Abruzzo Photographs, Museums, Castles, National Parks, Transportation
Many foreign travelers prefer the "picture postcard" beauty of the north, but to travel to Abruzzo and other southern regions is to witness an age-old Italian lifestyle that has not changed for centuries. Here you'll find ancient beechwood forests inhabited by wolves and bears, century-old pathways still used by colorfully-attired shepherds and their flocks, ominous castles which now guard nothing but desolate stretches of wilderness where the only sign of life might be a soaring royal eagle or a lone family of mountain goats.
Though Italians traditionally think of Abruzzo as a remote, mountainous region, its eastern border is marked by vast sandy beaches stretching along the Adriatic north and south of Pescara. Venture west from here and you will indeed soon enter the hills, which rise quickly to become the infamous Abruzzo mountains, dotted with some of the least visited hill towns in Italy.
This is what our grandmothers called God's country, site of the vast and extremely well administered Abruzzo National Park, one of the most important in all of Europe. Nearby is the newly-designated Maiella National Park, along with several regional parks. Flora and fauna abound in these protected areas, where thick forests and flowering meadows give way to barren high plains and snow-capped granite peaks. Europe's southernmost glacier, the Calderone, extends from Corno Grande to Corno Piccolo, in the shadow of Gran Sasso, tallest peak on the Italian peninsula.