't forget to turn off your mobile phone, you can quietly look out over the untouched nature in this special place and immerse yourself in the surrounding silence.
Sulmona is without a doubt one of the most beautiful towns you can find in Abruzzo. The city was founded in Roman times, around the 1st century BC and has still preserved its old Roman city plan.
By the way, if you walk around the walls, gates, buildings and churches in the historic center, you will also understand why the city is nicknamed 'The Siena of Abruzzo'.
In Piazza Garibaldi or Piazza Maggiore is the medieval aqueduct and the Fontana del Vecchio, the oldest fountain in the city.
Sulmona has also been known since the 15th century for the production of candied almonds. So basically you can't visit the city without buying at least one bag of it.
5. Scanno and the Lake
As Sulmona is the 'Siena of Abruzzo', Scanno is 'the pearl of Abruzzo'.
It is a small village in the Sagittario Valley, full of alleys and streets where you will find all kinds of craft workshops and small shops selling lace and goldsmithing.
This is where the 'Presentosa' is made, a typical golden piece of jewelry that the women of Abruzzo wear on holidays.
At the foot of the town is Lake Scanno, which was created by a landslide. With a little good will and from the right place you can discover a heart shape in it.
And where better to enjoy the traditional Pan dell'Orso pie than on the shores of Lake Scanno?
6. National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise
This park is one of the oldest nature reserves in Italy and forms the heart of the Abruzzese Apennines.
It is known for the Apennine wolf, chamois and brown bear and the rare endemic plants that you will find there.
The towns in the park offer state-of-the-art skiing facilities in the winter, while in the summer you can enjoy hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking.
Near the towns of Lecce nei Marsi, Oppo, Pecasseroli and Villavallelonga are the 500-year-old beech forests that have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 2017.
And no park without water: the reserve contains Lake Barrea, which was artificially created in the 50s. In the summer you can swim and sunbathe on the beach 'La Gravara'.
Tip: for more information, go to the site of the park.
7. Alba Fucens
Alba Fucens is an archaeological site. And not just any one: you can see the almost perfectly preserved remains of an ancient Roman colony, founded in 304 BC.
Within the 3 km long city wall you will find the amphitheater, the forum, the mosaic-decorated baths and other elements typical of the cities of the time.
If you can, try staying until sunset: Alba Fucens is worth a visit for the daytime views alone, but the colors of the sun setting over Mount Velino and the ruins are breathtakingly beautiful.
Tip: You can visit Alba Fucens every day from sunrise to sunset. Entrance is free. More information can be found at the site of Alba Fucens.
8. Caves of Stiffe
They are hidden near the town of San Demetrio ne'Vestini: the caves of Stiffe. Formed about 600.000 years ago, they now form an underground world of stalactites, stalagmites, lakes, streams, and rocks.
You can discover it for yourself by following a path of just under a kilometer through this 'underworld'. But dress warmly: the temperature in the caves is quite low at around 10º C, even on a hot summer day!
Information: from April 1 to October 15 you can visit the caves from 10 am to 18 pm. The rest of the year they close an hour earlier. The visit is always led by a guide and lasts about an hour.
The tickets cost €12 for adults. Children between 6 and 14 years old, persons older than 70 and students pay € 10. For children under 6 years and disabled people with an accompanying person, admission is free.
More information about the caves can be found at the website.
L'Aquila is the capital of Abruzzo. According to a legend, it arose from the union of 99 castles and it is said that therefore there are 99 squares, 99 churches and 99 fountains in the city.
The city was severely affected by the 2009 earthquake and that is can still be seen today.
The destroyed historic center is partially uninhabitable and an unreal silence reigns in the 'red zone'. But that does not mean that there is nothing to see: the center, a maze of alleys and steep streets enclosed by city walls, and the monuments are slowly being restored.
The heart of the city is the Piazza Duomo with the Cathedral dei Santi Giorgio e Massimo and the Church of Santa Maria del Suffragio.
Outside the city walls, don't miss the Fontana delle 99 Cannelle. And don't forget the Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio with the first Holy Door. This became the symbol of the quakes when the roof collapsed on live television, but has recently been reopened to the public.
10. National Park of the Gran Sasso e dei Monti della Laga
The Gran Sasso e dei Monti Laga National Park is the third largest National Park in Italy.
It includes high mountain peaks such as the Corno Grande and the plateau of Camp Emperor, also called 'Little Tiber', which is one of the most famous ski areas.
You will find towns and villages that are definitely worth a visit. Santo Stefano di Sessanio for example, a medieval fortified town that until recently was virtually uninhabited.
Now you can stay overnight in the hotel Sextantio, where you sleep in one of the restored houses.
But you will also find Rocca Calascio, a fortification from the 12th century that you can reach through winding streets.
It was the setting for the movies The Name of the Rose, with Sean Connery and Lady hawke starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Rutger Hauer.
More information you find out the site of the park.
11. Roseto degli Abruzzi
Roseto degli Abruzzi is one of the most popular coastal towns in Abruzzo thanks to its beautiful beaches.
Like many other villages on the coast, it consists of a medieval core – the hilltop hamlet of Montepagano – and a newer part with sea views.
This part of the city was built in the middle of the 19th century and now has a beautiful beach, while the sea water is crystal clear.
It's no wonder that Roseto won the coveted several times Blue Flag has received the international seal of approval for seaside resorts.
Would you like to discover the most beautiful places in Abruzzo for yourself?
Do you want to discover the Abruzzo for yourself? Preferably go in the spring or autumn. But if you can't go on holiday outside the summer months, then there is no man overboard. It is less touristy here than in Tuscany.
Your most beautiful places in Abruzzo?
Do you have any tips for beautiful places in Abruzzo that we have not mentioned in this list? Let us know by leaving a comment below this article.