The Abruzzo ( Abruzzo Italian singular ) is a region in Italy, with 1,312,507 inhabitants (as of 31 December 2012). They border on the north by the Marche Region, on the west by the region of Lazio, in the south of the Molise region and on the east by the Adriatic Sea. Although they belong to geographically more central Italy, they are officially counted among the regions of southern Italy. This is a remnant of the history of the Abruzzo, from the early Middle Ages to the 19th century, the Kingdom of Sicily (later " Kingdom of the Two Sicilies" ) belonged and economic and cultural exchanges with the regions of southern Italy were wont.


Along the Adriatic Sea extends a flat coastal strip (approximately 150 miles), which passes into a hillside. These areas take about a third of the area of ​​the region. Two-thirds are dominated by mountains which rise to almost 3,000 meters. The Abruzzo unite the three geographical aspects of Italy: coast, hills and mountains.

National Parks

Around one third of the Abruzzo area is a nature reserve. Of all the Italian regions of Abruzzo have the highest proportion of protected areas, including the oldest in the Apennines, the Abruzzo National Park in the south.

In the north and around the capital L' Aquila, the huge Gran Sasso National Park extends a little further to the south is the Maiella National Park, and to the west offers intact nature of the Regional Park Sirente - Velino.

The Gran Sasso National Park (150,000 hectares) consists of two mountain ranges, the rugged Gran Sasso massif and the gentler Monti della Laga. The Gran Sasso, the "Great Rock of Italy", consists of a wild landscape, characterized by jagged peaks, ridges and vertical rock faces. To the solid part of the Corno Grande, with 2912 m the highest peak of the Apennines. While many peaks of the eastern side and the spectacular, steeply rising limestone walls give the solid a high alpine aspect, reminds the western side of the plateau of Campo Imperatore ( 1600 m) to more landscapes of Inner Mongolia. Hence the expression " little Tibet " comes from. The Campo Imperatore is nearly 30 km long and about eight kilometers wide. The alpine character of the Gran Sasso massif also underlines the fact that the Corno Grande is the southernmost glacier of Europe ( Calderone ) can be found. Further north impress the lake Campotosto and the " valley of a hundred waterfalls ".

The Majella National Park covers 86,000 hectares. The Maiella massif reached by Monte Amaro a height of 2795 m. The slopes are rich in forests and water sources and deep green in summer. The Maiella consists of limestone. One can count 61 summit. Most of them are easy to climb. With over 1800 different plants, this is a paradise for mountain botanists from all over the world. In the spring there is to admire a corresponding flowers. In recent years, the Apennine wolf (Canis lupus italicus ) is more frequently to be found here. This was made in the 1970s for the first time in Europe with an exemplary project in the Abruzzo region under protection. Even the brown bear (Ursus arctus marsicanus ), the golden eagle and the peregrine falcon and chamois are to meet again. Otters, which serve as bioindicators of intact ecosystems, are native here.

The Regional Park Sirente - Velino is formed by two of the same mountain ranges and is located west of the Gran Sasso inland. The climate is continental, since the two seas ( the Adriatic and Tyrrhenum ) are further away. Therefore, the winters are colder than in the other parks. The peaks often remain snow covered until late in the spring. Here also, the steep walls of the canyons SIRENTE ( Celano ), plateaus and interesting karst formations ( caves Stiffe ) numerous excursion possibilities. The sheltered location of the mountain has stand still in many places the time. So there are a number of villages and small towns with towers and castles that have survived unscathed the past centuries. Furthermore, the excavations of Alba Fucens and Peltunium bear witness of the Roman expansion around 400 AD. But are also worth seeing the church of Santa Maria in Valle Porcianeta, the Castle of Celano and the countless testimonies of willow culture as the " Pagliare ".

The symbol of the National Park of Abruzzo, the southernmost and oldest in the region, the brown bear ( orso bruno marsicano ). The park covers 44,000 hectares and a similarly large area of protected areas in the immediate vicinity. Approximately 100 copies of the brown bears, 50 wolves, 500 chamois, deer and some lynx and otter live in it. In the adjacent nature reserve of Penne is being worked on various environmental projects and scientific studies. In the 1960s, some heavy construction sins were committed, the consequences of the park afflict strong and led the temporarily to an incident of Italian tourists. Since the 1970s, the park is slowly recovering from the mistakes of the past.

In all the parks are so-called " Aree faunistiche " small didactic reserves, furnished. In these areas, some of the otherwise difficult to observing wild animals are kept for teaching and breeding purposes, as well as maintained injured specimens. In the separated areas can be observed in a largely natural environment, the corresponding species with a little patience.

The main rivers of the region are:

Coat of arms

Description: A green bar links oblique splits in silver and blue.


In addition to natural resources for the most part still intact mountains of the Abruzzo have a millennia-old and varied history, the traces of which are found in all parts of the region: prehistoric caves, before and Roman excavations, Romanesque churches and small towns of the Renaissance period as well as numerous Castles and palaces, picturesque mountain villages and quaint towns.

The pre-Roman inhabitants of the Iron Age were attributed to middle Adriatic culture. In ancient times, the bulk of the Abruzzo region was inhabited by the Samnites, which have been subjected to decades- long struggle by the Romans. Another popular of these " Italian " ( = pre-Roman ) period are the Piceno; a known find from a burial ground Piceno is the statue " Warrior of Capistrano ".

