Abruzzo Travel Guide

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Pescara The Trabocchi (fishing cottages)

Pescara The Trabocchi (fishing cottages)

Nicola De Gregorio

Abruzzo is a mountainous region to the northeast of Rome. It has a lot of natural parks that are worth visiting and a rather nice seaside. The territory of Abruzzo is, roughly, the shape of a semicircle with a diameter of about 150 kilometres. The coastline, 129 kilometres long, stretches from the river Tronto to the Trigno. The North borders with Marche, the South with Molise and the West with Lazio. The regional territory covers 10,794 square kilometres, oh which the majority of 65% is mountainous.

This is how the tourist office puts it: "Nature at its finest. All over Abruzzo, at the seaside, in the mountains, in the hills and even beyond the protected areas, nature is always the protagonist. The sandy shores to the north coast contrast with the rocks and cliffs along the southern coast, while the unbroken rows of nearby hills conceal art towns full of authentic masterpieces and scattered with holiday farm centres. But the real heart of Abruzzo is the mountains, with the highest summits of Apennines. Abruzzo offers a holiday in the midst of nature: to observe and to follow its rhytms feeling owe is and becomes part of it.

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There is some truth in this. l' Aquila the capital of the state is perched on a high plateau and offers many opportunities for nice daytrips in the surroundings. Sulmona is another nice town inland. The main attraction is however the Abruzzo National Park a huge wildlife reserve with glaciers and forests - Pescasseroli is the park's administrative centre.

Concerning winter tourism and skiing resorts, the Abruzzo mountains offer to the keen snow-lovers numerous possibilities for downhill, cross-country, alpine sluing, and snowboard skiing. Winter tourism has changed radically the life of the many towns that realised the need to change and have made "snow" their enterprise. The highest number of winter resorts can be found in the L'Aquila province, but the Teramo side of Gran Sasso and the Majella also offer a good level of facilities.

At the seaside, the coastline of Abruzzo is varied: low and sandy shores to the north contrast with the inclined shores to the south. The "sette sorelle" (seven sisters), seven seaside resorts in the province of Teramo, from Martinsicuro to Silvi, the Pescara and the Francavilla al Mare beaches, offer high level accomodation, night-clubs, and in Pescara itself, even a modern marina. To the south the scenery changes radically: from Ortona to Vasto and as far as San Salvo, sloping shores surrounded by the rich Mediterranean vegetation appear on the coastline. They too, are well equipped for a pleasant holiday. The nostalgic fishing past emerges between San Vito and Fossacesia, where the travocchi, singular fishing huts built on piles, are still today used by the local fishermen. In our opinion the beach resort of Pescara is not a good place to go, unless you are really in need of a beach. Termoli a bit further to the south, already Molise region, is a much better option.

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