The activities in Abruzzo are as varied as its landscape. Mountain regions delight hikers, skiiers and wildlife fans. Miles of clean, soft sand are just waiting to welcome beach lovers. Fancy a spot of time travel? You only need visit any of the Old Quarters in Abruzzo’s medieval-looking towns. Ancient forests, hilltop castles. The list goes on. And yet, lively resort towns pulse with the beating heart of Italy’s nightclub scene.
The party atmosphere spills out into Abruzzo’s villages throughout the year. Food and folklore is celebrated, bringing the streets alive with sights, sounds and scents. Our favourite is the Palio del Pupo in Cappelli Sul Tavo. A whirlwind of colour races through the town in a series of themed fancy dress races every August.
With sun-filled summers by the coast and snow-stacked winters in the mountains, an Abruzzo holiday is ideal for sun-worshippers or for zipping down the fresh powder in the region’s Apennine mountains. If whizzing down the slopes sounds far too adrenaline inducing, try going underground. Abruzzo’s Grotta di Stiffe are a network of caves, formed by water erosion, the kilometer-long guided tour rewards you with an altogether different view of the region. Whether it’s sunbathing, skiing or wine tasting, Abruzzo has something to offer every holidaymaker.
16km of beaches makes Abruzzo’s largest city a mecca for sun, sea and sand fans. If your tan reaches bronzed perfection, head inland to explore. Museums, shops and art galleries are all waiting for you. There’s also the bustling Mercato - a large open market selling everything from fresh local produce to shoes and handbags. As Pescara has one of the region’s biggest marinas, you may well find yourself hiring a boat and bobbing along in the Adriatic for the day.
Vasto is classic Italy. Unspoilt, calm and welcoming. Brimming with restaurants serving up the day’s catch, Vasto’s cuisine is heavily influenced by seafood. A leisurely walk into the old town offers a chance to see the view of the beautiful beach below. Four museums display the areas rich cultural and archeological finds. Bask in the culture or just soak up the sun’s rays.
Fascinated by Italian history? You’ll want to head to the region of Teramo. The capital is packed with artefacts, monuments, churches and relics. Walk through Abruzzo’s history via its buildings and surroundings. We also recommend heading to the thriving town of Civitella del Tronto. Home to Italy’s largest fortress, the town will delight history fans of all ages.
Basilica di San Bernardino
Located in L’Aquila’s old town centre, the Basilica’s origins can be traced back to the 15th century. Partially destroyed in two earthquakes, the Basilica’s most recent renovation was completed in 2015 and cost an estimated €40m. An imposing structure, the detailed decorative interior is a work of art and, in our opinion, unmissable.
Visit the Seven Sisters
Abruzzo spoils beach lovers with seven fantastic seaside resorts, known as the Seven Sisters. Each resort has its own unique vibe. From buzzing nightlife and festivals to pine forests and wild coastlines, there’s a beach in Abruzzo for everyone. We recommend Silvi Marina. A popular resort, the beach has beautiful fine sand and is close to Pescara’s marina and shopping centre.
Roam the National Parks
With not one but three expansive National parks to explore, Abruzzo is a haven for nature lovers. Home to boars, wolves and bears, there’s plenty of opportunity to spot wildlife among the tall trees. The best park in our opinion is the Majella National Park. Covering almost 100 square miles and full of stunning wild flowers, hare and deer are also easy to spot. Hit the parks and experience Italy at its wildest.
Abruzzo’s best kept secret may well be its perfectly powdered ski runs. Venture inland and onto the slopes for over 110kms of pristine piste. From December to early April, you can traverse the mountains by day and revel in the apres-ski scene by night. Roccaraso is the most famous and liveliest resort. If you prefer your pistes on the peaceful side, head to the slopes midweek for a clear run.
Think Italian cuisine and you’re dreaming of your favourite pizza toppings. After some authentic local cuisine? You’ll be spoilt for choice in Italy. Each region has its own unique flavours influenced by the surrounding landscape. Keen to try some Abruzzese cuisine? Go for the pasta. Local chefs serve it simply in flavour-packed tomato sauces. Thicker than the spaghetti we’re used to, beefed up strands of pasta, made from locally grown wheat, are served up by the bowl across the region. It doesn’t get more rustic than that.
With mountains well-stocked with grazing sheep, Abruzzese cuisine is famous for its lamb dishes. Think lamb skewers, lamb ragu and the earthy lamb ‘Coretello’. A mix of minced lamb and lamb offal, this traditional mountain dish is a regular on Abruzzo menus. Vegetarians needn’t worry, there are plenty of delicious pasta dishes and local cheeses to feast on too.
If you spot the Pensavo Peggio in Sulmona, don’t be put off by the name. This cantina’s name translates as ‘worse than I thought’ but the food is excellent. A restaurant that can poke fun at itself while serving up delicious Italian cuisine? We’re on board. Recommended by locals and tourists alike, you’re guaranteed traditional food served with a smile.
Abruzzo holidays offer holidaymakers so much choice. From the chance to visit a different beach every day of the week to exploring hundreds of miles of national parks. With day trips to museums, medieval towns, art galleries and much more as well as world-class ski slopes, modern marinas, annual festivals, and of course unrivalled beaches, this is a varied and beautiful place to visit year-round.
Booking your holiday to Abruzzo with easyJet holidays is the best way to get to this diverse region of Italy hassle-free. Best of all, you can save on your holiday when you book your flight and hotel together with easyJet holidays.
Abruzzo not quite ticking all of your boxes? Have a read of our other Italy destination guides for further inspiration and temptation!