Abruzzo holds a record: environmental laws protect 30 percent of its territory.
No other region in Europe can boast as much. Not without good reason is it known as “the region of parks,” the ideal target for a naturalistic vacation.
There are three national parks, one regional park and many protected sites and nature reserves: in a region like this, it seems natural that the provincial capital is called L’Aquila (‘The Eagle’).
Dominated by an imposing sixteenth-century castle (which houses the National Museum of Abruzzo), L’Aquila has splendid civic and religious monuments from the medieval and renaissance eras. On the coast of Abruzzo (which vaunts popular bathing areas), Pescara, the birthplace of Gabriele D’Annunzio, is one of the most popular locations.
The house where he was born is now a small and evocative museum. At Chieti, there is a prestigious National Archaeological Museum, well-known for the modernity and effectiveness of its exhibitions, for which it won several prizes.
The “showpiece” of the museum is the Warrior of Capestrano, a funerary statue of the sixth century B.C., found in 1934 in the province of L’Aquila. At Teramo, the stunning fifteenth-century Antepedium inside the cathedral, made by Nicola da Guardiagrele, the great goldsmith of Abruzzi, should not be missed.
Abruzzo is also surprisingly rich in architectural and artistic treasures, almost as much as it is full of natural treasures and folk traditions, such as the “festival of the serpents” in Cocullo, which brings thousands of people to this tiny village on the first Sunday of May.
We shall risk a slogan for this small and charming region of the southern Adriatic: “Pay a visit before it becomes trendy.”
Ah yes, because it is not difficult to predict the mass discovery of this land where everything still has the “flavor” of old times: from the splendid landscapes to the folk traditions, from the gastronomic attractions (fabulous cheeses, among the many other typical products) to the community life, from the hospitality of the inhabitants to the unspoiled sea, from the craftsmanship (the bells of Agnone are famous) to the quiet life in the villages of the interior. It is a genuine pleasure to visit.