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Province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo

L'Aquila Province

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The province of L'Aquila covers an area of 5,034 sq.km which is almost half of the region of Abruzzo. It borders the province of Teramo to the north, Pescara and Chieti to the east, the region of Molise to the south and the region of Lazio to the west.

l'Aquila Province
Province of l'Aquila, Abruzzo
Although L'Aquila is the largest of the four provinces in the region of Abruzzo, it is the least densely populated largely due to it also being the most mountainous. The highest mountains of the Apennines, Gran Sasso, Maiella and Velino-Sirente, run through this province with the highest peak being Corno Grande. Until the 19th century the largest lake in Italy, Lago Fucino, was also in this province but it was drained during a large engineering project. Today, the plain which was once occupied by the lake is a very fertile and productive agriculture area.


Plain of Fucino - Photo: Marica Massaro
Lack of work in the area meant that during the 20th century many people left the villages and headed for larger towns to look for jobs. The population declined rapidly and the major economy, agriculture, almost collapsed as a result. In attempt to attract tourists to this very scenic area, several national parks were formed, Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park, Majella National Park, and the Sirente-Velino Regional Park. These parks are well preserved with stunning scenery and a thriving wildlife. The area became popular with tourist which in turn created work and now the population is gradually increasing again.


Wolf in the Sirente-Velino Regional Park
Photo: Jairo S. Feris Delgado
Abruzzo is known as 'the green heart' of Italy and the province of L'Aquila has become well known for its well preserved medieval hill towns, fortresses and castles. The province has been badly effected over the years by earthquakes, particularly the capital city of L'Aquila and its surrounding areas.


Hilltown of Santa Stefamo di Sessanio - Photo: Ra Boe
L'Aquila
L'Aquila, which mean 'The Eagle' in Italian, is the capital city of the region of Abruzzo as well as being the capital of province of L'Aquila. It is situated in the west of the region, close to the border with Lazio and surrounded by the Appennine mountains. The Grand Sasso massif is to the north east of the city. L'Aquila is located at an altitude of 721 metres, betweeen four moutain peaks all over 2,000 metres. The fact that the city is surrounded by mountains makes it... read more

Avezzano
This is the second largest town in the province of L'Aquila and is an important commercial and industrial centre. It was once on the shores of the large Lago Fucino, the draining of which allowed the growth of agricultural and industry in the area.


19th century etching of Avezzano castle
Avezzano was completely destroyed in 1915 when it was hit by the worst earthquake in Italian history early in the morning on January 13th. Over 12,000 people died in the earthquake and the only two pieces of architecture to survive were the Casa dei Palazzi and one wing of Orsini Castle. The town had to be completely rebuilt, even the streets, which were built in parallel lines interspersed with areas of green and Liberty style villas.

Acciano


Pretty hill town of Acciano - Photo: Ra Boe
Acciano is surrounded by forests of oak trees and is built on a rocky spur between the mountains and the valleys below. This village is well known within Italy for its quality production of Montepulciano red wine. The historic centre is still enclosed behind the remains of the original fortified walls which are still in excellent condition, proving just how well they must have been built in the first place. Access to the town was gained through three doors, Porta Torrone, Porta Martino, and Porta of Aia. Recently, the original foundations of a square Roman temple, along with several pottery fragments, was discovered in this town. There is also an elaborate system of underground tunnels with evidence of mosaic floors next to the cemetery.

Barrea
Located on the shores of Lago di Barrea which is an artificial lake which was created during the building of a dam on the river Sangro after World War II.


Barrea Lake - Photo: Zitumassin
The village is in the centre of the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise and is an area full of wildlife and beautiful scenery. The village, due to many attacks and invasions over the years, is built deep into the valley by which it protected. It was protected on all other sides by watchtowers and defensive walls. The village suffered badly during World War II and has many monuments in remembrance of these allied bombings.

Bugnara
One of the villages that has gained a place in the list of 'i borghi piu' belli d'Italia' (the most beautiful villages in Italy). Bugnara is nestled in the Peligna valley at the foot of Colle Rotondo. The houses, built closely together, are arranged around the castle which sits on the highest point. The castle suffered a fair amount of damage during the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake.


Bugnara-Madonna della Neve church - Photo: Susan Cardwell
Other building of interest are:
  • Madonna della Neve - this church has three naves, all supported by gothic arches.
  • Santissimo Rosario - the baroque interior of this church is bright and colourful an has a carved wooden pulpit, marble sculptures, frescoes and a carved marble altar.
  • Palazzo Ducale di Sangro - this large castle is also known as 'Rocco dello Scorpione' and was built in the 12th century. It has two towers and is completely walled.
There are three palaces:
  • Palazzo Corrado
  • Palazzo Alesi Villapiana
  • Palazzo Papi


Calascio
The main attraction of this small village is the ruins of Rocca Calsacio which, at 1,460 metres above sea level is the highest fortress in the Apennines.


