Abruzzo: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

—  Region of Italy  —


Coat of arms
Country Italy
Capital L'Aquila
 - President Gianni Chiodi (PdL)
 - Total 10,794 km2 (4,167.6 sq mi)
Population (2008-10-31)
 - Total 1,332,536
 Density 123.5/km2 (319.7/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
GDP/ Nominal € 26.8 billion (2006)
Website www.regione.abruzzo.it

Abruzzo (pronounced [aˈbruttso]) is a region in Italy, its western border lying less than 50 miles due east of Rome. Abruzzo borders the region of Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and south-west, Molise to the south-east, and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Although geographically more of a central than southern region, ISTAT (the Italian statistical authority) considers it part of Southern Italy, a vestige of Abruzzo's historic association with the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.



Corno Grande in the Gran Sasso massif, Apennines's highest peak.

The region is situated at the centre of the Italian peninsula facing the Adriatic, which it follows along 150 km of beaches and rocks. With an area of 10,794 km2 (4,168 sq mi), and bordered on the east by the Adriatic and on the west by the Apennines, it is one of the most mountainous regions in Italy (the Corno Grande in the Gran Sasso massif, at 2,914 m (9,560.37 ft), is the highest summit in the Apennines). The rivers, although numerous, are all seasonal except for the biggest - the Pescara and the Sangro. In the interior are the 500 km2 (190 sq mi) of the Abruzzo National Park, where rare examples of Mediterranean flora and fauna survive (chamois, wolves, bears, golden eagles).

The climate is varied - warm and dry on the coast, an alpine climate the mountainous interior. Major roads and railway lines link the region to the south, west and north of Italy and the rest of Europe.


The name Abruzzo appears to derive from the Latin "Aprutium", although in Roman times the region was known at various times as Picenum, Sabina et Samnium, Flaminia et Picenum and/or Campania et Samnium.[1] This region was known as Aprutium in the Middle Ages arising from four possible sources. Many think it is apparently a corruption of Praetutium, or rather of the name of the people Praetutii, applied to their chief city, Interamnaes, now present day Teramo. Another etymology is from the Latin "aper" (boar) so that Aprutium was the "land of boars" or from "abruptum" (rugged, steep). A more recent etymology is from the Latin expression "a Bruttiis" (from the Bruttii) meaning the land that began from the Bruzi people, who moved south to occupy Calabria[1][2].

Until 1963 it was part of the Abruzzi region with Molise. The term Abruzzi derives from the time when the region was part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and the territory was administered as Abruzzo Citeriore (Nearer Abruzzo) and Abruzzo Ulteriore I and II (Farther Abruzzo I and II ), that being nearer and farther from Naples, the capital of the kingdom.[1] Abruzzo Citeriore is present day Chieti province. Abruzzo Ulteriore I comprised the Teramo and Pescara provinces; Abruzzo Ulteriore II is now the Province of L'Aquila.


The port of Pescara.

Until a few decades ago, Abruzzo was a region of poverty in Southern Italy; over the past decades, however, it has developed to such an extent that it has escaped from the spiral of underdevelopment to become the 'first' region of the 'Italian Mezzogiorno'. This confirms its pivotal role in the national economic system. Since the 1950s, Abruzzo has had steady economic growth. In 1951, Abruzzo per capita income or GDP was 53% of that of Northern Italy, the nation's richest region. By 1971, Abruzzo was at 65% and, by 1994, per capita income was at 76% of Northern Italy's per capita income, giving Abruzzo the highest per capita GDP of Southern Italy and surpassing the growth rate of every other region of Italy. The construction of superhighways from Rome to Teramo (A24) and Rome to Pescara (A25) opened Abruzzo to easy access, state and private investment in the region increased, and Abruzzo attained higher per capita education levels and greater productivity growth than the rest of the South. As a result, Abruzzo's industrial sector expanded rapidly, especially in mechanical engineering, transportation equipment and telecommunications.[3] As of 2003, Abruzzo's per capita GDP was 19,506 EUR or 84% of the national average of 23,181 EUR and well outpacing that of the South (15,808 EUR).[4]

