In this page you'll find information on the Abruzzi and its patron saints, and the comuni where they are celebrated.
The Abruzzi (as it was called some time ago, now it's Abruzzo) is a region in central Italy. Here you can find mountains, wild nature, seaside resorts and lovely towns and villages. The Abruzzi region borders with the Adriatic sea at its right side, with sandy beaches; and with the Apennines mountains at its left and the National Park of Abruzzi, with woods and rare animals, like the The Abruzzi is the most most protected region of Italy, with the 28% of its territory included in natural parks and reserves. The type of Abruzzese landscape spans from the sea to the highest peak of the Gran Sasso, the highest mountain of the Apennines: 2912 meters (9553.81 ft).
It could be said that the Abruzzi is the region of the national parks, with the National Park of Abruzzi, Lazio, Molise, the National Park of Gran Sasso and Laga Mounts, the National Park of Majella and the Regional Park of Sirente - Velino.
The region has a wealth of woods with species of rare plants and animals, such as the marsican bear (found only here) and the Apennines wolf. In every season you can find something interesting to do. In winter you can ski on the mountains, while in summer you can organize excursions to enjoy the nature, both in the mountain and by the sea.
Let's help the Abruzzi!
On the last 6th of April, the city of L'Aquila was stricken by a serious earthquake that damaged a large part of the city and its surroundings. There have been about 300 casualties and very many people have lost everything thy had. About 80,000 people of L'Aquila and its province had to abandon their homes because they were unsafe and right now are living in tents. Many local productive activities, industrial, agricultural, commercial, of service, in a word, work activities have gone lost or are blocked.
Many of the artistic beauties of the city are in need of restoration, and also houses, schools, hospitals, offices, firms, shops need it.
Although the earthquake hit mostly the province of L'Aquila, the whole of the Abruzzi is being affected: many hotels of the coast are giving hospitality to the evacuees, the tourist season is compromised also because of the high number of cancellations, even in areas that haven't been damaged, such as the natural parks. We all can act in many ways, also from abroad, to help L'Aquila and the Abruzzi:
You can find them by clicking on the above links, I wrote the bank codes here to make it easy for you to find them in those pages, written mainly in Italian. Further down in this page there are links to the websites of the comuni that suffered damages, for those who wish make donations to a specific municipality. Not all of them have an Internet website, you can also refer to their province.
Besides donating money, it is possible to help in other ways, to support directly the local activities. Even though at the moment it's not possible to visit L'Aquila as a tourist, because of the damages caused by the earthquake, you can:
The weather is very varied, because its territory includes marine areas, hills and goes up to the highest mountains of the Apennines.
Therefore, by the sea the temperatures in summer can reach 35°C (95F), while on the mountains they are definitely cooler, especially nighttime. In winter, in the inland hill and mountain areas, snow and frost are very common and temperatures below -25°C (-13F) have been registered, in exceptional cases even over -30°C (-22F). The mountain areas are also the rainiest ones, although in summer the weather is generally dry.
What to see in the Abruzzi
The Abruzzese landscape is characterized by variety (like all Italy, for that matter). Thanks to the presence of high mountains, in the Abruzzi it's possible to ski and do other winter sports, with modern facilities, wide ski tracks that also run within the woods of the National Park of the Abruzzi. Those who love sea, instead, can find a broad choice of beaches with shallow waters, very good also for children who can play with the sand. There are many hotels and one can enjoy sports such as sailing, windsurf, canoing and fishing. The southern coasts are the most interesting ones for diving. There are also many lively night clubs to and Pescara is equipped with a modern touristic port.
When visiting he Abruzzi, I think you should absolutely not miss the opportunity to spend at least one day in one of its parks. You need to be prepared to take some walks, there are of different types of difficulty and length, with a guide who accompanies visitors and describes the place. Don't forget to bring a binoculars with you! I remember doing a one day visit at the National Park of the Abruzzi: our walk, starting from the base in Pescasseroli, lasted a few hours and took us quite high on the mountains.
On our way, the guide made us notice the ground that still retained the structure with terraces created and used once by the local farmers, with fruit trees like apple trees, plum trees and others that had turned wild and produced very small and sour fruits that were much appreciated by the animals. From the highest spot where we got, we could admire a wonderful view, with our gaze able to sweep over the surrounding mountains and valleys. We were also able to see some chamoises climbing a side of the mountain in front of us. Some other big animals living in the Abruzzi and protected are the marsican bear and the Apennines wolf. Surely from a visit to one of these natural reserves one can learn much more than in months of study at school and in a much more enjoyable way.
In the Abruzzi there are also ancient cities and towns, rich in art, first of all L'Aquila, with its fountain of the "99 cannelle" (spouts).
Therefore, with so many varied climates and landscapes, you can find the opportunity to go and visit the Abruzzi at any time of the year and discover all its different aspects.
What to eat in the Abruzzi
Like in many other regions, in the Abruzzi now there is the tendency to favour and protect local typical productions, emphasising high quality. Also for foods there is a lot of variety: dishes with all sorts of fishes, including lobsters and prawns along the coast, dishes with meat, mostly of sheep and goat in the inland areas where sheep farming has been traditionally practised, with the famous arrosticini (skewers). Also pork is used often, with which they produce very good sausages and the porchetta, a whole roasted piglet flavoured with several spices and cooked in a wood-burning oven, together with many species of vegetables and pulses. From sheep farming also comes the production of many types of fresh and seasoned cheeses: pecorino (sheep's milk cheese), caprino (goat's milk chees), mozzarella, ricotta, caciocavallo (hard and strong cheese). Here too, variety for all tastes.
A typical Abruzzese speciality, and the world's best quality, is saffron, the most expensive spice in the world (it can cost even over 30 euro per gram). It comes from the crocus flowers and it's hand picked here. Among the sweets, there are varieties of hard and soft torroni(kind of nougat) and the confetti(sugarcoated almonds) of Sulmona. They wrap them in colourful cellophanes, to make up flowers of different sorts: in the shops you can see decorations made with bunch of flowers composed with confetti.
Among vegetables, here they grow and you can savour spelt, barley and lentils, cooked in several soups, porcinimushrooms, wild asparagus and artichokes.
Since the times of the Latin poet Ovidio, Abruzzese born in Sulmona, they have growing the vine and the olive tree, from which they produce very good oils and the typical wines Trebbiano and Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.