Calascio castle - Photo: Renano
Castel del Monte
At an altitude of 1345 meters this medieval village was built into a steep hillside in the centre of the Gran Sasso mountain range.


Castel del Monte - Photo: Brooke Nichols
Castel del Monte was built on rocks and has many narrow, underground tunnels known as 'sporti' which were used as a means of getting from one place in the village to another safely during times of seige. The centre of the village is enclosed by strong walls with a high Bell Tower (also used as a watchtower) at its centre. These walls have five gates which wree, until the end of the 19th century, locked at night to keep out bandits. Originally the whole place was fortress to keep its people safe.

Celano
The main site in this hilltop village is the Piccolomini Castle which was built in the early 15th century on top of the hill of San Vittorino. It is a square castle with round towers at each corner. In 1915 it was damaged by an earthquake but was restored. There are also some lovely churches in this village, all with 13th century facades.


Celano - Piccolomini Castle
Fontecchio
This small village is worthy of a visit purely because of its beautiful and well preserved historical centre.

Pacentro
Pacentro is built on a hilly ridge 650 metres above sea level. At one end of the town, sitting on top of a hill, Colle Castello, there is a castle and at the other end another hill, Colle San Marco, used to have the church of San Marco sitting on it. The area is renowned for its fresh mountain waters and springs. The main sites are in the old centre around the castle. Caldora/Cantelmo Castle was built in a trapezoidal shape with a tower in every corner. Three of the four towers are still standing and can be clearly seen as you approach the town. There are many palaces, most of which are in or near the main squares of Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Umberto. As in all ancient Italian towns there are many beautiful churches, the most noteable of which is the 16th century baroque Convent Church. The interior has carved choir stalls, frescoes of the life of St Francis of Assisi, rare paintings and a collection of side alters.


Pacentro - Photo: Ra Boe


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  • Regional Information

    • Area: 10,794 km²
      Population: 1.3m
      Density: 122/km²
      Capital: L’ Aquila

      National Parks:
      The National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise

      The Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park

Location of Abruzzo
Provinces of Abruzzo
  • Comunes of Abruzzo
    • Chieti (CH)
      • Altino
        Archi
        Ari
        Arielli
        Atessa
        Bomba
        Borrello
        Bucchianico
        Canosa Sannita
        Carpineto Sinello
        Carunchio
        Casacanditella
        Casalanguida
        Casalbordino
        Casalincontrada
        Casoli
        Castel Frentano
        Castelguidone
        Castiglione Messer Marino
        Celenza Sul Trigno
        Chieti
        Civitaluparella
        Civitella Messer Raimondo
        Colledimacine
        Colledimezzo
        Crecchio
        Cupello
        Dogliola
        Fallo
        Fara Filiorum Petri
        Fara San Martino
        Filetto
        Fossacesia
        Fraine
        Francavilla al Mare
        Fresagrandinaria
        Frisa
        Furci
        Gamberale
        Gessopalena
        Gissi
        Giuliano Teatino
        Guardiagrele
        Guilmi
        Lama dei Peligni
        Lanciano
        Lentella
        Lettopalena
        Liscia
        Miglianico
        Montazzoli
        Montebello sul Sangro
        Monteferrante
        Montelapiano
        Montenerodomo
        Monteodorisio
        Mozzagrogna
        Orsogna
        Ortona
        Paglieta
        Palena
        Palmoli
        Palombaro
        Pennadomo
        Pennapiedimonte
        Perano
        Pietraferrazzana
        Pizzoferrato
        Poggiofiorito
        Pollutri
        Pretoro
        Quadri
        Rapino
        Ripa Teatina
        Roccamontepiano
        Rocca San Giovanni
        Roccascalegna
        Roccaspinalveti
        Roio del Sangro
        Rosello
        San Buono
        San Giovanni Lipioni
        San Giovanni Teatino
        San Martino sulla Marrucina
        San Salvo
        Santa Maria Imbaro
        Sant’Eusanio del Sangro
        San Vito Chietino
        Scerni
        Schiavi d’Abruzzo
        Taranta Peligna
        Tollo
        Torino di Sangro
        Tornareccio
        Torrebruna
        Torrevecchia Teatina
        Torricella Peligna
        Treglio
        Tufillo
        Vacri
        Vasto
        Villalfonsina
        Villamagna
        Villa Santa Maria
    • L’Aquila (AQ)
      • Acciano
        Aielli
        Alfedena
        Anversa degli Abruzzi
        Aragno
        Assergi
        Ateleta
        Avezzano
        Balsorano
        Barete
        Barisciano
        Barrea
        Bisegna
        Bominaco
        Bugnara
        Cagnano Amiterno
        Calascio
        Campo di Giove
        Campotosto
        Canistro
        Cansano
        Capestrano
        Capistrello
        Capitignano
        Caporciano
        Cappadocia
        Carapelle Calvisio
        Carsoli
        Castel del Monte
        Castel di leri
        Castel di Sangro
        Castellafiume
        Castelvecchio Calvisio
        Castelvecchio Subequo
        Celano
        Cerchio
        Civita d’Antino
        Civitella Alfedena
        Civitella Roveto
        Cocullo
        Collarmele
        Collelongo
        Collepietro
        Corfinio
        Fagnano Alto
        Fontecchio
        Fossa
        Gagliano Aterno
        Gioia dei Marsi
        Goriano Sicoli
        Introdacqua
        L’Aquila
        Lecce nei Marsi
        Luco dei Marsi
        Lucoli
        Magliano de’ Marsi
        Massa d’Albe
        Molina Aterno
        Montereale
        Morino
        Navelli
        Ocre
        Ofena
        Opi
        Oricola
        Ortona dei Marsi
        Ortucchio
        Ovindoli
        Pacentro
        Paganica
        Pereto
        Pescasseroli
        Pescina
        Pescocostanzo
        Pettorano sul Gizio
        Pizzoli
        Poggio Picenze
        Prata d’Ansidonia
        Pratola Peligna
        Prezza
        Raiano
        Rivisondoli
        Roccacasale
        Rocca di Botte
        Rocca di Cambio
        Rocca Di Mezzo
        Rocca Pia
        Roccaraso
        San Benedetto dei Marsi
        San Benedetto in Perillis
        San Demetrio ne’ Vestini
        San Pio delle Camere
        Sante Marie
        Sant’Eusanio Forconese
        Santo Stefano di Sessanio
        San Vincenzo Valle Roveto
        Scanno
        Scontrone
        Scoppito
        Scurcola Marsicana
        Secinaro
        Sulmona
        Tagliacozzo
        Tione Degli Abruzzi
        Tornimparte
        Trasacco
        Villalago
        Villa Santa Lucia
        Villa Sant’Angelo
        Villavallelonga
        Villetta Barrea
        Vittorito
    • Pescara (PE)
      • Abbateggio
        Alanno
        Bolognano
        Brittoli
        Bussi sul Tirino
        Cappelle sul Tavo
        Caramanico Terme
        Carpineto della Nora
        Castiglione a Casauria
        Catignano
        Cepagatti
        Città Sant’Angelo
        Civitaquana
        Civitella Casanova
        Collecorvino
        Corvara
        Cugnoli
        Elice
        Farindola
        Lettomanoppello
        Loreto Aprutino
        Manoppello
        Montebello di Bertona
        Montesilvano
        Moscufo
        Nocciano
        Penne
        Pescara
        Pescosansonesco
        Pianella
        Picciano
        Pietranico
        Popoli
        Roccamorice
        Rosciano
        Salle
        Sant’Eufemia a Maiella
        San Valentino in
        Abruzzo Citeriore
        Scafa
        Serramonacesca
        Spoltore
        Tocco da Casauria
        Torre de’ Passeri
        Turrivalignani
        Vicoli
        Villa Celiera
    • Teramo (TE)
      • Alba Adriatica
        Ancarano
        Arsita
        Atri
        Basciano
        Bellante
        Bisenti
        Campli
        Canzano
        Castel Castagna
        Castellalto
        Castelli
        Castiglione Messer Raimondo
        Castilenti
        Cellino Attanasio
        Cermignano
        Civitella del Tronto
        Colledara
        Colonnella
        Controguerra
        Corropoli
        Cortino
        Crognaleto
        Fano Adriano
        Giulianova
        Isola del Gran Sasso d’ltalia
        Martinsicuro
        Montefino
        Montorio al Vomano
        Morro d’Oro
        Mosciano Sant’Angelo
        Nereto
        Notaresco
        Penna Sant’Andrea
        Pietracamela
        Pineto
        Rocca Santa Maria
        Roseto Degli Abruzzi
        Sant’Egidio alla Vibrata
        Sant’Omero
        Silvi Marina
        Teramo
        Torano Nuovo
        Torricella Sicura
        Tortoreto
        Tossicia
        Valle Castellana
        Villa Rosa di Martinsicuro
Airports in Abruzzo
Hotels in Abruzzo
AbruzzoWEATHER
Abruzzo Climate (L’ Aquila)
  High Low Sun Rain
Jan 15 8 4 63
Feb 15 8 4 52
Mar 17 9 5 43
Apr 19 11 6 31
May 24 15 7 17
Jun 28 18 9 9
Jul 31 22 10 6
Aug 31 22 9 9
Sep 28 19 7 29
Oct 24 16 6 53
Nov 20 12 4 63
Dec 17 10 4 59
Table Key:
High - Average monthly high temperatures
Low - Average monthly low temperatures
Sun - Average hours of sunshine per day
Rain - Average monthly rainfall in mm
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