Abruzzo is a region of contrasts, it is famous in Italy for its unique local food and wine as well as the incredible scenery. It is described by Italians as ‘Forte e gentile’; strong and gentle. In land, the Maiella National park climbs from high plains into soaring Apennine mountain peaks. You can find ancient beechwood forests inhabited by chamois, eagles, elusive bears and wolves. Centuries old shepherd pathways leading through wild mountain passes marked by ancient castles and medieval hill towns. Along the Adriatic coast there are miles of sandy beaches (for the perfect beach holiday!), seaside towns and traditional Trabocchi. The panoramas are truly endless, which is just one of the reasons why we love it!
There are many places to visit in addition to the nearby beaches and towns. Below are just a few suggestions to give you a taste of the local history and culture spanning the Megolithic walls of Pallanum to the old towns and monasteries along on the coast. All of this beautiful places are just a short drive from your luxury villa holidays.
Torino di Sangro is a small village which can be seen from the balcony and the pool! The village has several bars and there are a number of festas and other local events, which take place during the summer months. This is 3 minutes in the car.
Castelbordino is a larger, more modern town, which has several boutique shops and delicatescents and more in the way of shops. There is a spectacular Abbey which hosts musical events in the summer. This is 5 minutes in the car.
Lanciano an ancient town famous in the Roman times for its fairs, its’ festival in the first week of September predates the Palio of Siena and it is now a wonderful international music festival. It is also an international place of pilgrimage, in the 8th century the congregation in the church of St Legonziano are said to have witnessed the first ever recorded Eucharistic miracle. A walk around the old town followed by a drink or gelato in the town’s main square is a must. This is about 20 minutes drive.
Vasto Old Town is a great place for an evening stroll around the old city walls, which provide spectacular views of the Abruzzo coast. Sit at one of the many bars or cafes and join in the traditional Italian pastime of people watching or go to one of the summer ‘midnight concerts’. This is about 20 minutes drive.
La Morge is a family orientated sandy beach, La Morge has safe bathing (with life guards), bars and restaurants. etc. If you prefer the beach holiday! This is 10 minutes in the car.
Lido Castlebordino, a beautiful pebbly beach still used by local fishermen, has lots going on in the summer and is a good place for an evening stroll. This is 10 minutes in the car.
The regional nature reserve ‘Lecceta di Torino di Sangro’ is a lovely woodland, which leads you down to the coast. It is populated by the protected European Oak and is the habitat for the largest population of tortoises in Abruzzo. This is about 10 minutes drive.
Aqualand, a Water Park near Vasto, is a great day out for all the family with all the chutes and slides you would expect plus a wellness centre where you can have a great massage or other alternative therapies. This is about 15 minutes drive.
Lake Bomba a 7Km long man made lake, is home to the world rowing championships and a good place to hire a canoe or two! This is about 30 minutes drive.
The waterfalls Cascate del Rio Verde fall over 200m and are the highest natural waterfalls in the Appenines.
Guardiagrele is a hill top town with views down to the coast. Home of the National Park of the Maiella and it is a great place to go if you want to try swinging through the treetops on walkways and zip lines! This is about 60 minutes.
Sulmona the medieval town where the famous poet Ovid was born in 43 BC. Today Sulmona has a picturesque main square which is made all the more dramatic by the towering backdrop of the Maiella Mountains and the 13th century aquaduct that still supplies the water to the fountain. It is home to the 11th century cathedral of San Panfilo, as well as shops selling the honey and the local speciality confetti (famous through medieval Europe) – sugared almonds woven into fantastic floral displays. This is about 90 minutes.
IIuvanum still retains the archaeological remains of a principle town inhabited by the Samnite people well before the Roman Empire with the oldest buildings dating from III-II BC. The town was on one of the main ancient trade routes from the south through the mountains, it is situated on a high plain 1000m above sea-level. It is also a great place for a picnic by the natural spring if the temperatures on the coast get too much for you! On your way up don’t forget to stop at the medieval Castello di Roccascalgna, even if you don’t go in you must take a picture, it looks like something out of a fairy tale! This is about 60 minutes by car.
Grotte del Carvone, located on the flanks of the Miaella with 1km of caves containing stalactites, stalagmites (which ones fall down?!) and underground lakes. This is about 60 minutes drive.
All of this and we have only just touched the surface! We will also tell you about the local markets and Cantinas (wine producers) which you can enjoy when you come and stay for your very own luxury villa holidays