The structure of production in the region reflects the transformation of the economy from agriculture to industry and services. Agriculture, involving small holdings, has succeeded in modernising and offering high-quality products. The mostly small, agricultural holdings produce wine, cereals, sugar beet, potatoes, olives, vegetables, fruit and dairy products. Traditional products are saffron and liquorice. Although industry has developed strongly, it retains weak points due to the existence of only a few large businesses alongside a huge fabric of small and medium-sized businesses. Both pure and applied research are carried out in the region, where there are major institutes and factories involved in research in the fields of pharmaceutics, biomedicine, electronics, aerospace and nuclear physics. The industrial infrastructure is spread throughout the region in industrial zones which have already been mentioned, the most important of which are Val Pescara, Val Sangro, Val Trigno, Val Vibrata and Conca del Fucino. A further activity worthy of note is seaside and mountain tourism, which is of considerable importance to the economy of the region[5].


Tourism and wildlife

Giulianova beaches
Woodlands in the Abruzzo National Park.

In the past decade, tourism has increased, mostly among Italians and other Europeans. Abruzzo's wealth of castles and medieval towns, especially near the town of L'Aquila, has earned it in some quarters the nickname of "Abruzzoshire", by analogy with the "Chiantishire" nickname sometimes used to refer to the Chianti area of Tuscany, but Abruzzo is still off the beaten path for most visitors to Italy.

The region has 21 ski areas with 368 km. of runs, all within a few hours of Rome. The most developed resort being Roccaraso, followed by Campo Felice, and Campo Imperatore. Located in the highest region of the Apennines, these ski areas are at heights nearly comparable to many Alpine resorts. Because of their proximity to the Adriatic and winter precipitation patterns, they often have more snow than the Alps. Abruzzo also is popular for cross country skiing, especially on the high plain of Campo Imperatore in the Gran Sasso as well as the Piana Grande in the Majella.

The Gran Sasso massif sports the Italian peninsula’s highest peak, Corno Grande, and Europe’s southernmost glacier, Il Calderone. The Corno Grande and its neighboring Corno Piccolo provide a range of climbing opportunities from mountain hikes suitable for novices to sheer rock wall ascents suitable only for expert alpinists. Abruzzo’s lesser known peaks, especially the gentler slopes of the Majella, offer climbers the opportunity to hike and climb in solitude.

Abruzzo’s 129 km. long sandy coastline is home to a many popular beach resorts, among them Vasto on Abruzzo’s southern coast; mid-coast are Silvi Marina, whose sands are considered among the best in Italy, Giulianova, Francavilla al Mare and Pineto, and on Abruzzo’s northern coast are Alba Adriatica and Martinsicuro.

One third of the region is designated as national or regional parkland. The following parks lie, wholly or partially, within Abruzzo:

The protected areas are environmentally important and are home to rare flora and fauna, such as the brown bear, the wolf and the chamois.


Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1861 858,000
1871 906,000 5.6%
1881 946,000 4.4%
1901 1,070,000 13.1%
1911 1,116,000 4.3%
1921 1,131,000 1.3%
1931 1,168,000 3.3%
1936 1,202,000 2.9%
1951 1,277,000 6.2%
1961 1,206,000 −5.6%
1971 1,167,000 −3.2%
1981 1,218,000 4.4%
1991 1,249,000 2.5%
2001 1,262,000 1.0%
2008 (Est.) 1,332,000 5.5%
Source: ISTAT 2001

The population density, although it has increased over the last decades, is well below the national average. In 2008 there were in fact 123.4 inhabitants per km2 in Abruzzo, compared to a national average of 198.8. At the province level, the situation is quite varied: Pescara is the most densely populated province (260.1 inhabitants per km2 in 2008), whereas, at the other extreme, L'Aquila is the least densely populated one (61.3 inhabitants per km2 in 2008), although it has the largest area. After decades of emigration from the region, the main feature of the 1980s is the immigration from third world countries. The population increase is due to the positive net migration, as since 1991 more deaths than births were registered in Abruzzo (except for 1999, when their number was equal)[6]. In 2008 the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that 59,749 foreign-born immigrants live in Abruzzo, equal to 4.5 % of the total regional population.

