Abruzzo

by Luciano Di Gregorio

Abruzzo

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About this book

Situated in the centre of Italy, Abruzzo lies just an hour's drive from Rome. Often overlooked, it has never been discovered by mass tourism. Abruzzo has something for everyone: hiking on the slopes of the Majella mountain range, wine tasting along olive-strewn roads that disappear into the labyrinths of ancient towns, shopping through the sunny, pastel streets of Pescara or skiing on the highest peaks of the central Apennines. This updated guide explores towns and villages well off the beaten track. It also goes into greater depth on the region than its competitors, with more detail on the history, culture and sights, and more opinionated and entertaining reviews of hotels and restaurants.

About the author

Luciano Di Gregorio was born in Pescara, Abruzzo's largest city; he migrated with his family to Melbourne, Australia when he was in his teens. He now divides his time between the UK and Abruzzo.

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"With its fantastic attention to detail and a clear, informative style, this makes an excellent travel companion." Italia! Magazine
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Contents

Introduction vii

PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION 1

Chapter 1 Background Information 3
Geography 3, Geology 4, Climate 4, Natural history and conservation 5, History 11, Government and politics 15, Economy 15, People 15, Language 19, Religion 20, Culture 21

Chapter 2 Practical Information 25
When to visit 25, Highlights and itineraries 25, Tourist information 28, Tour operators 29, Red tape 29, Getting there and away 30, Health and safety 33, What to take 35, Maps 36, Money and banking 36, Getting around 37, Accommodation 38, Food and drink 40, Public holidays and festivals 43, Opening times 44, Shopping 45, Arts and entertainment 46, Activities 46, Media and communications 48, Buying a property 49, Giving something back 49

PART TWO THE GUIDE 51 Chapter 3 Pescara 53
History 53, Getting there 54, Getting around 56, Tourist information 56, Where to stay 56, Where to eat 60, Entertainment, nightlife and drinking 62, Events and festivals 64, Shopping 64, Other practicalities 68, What to see and do 69

Chapter 4 Pescara Province 71
Suggested itinerary 71, Montesilvano 71, Città Sant'Angelo 75, Spoltore 77, Moscufo 78, Pianella 78, Loreto Aprutino 79, Penne 82, Nora River valley and surrounds 85, Pescara River valley 86, Majella National Park and surrounds 89

Chapter 5 L'Aquila 99
History 100, Getting there and away 102, Getting around 103, Tourist information 106, Where to stay 106, Where to eat and drink 107, Entertainment 108, Other practicalities 108, Events and festivals 109, What to see and do 110

Chapter 6 L'Aquila Province: Gran Sasso National Park and Surrounds 119
Suggested itinerary 119, Amiternum 119, San Vittorino 121, Lago di Campotosto 121, Near Lago di Campotosto 122, Santo Stefano di Sessanio 122, Castel del Monte 123, Fortress of Rocca Calascio 123, Castelvecchio Calvisio 124, Campo Imperatore 125, Assergi 126

Chapter 7 L'Aquila Province: Sirente Velino Regional Park and Surrounds 127
Suggested itinerary 127, Skiing 127, Celano 127, Alba Fucens 131, Ovindoli 134, Rocca di Mezzo 138, Rocca di Cambio 141, Ocre 142, Fossa 144, Le Grotte di Stiffe 146, Peltuinum 147, Caporciano 147, Bominaco 148, Navelli 149, Capestrano 150

Chapter 8 L'Aquila Province: Southwest Abruzzo 153
Suggested itinerary 153, Avezzano 153, Around Avezzano 156, The Roveto Valley 160, Tagliacozzo 161

Chapter 9 L'Aquila Province: National Park of Abruzzo and Surrounds 167
Suggested itinerary 167, Getting there and around 167, Pescassèroli 167, Opi 172, Fondillo Valley 175, Villetta Barrea 178, Barrea and Lago di Barrea 180, Scanno 182, Villalago 187, Anversa degli Abruzzi 187

Chapter 10 L'Aquila Province: Majella National Park and Surrounds 189
Suggested itinerary 189, Sulmona 189, Pacentro 195, Pescocostanzo 195

Chapter 11 Teramo 199
History 199, Getting there 199, Getting around 200, Tourist information 200, Where to stay 200, Where to eat and drink 202, Other practicalities 202, Events 203, Entertainment and nightlife 203, What to see and do 203

Chapter 12 Teramo Province 207
Suggested itinerary 207, Coastal Teramo 207, Vibrata River valley 223, Tordino River valley 227, Vomano River valley 229, Gran Sasso d'Italia National Park and surrounds 231

Chapter 13 Chieti 237 History 237, Getting there 239, Getting around 239, Tourist information 239, Where to stay 239, Where to eat 242, Entertainment and nightlife 243, Shopping 243, Other practicalities 243, What to see and do 244

Chapter 14 Chieti Province 247
Suggested itinerary 247, Chieti Province: the north 247, Chieti Province: the south 254, Majella National Park and surrounds 257, Coastal Chieti 263

Appendix 1 Language 273

Appendix 2 Glossary of Flora and Fauna 277

Appendix 3 Further Information 278

Index 283