This beautiful region is geographically in central Italy (although it is considered part of southern Italy by the Italian Statistical Authority) and it faces the Adriatic sea with approximately 150 kilometres of coast. It is also one of the most mountainous regions of the peninsula with many sky resorts and three national parks where one can sight chamois, bears, wolves and golden eagles. An unforgettable experience is to go on a cross-country skiing excursion in the parks (there are guides who can take you) in early spring when there is still snow: crocuses grow where the snow has melted and tracks of many animals can be found. Abruzzo is impressive also from an artistic point of view. Sadly the town of l’Aquila, with its lovely churches and monuments, was badly damaged by an earthquake in 2009 during which 308 people lost their lives and 1,600 people were badly injured. This region was one of the poorest in Italy till a few decades ago and many “Abruzzesi” had to migrate to other regions of Italy or abroad in order to find work. Luckily the economy gradually got better and it is now one of the best in the southern area of Italy. The wines of this region were very much appreciated by the ancient Romans. Viticulture and wine making were then depressed due to the barbarian invasions, but subsequently picked up thanks to the monasteries and flourished during the Renaissance. This region, as the rest of Italy, was ravaged by Phylloxera at the beginning of the 1900s and unfortunately many indigenous varietals were lost. Consequently Montepulciano and Trebbiano became the main varieties of this region and were grown focussing on quantity rather than on quality. Luckily many producers have inverted this trend and the quality of the wines of Abruzzo has now greatly improved. Indigenous varietals, such as Pecorino, Passerina and Cococciola are now grown again. The cuisine of this region is extremely varied and has a lot to offer: delicious fish specialties on the coast, meat dishes, salami (try the “mortadella di Campotosto” better known as “coglioni di mulo” or “mule’s balls”) and cured meat, fruit and vegetables in the inner zones. The saffron of Novelli is famous and it is found in many lovely recipes. The olive oil of Abruzzo has gained three DOP (denominazione di origine protetta – protected origin denomination) for the “Aprutino Pescarese”, “Colline Teatine” and “Preturziano delle Colline Teramane” olive oils. This is certainly a region to explore!

Region Tour

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Producers in Abruzzo