The most serious demographic imbalance is between the mountainous areas of the interior and the coastal strip. The largest province, L'Aquila, is situated entirely in the interior and has the lowest population density. The movement of the population of Abruzzo from the mountains to the sea has led to the almost complete urbanisation of the coastal strip. The effects on the interior have been impoverishment and a demographic ageing, reflected by an activity rate in the province of L'Aquila which is the lowest of the provinces in Abruzzo - accompanied by geological degradation as a result of the absence of conservation measures. In the coastal strip, on the other hand, there is such a jumble of accommodation and activities that the environment has been changed with negative effects. The policy of providing incentives for development has resulted in the setting-up of industrial zones, some of which (Vasto, Avezzano, Carsoli, Gissi, Val Vibrata, Val Sangro) have made genuine progress, while others (Val Pescara, L'Aquila) have run into trouble after initial success. The zones of Sulmona and Guardiagrele have turned out to be more or less failures. Outside these zones the main activities are agriculture and tourism[6].

L'Aquila is both the capital city of the Abruzzo region and of the Province of L'Aquila and second largest city (pop. 73,000). The other provincial capitals are Pescara, which is Abruzzo's largest city and major port (pop. 123,000); Teramo (pop. 55,000) and Chieti (pop. 55,000). Other large municipalities in Abruzzo include Avezzano (pop.41,000), an industrial and high technology center, and Lanciano (population 36,000), important industrial and touristic center.

Government and politics

Administrative divisions

Abruzzo provinces

The region is divided into 4 provinces:

Province Area (km²) Population Density (inh./km²)
Province of Chieti 2,588 396,190 153.1
Province of L'Aquila 5,034 308,876 61.3
Province of Pescara 1,225 318,701 260.1
Province of Teramo 1,948 308,769 158.5


Castel del Monte, one of Abruzzo's little-known hill towns.

In the past, the region of Abruzzo was well known for the transumanza, the migratory movement of sheep principally south to the region of Puglia during the cold winter months.

The regional accents of Abruzzo include Teramano, Abruzzese Orientale Adriatico and Abruzzese Occidentale. The first two form part of the Italiano meridionale-interno dialect of southern Italy also known simply as "Neapolitan" due to the region having been part of the Kingdom of Naples and the Two Sicilies, while the Italian of L'Aquila Province is related to the Osco-Umbro dialect of central Italy, including the one of Rome. It should be noted that Abruzzo's Italian dialects are not particularly marked. In fact, Harvard University bases an intensive summer language program in Vasto, a resort town on Abruzzo's southern coast. There is, however, a small Albanian linguistic area at Penne, in the Province of Pescara.

Among Abruzzo many historic towns are: Sulmona at the foot of the Maiella massif and known for Italy’s most famous ancient poet , Ovid, Scanno, a lakeside hill town, Atri a picturesque artistic center, and the hillside towns of Penne, Lanciano and Loreto Aprutino.

Medieval and Renaissance hill towns

Abruzzo holds some of Italy's best-preserved medieval and Renaissance hill towns. The abrupt decline of Abruzzo’s agricultural economy in the early to mid-20th century saved some of the region’s most beautiful hill towns from the onslaught of modern development. Many lie entirely within regional and national parks so their preservation is all but guaranteed. Among the most well preserved are Castel del Monte and Santo Stefano di Sessanio, which lie in the Gran Sasso National Park on the edge of the high plain of Campo Imperatore and nestled beneath the Apennines’ highest peaks; both hill towns, which were ruled by the Medicis for over a century-and-a-half, have relatively little tourism. Between the two towns sits Rocca di Calascio, the ruin of an ancient fortress popular with film makers. Also within the Gran Sasso National Park is Castelli, an ancient pottery center whose artisans produced ceramics for most of the royal houses of Europe. Although still home to many artisans, Castelli has a modest tourist trade.

