Located in central Italy, just east of Rome is the region of Abruzzo. It is a land of almost constant change where the landscape begins in the rugged peaks of the Apennine Mountains to form a vast plateau from which the land falls away to sweep down the valleys to the Adriatic coastline.
Dotted with popular ski resorts which burst to life in winter, the coastline is also blessed with magnificent beaches and bays which thrive with people in summer. Abruzzo is filled with ancient Roman ruins, quirky mountain villages, soaring mountain peaks, lovely valleys and a very impressive coastline.
The main city of L’Aquila is surrounded by mountains. It has an imposing 16th century castle and a Templar church which contains beautiful rose windows. There is also a magnificent fountain which is comprised of 99 watery spouts which represent the 99 original churches that were originally built in the city.
Near L’Aquila is Gran Sasso and Monte Della Larga national park which is named after the mountains of Gran Sasso and Monte della Larga. From here, on particularly clear days, it is possible to see the Adriatic Sea, the Tyrrhenian Sea and the regions of Central Italy. The area is rich in woods and streams, waterfalls and ponds and there are interesting medieval villages to explore.
Nearer to the coast is Chieti. It features territory that is predominantly hilly and mountainous, with many parallel valleys that run along rivers and creeks. The northern part has a rough and desolate landscape, while the southern part is tamer and dotted with numerous tiny villages.
The coastline contains many Trabocchi which are picturesque wooden fishing installations that date back to ancient times. The shoreline consists of a combination of low and sandy or pebbly beaches, and high, rocky cliffs that gently slope into the sea.
Teramo is an inland town which dates back to Phoenician times but which has remnants also of Roman, Spanish and French occupation. On the coast in the province is Lido delle Rose, which is one of the major tourist resorts of the coast. This section of coastline has wide sandy beaches and shallow waters are among the most beautiful and cleanest of the Adriatic Sea.
The fourth province in Abruzzo is Pescara. Whilst there is good coastline here, Pescara is also a major rock climbing centre as it contains some very impressive rock faces, particularly in the area known as Roccamaiore. Mountain biking is another popular pursuit, as is snorkelling and scuba diving in the crystal clear lakes.