Abruzzo and the surrounding area
Many towns and villages in Abruzzo have remained unchanged since the war. Known as the green heart of Italy, the hilltop villages are remote and offer the modern tourist a taste of authentic and rural Italy. You'll find a variety of traditional fruit and veg markets, ice cream shops, Italian bars, family run restaurants who welcome children with open arms, local wine on sale for as little as 1€ a bottle, all nestled in the shadows of Mount Maiella.
Local towns include Casoli and Palombaro (both a 10 minute drive), Guardiagrele, Lanciano and Roccoscalegna (all within 30 minutes), and Pescara, Chieti and Vasto all reachable within an hour.
Maiella National Park is one of the largest parks in Italy and we are less than 20 minutes drive from the boundary. The park is home to a huge variety of flora and fauna, some of it unique to the area like the Marsican Brown Bear and the Appenine Wolf. Within it you will find hiking trails for all ages/abilities, mountain biking and pony trekking trails, all with various themes - and organised excursions with tour guides should you want them. Within the park is a botanical garden, several remote hermitages, the caves of Sant’Angelo and of course large expanses of wood and forest to hike through. There is also a high wires adventure centre with courses suitable for all ages from age 2/3 (104cm tall) to adult.
Being a catholic country and a region steeped in spiritual history, you can expect an abundance of religious festivals, processions and holy day celebrations.
Check out the region tourist website for routes, suggestions of things to do, events calendar and more!
We have found this a great stress-busting place to unwind and literally get away from it all. But the reason the area is so peaceful is due to it being remote, so you will need a car! Local tourism is very seasonal and tailored heavily toward the high season of July and August, and you will find more activities like water sports centres on Lake Bomba (Lago di Sangro) and pony trekking centres open at those times of year. However, the climate is great for many months of the year. In the spring it might be possible to ski in the mornings (at Passo Lanciano or Roccaraso) and sit on the beach in the afternoons! In April/May and September the average temperatures are around 20 celsius, rising to 28+ in August.