Other medieval hill towns located fully within Abruzzo's park system are Pacentro in the Parco Nazionale della Majella and Pescasseroli in the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo. Pacentro, which features a 14th century castle with two intact towers, has been little touched by modernization and is also known for being the origin village of the grandmother of the entertainer [[Madonna (entertainer)|Madonna].


See also

  • List of capitals of subnational entities

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Italy : Central Italy : Abruzzo

Abruzzo is one of the twenty italian regions. It is situated in the central part of Italy, to the east of Rome on the Adriatic Sea.


Abruzzo is divided into four provinces:

The four provinces feature 305 municipalities: L'Aquila comprises 108, Teramo 47, Chieti 104, Pescara 46.

Other destinations

Out of the three geographical areas (Marsica, Appennino and Sub-Appennino), one third of the region is designated either as national or regional park areas.

  • Gran Sasso National Park [1] (Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e dei Monti della Laga)
  • Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park (Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise)
  • National Park of the Majella [2] (Parco Nazionale della Majella)
  • Sirente Velino Regional Park [3] (Parco Naturale Regionale Sirente-Velino)


In the Middle Ages the region began to be called Abruzzo, from the Latin Aprutium. Then the region was divided into two parts: Further Abruzzo and Hither Abruzzo. In 1860, with the Unity of Italy, the region of Molise was added to Abruzzo and they were called Abruzzi and Molise. In 1963 Abruzzo and Molise became separate entities once more.

Though Italians once thought of Abruzzo as a remote region separated from Rome by the Appenines, a modern expressway system has opened the region to tourism. Most of Abruzzo lies within a few hours of Rome and is covenient for day trips from the capital as well as Naples. Abruzzo's more populous east is made up of vast sandy beaches that stretch along the Adriatic; its west of hills that rise quickly to mountains. The mountaineous region of l'Aquila, which lies nearest Rome, contains castles, ancient ruins and spectacular mountain vistas.

Abruzzo's main city and administrative town, L'Aquila, is a beautiful city in a picturesque mountain setting which makes it a great destination start for exploring the region. Pescara is pleasantly modern and offers all the features to be found in a city on the Adriatic: business, shops, entertainment. Chieti is full of history and nicely layered along the hill on which it is situated. Teramo is interesting and lively. Smaller charming town such as Sulmona and Scanno should also not be missed.

The region is 65% mountain 34% hills and the remainder flat land. The region has four provinces and each have a distinct climate. The province of L'Aquila is totally characterized by mountains, in the Chieti area it is rolling hills, while in Pescara and Teramo the areas are covered by a mixture of mountains and hill.

Get in

There is an international airport (Abruzzo International Airport) in Pescara, a large city on Abruzzo's Adriatic coast. Abruzzo International Airport is served by low cost airlines with low fare flights from and to London, Barcelona and Frankfurt. A24 and A25 are the codes indicating the two motorways allowing easy access to destinations along the coast and to many internal areas of Abruzzo, including all four main cities. Private and public transport by car or bus from and to Rome are therefore excellent. Abruzzo can be reached by train from Tiburtina railway station in Rome, a journey which offers truly picturesque views of the valleys in the Appenines and of some charming hill towns in Italy.

Get around

Trains and buses run regularly from Rome and through Pescara and L'Aquila, these journeys through the mountains can be spectacular and highly recommended. See Trenitalia [4] for details. From there, most towns can be reached by local buses, See ARPA [5] for details.

In order to visit the more rural areas, a car is recommended if you want to reach relatively unknown villages in remote locations of Abruzzo.

The coast can be explored by train or bus, since all comforts of modern travelling are available.

There is a bus network which connects all four major cities: Pescara, L'Aquila, Chieti, Teramo.


