Silvia Donati | Italy Magazine | Friday, March 24, 2017
It may be an under the radar destination, but Abruzzo has it all: from nature to art, from history to cuisine, this region in south-central Italy offers plenty of reasons to visit. Here’s why.
Mainly mountainous and hilly, Abruzzo has three national parks, one regional park, and 38 protected nature reserves, which cover one third of its territory. Therefore, rare species such as the golden eagle, the Abruzzese chamois, the Apennine wolf, and the Marsican brown bear, survive in the area.
The Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park covers an area of 2,014 square kilometers (778 sq mi) spread across the provinces of Teramo, L'Aquila, and Pescara. It is centered around the massif of the Gran Sasso, whose highest peak is the Corno Grande, at 2,912 metres (9,554 feet) the highest peak in the Apennines. Just beneath the Corno Grande is the Calderone, Europe’s southernmost glacier. The Gran Sasso rises over the large pastures of Campo Imperatore.
Covered by woods of beeches, firs, turkey oaks and chestnuts, the park contains one of the most biologically diverse areas of Europe, with 300 kilometers of trails that can be explored on foot, on horseback or by mountain bike.
To the north is the Monti della Laga chain, where thousands of migratory birds can be seen on the shores of Lake Campotosto, a favorite destination for birdwatching.
And if the seaside is more of your thing, well, just head to the Adriatic coast, where you will find sandy beaches to the north and pebbly beaches to the south, many boasting the coveted Blue Flag.