Despite its central location and proximity to Rome, Abruzzo is one of Italy’s least known and populated regions – a spectacular and harmonious blend of snowy mountains, grassy plains and forested canyons; of hillside olive groves, vineyards and long sandy beaches.
Its riches are protected in three national parks, one regional park and many smaller reserves. Its history is reflected in abandoned castles, hilltop villages and ancient farmsteads; echoed in splendid abbeys, silent churches and remote hermitages. Abruzzo’s claim to be the greenest region in Europe is well founded.
The wild and high Apennine ridges form the grain of the land. The mountains are home to marvellous and rare plants and animals. The highest peaks in Italy outside of the Alps are here, their slopes supporting ski resorts and an extensive network of summer trekking and mountain biking trails.
The mountains fall to the Adriatic. The coastline itself is developed with resorts offering warm, safe bathing – beach bars, sun shades and loungers as far as you can see.
Casa La Rocca is in L’Aquila, one of the four provinces of Abruzzo. The city of L’Aquila is the seat of regional government and Abruzzo’s cultural centre. The region’s largest settlement, though, is relatively modern Pescara where over 120,000 live in new apartment blocks and villas on the long Adriatic shore.
Nineteen of Abruzzo’s villages have been designated amongst the most beautiful in Italy, the third highest number of all the regions of the country. Pettorano Sul Gizio, the comune we belong to, is one of them and is one of the best.
It’s a wonderful place to get to know. Neither northern nor southern, the spirit of Abruzzo is its own.