Beaches. Abruzzo’s 129 km long sandy coastline (interrupted in places by pebble beaches) is home to many popular beach resorts. Beaches worth visiting are in Fossacesia and Vasto Marina, on Abruzzo’s southern coast; Silvi Marina, Francavilla al Mare and Pineto, further north; finally, travelling north, shortly before Le Marche, Alba Adriatica and Martinsicuro close the list of seaside resorts which are considered among the best in Italy. Beaches of Abruzzo are pristine and the waters of the Adriatic are warm. Lifeguards are operative full-time on most italian beaches, during the summer season. It is best to follow posted warning signs and status flags describing the sea's condition on the day you decide to take a swim. Most beaches have corded off bathing areas - pass these at your own risk, as the waters deepen significantly very quickly.

Skiing. Abruzzo has 15 ski resorts with 368 km of runs in 172 different ski tracks, all within a couple of hours drive from Rome. The most popular resorts are Roccaraso, Campo Felice, Campo Imperatore. Located on the highest altitudes of the Apennines, these ski areas are at heights nearly comparable to many resorts in the Alps. Because of their proximity to the Adriatic and winter precipitation patterns, they often have more snow than the Alps. Abruzzo also is popular for cross country skiing, especially on the high plain of Campo Imperatore in the Gran Sasso as well as the Piana Grande in the Majella.

Hiking, horseback riding, mountain climbing and sightseeing. Abruzzo's extensive park system lies within two hours of Rome or less and includes natural beauty akin to national parks in the western United States. Within Abruzzo's parks lie some of Italy's most beautiful ancient hill towns rivaling those of Tuscany and Umbria.

ZOO. Near the little village of Civitella Casanova is a nice zoo: Parco Zoo La Rupe. It's built on a mountain with a beautiful view and it features many animal species.

Rock Climbing Abruzzo offers a great destination for rock climbing, beach combing, and mountain biking. Amazing rock climbing areas are: Petrellia Liri, Roccamorice, San Vito, Assergi, Monticchio, Capestrano, Fara Sam Martino.


In Italy, high consideration for food (and wine) quality and variety is a reason of pride. Regional cooking is a unique experience for the foreign visitor: in Abruzzo this is no exception. Here are some of the local specialities that you may enjoy:

  • Spaghetti alla chitarra (square strands of pasta served with a tomato sauce)
  • Fagioli e cotiche di maiale (stewed beans and pork rind)
  • Prosciutto di cinghiale (wild boar ham)
  • Testicoli di mulo (small round lean pork sausages; though the name seems anatomical, they are named that way as they are always sold in pairs)
  • Pecorino d'Abruzzo (local sheep's cheese)
  • Burrata (a truly rare delicacy - a ball of tangy cheese with a soft buttery center)
  • Salame di fegato pazzo (spiced liver salami)
  • Salame di fegato dolce (liver salami made with honey)
  • Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (a red wine)
  • Trebbiano d'Abruzzo (a white wine)
  • Rosatello aquilano (a rosé wine)
  • Corfinio della Valle Peligna (a light white wine)
  • Gran Sasso (one of the bitter digestive liqueurs that Italians are so fond of. Beware, the alcohol content is upwards of 70% proof)

Get out

To the north is Marche, to the west Lazio, and Molise is to the south. Abruzzo sits on Italy's Adriatic coast, and Croatia may be reached from Pescara. so enjoy your italian trip

This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Abruzzo or Abruzzi

Proper noun


  1. A region of central Italy.


External links

Wikipedia on Abruzzo

Simple English

Flag Coat of arms
File:Abruzzo [[Image:|75px|Coat of arms of Abruzzo]]
File:Italy Regions Abruzzo
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Country Italy
Capital L'Aquila
President Giovanni Chiodi (vacant)
Basic statistics
Area  10,794 km² (4,168 sq mi)
(Ranked 13th, 3.6 %)
Population 1,323,987 (12/2007)
(Ranked 14th, 2.2 %)
 - Density 123 /km² (318 /sq mi)
Other information
GDP/ Nominal € 26.8 billion (2006)
GDP per capita € 20,501 (2006)
(Ranked 13th)
Website www.regione.abruzzo.it

Abruzzo is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its in the center of Italy on the Adriatic Sea.


It is divided into four provinces:

Other websites


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address