In the early Middle Ages were the Abruzzo part of the Lombard Duchy of Spoleto. Under the Hohenstaufen, the Duchy came to Sicily and was named after the division of this kingdom managed from Naples (see Kingdom of Naples ). In 1861 the region became part of the new Kingdom of Italy. The boundaries of the region were subject to strong fluctuations. The last change was made ​​in 1963, when the province of Campobasso was spun off from the former region Abruzzi e Molise and Molise formed.

The region was Christianized early. Numerous churches were built. While some are still relatively unknown, but they are treasures of Italian art history is, such as the Basilica of Colle Maggio in L' Aquila, the abbey church of San Clemente a Casauria in Castiglione a Casauria and the Basilica of San Giovanni in Venere, Fossacesia.

Historically, picturesque cities:

Many rural communities are worth seeing, such as:

Administrative divisions

The Abruzzo region consists of the following four provinces:


In the last ten years, tourism in the region is on the upswing. Some tracts of land in the interior, which are rich in castles, palaces and forts have earned the nickname " Abruzzoshire " (based on the " Chianti Shire "). Compared to other, more touristy parts of Italy, Abruzzo is still a secret.

The region has 21 ski areas with 368 km of slopes. Roccaraso and Campo Felice are the best-equipped ski resorts (especially downhill skiing ). Although There is less tourism than in the Italian Alps, but the Abruzzo often have more snow than the northern Italian regions. Also for the long run, the Abruzzo have a good offer, especially on the Campo Imperatore.

A special position is occupied Abruzzo for hikers and climbers and for sustainable tourism. Most areas in the national parks and in the mountains offer you a wide selection of marked hiking trails without crowds. From the spectacular achievable (also via secure channels ) summits there is an impressive view of the Monti della Laga and Sibillini Mountains ( to the north), the Majella massif, the heights of the Abruzzo National Park and the group of the Velino and Sirente ( in the west).



During the Renaissance, the economy of Abruzzo prospered through trade with wool. Some cities in the interior, especially in the area of the Gran Sasso were wealthy. Economic relations ranged up to Florence by the Medici family ( in Santo Stefano di Sessanio is still the Medici coat of arms can be seen at the city gate ). It emerged smart cities and numerous churches.

After the trade lost with wool in the 18th and 19th centuries in importance, impoverished Abruzzo. Many residents left the mountain regions to emigrate, including to Australia and America. The emigration wave lasted until the 1970s. Since the 1950s, the region's economy is recovering gradually but with a constant growth. Abruzzo is now "the first region of the Mezzogiorno ".


The economy today is based mainly on industry and services. Strong sectors are the pharmaceutical and electronics industries, as well as biomedicine and nuclear physics. Tourism also plays today an important role: while has developed on the coast, especially the sea tourism, eco - tourism and individual in the mountains is becoming increasingly important.

Agriculture plays only a minor role, or has been greatly modernized and offers high quality products for a small clientele. The steep slopes of the mountains of Abruzzo have for centuries grazing land for sheep. The willow culture has until 17-18. Century contributed to the prosperity of the mountain region. Today, it plays a minor role. Furthermore, the region is a traditional wine -growing region ( Montepulciano d' Abruzzo) and a major supplier of the highest quality olive oils of Italy ( in particular from the towns of San Giovanni Theatino and Moscufo ).

In comparison with the GDP of the EU (expressed in purchasing power standards ) the region reached an index of 90.8 (EU -25: 100 ) (2003 ).


The Abruzzo cuisine often combined in a dish the taste of the sea and the mountains ( "Mare e Monti "). So here are combinations of marine example with legumes in the form of, inter alia, soups and stews not rare. But above all, the freshness of the products (mostly from own production ) characterizes the Abruzzo cuisine as a genuine and tasty treat.

Abruzzo is the kingdom of Peperoncinos, saffron and - albeit to a lesser extent - the truffle. Especially the Peperoncino plays a central role in the local cuisine. Traditionally a Sugo with tomato, bacon, hot pepper and pecorino is prepared. Another specialty are small skewers of lamb ( Arrosticini ), which are cooked on a grill skewers made ​​especially for this. Famous are also the pasta of Abruzzo. The noodles are traditionally made by hand and are of high quality. One of the regional dishes are the " Maccheroni all Chitarra ", which are the so-called guitar wood, similar to a zither or a loom made ​​. Occupy a special position the sausages one, such as the " Ventricina ".

Fixed / Folklore

Hardly a visit to Abruzzo does not need a " sagra " (fixed with a culinary theme) and a spectacular fireworks display. The fact is that is celebrated in the Abruzzo quite often. The many religious festivals are affected by numerous pagan customs. So the residents of Fara Filiorum Petri ignite on 16th January, " Farchie " (giant reed bundles ). In Sulmona there are the Easter procession, and in Cocullo the snake hard with countless real snakes, which are to predict the future. Loreto Aprutino celebrates the patron saint San Zopito with a decorated oxen, Popoli is the defensibility of Abruzzo with a competition in the traditional bow and crossbow shooting - nestled in a medieval word love story - listed, and much more.