Our first visit to this region was back 2005. It was part of our travels from the east to west coast of Italy. An autostrada connects L'Aquila to Rome so that became a good location to stay prior to returning to Rome. The Region of Abruzzo starts about 80 km east of Rome.
On the east coast of Italy, the Abruzzo Coast has beautiful clear waters and sandy beaches that seem to stretch on forever! The majority of the region is made up of mountains/hills. In fact, Abruzzo is noted to be one of the greenest places in Europe as almost one-third of the region is a national park or a protective nature reserve.
Roads tend to run between mountains so keep this in mind as driving around the region can take more time than originally contemplated. The coast line is very scenic, and some areas more scenic when viewed from afar. There are areas of the coast that have suffered too much development. I guess everything can't be an old fishing village!
The region is divided into four separate provinces: L'Aquila, Teramo, Pescara and Chieti.
L'Aquila is the capital city of the region, as well as the Province of L'Aquila and the second largest city of the region.
L'Aquila (more information on this town)
Luckily we toured this region the year before the 2009 earthquake. That devastating earthquake hit the town of L'Aquila and from the reports there was considerable damage to the old structures. We will have to go back and see the town again. The G8 Summit was held in the town in the summer of 2009, as planned, and I would think that high profile events like this are good in terms of getting funding for reconstruction work.
Chieti is a town with some interesting history and it is situated in layers on a hill. Other small towns with character include Sulomona and Scanno.
Giulianova is one of the coastal towns that has a medieval section set back from the beach area. In town is the Santa Maria a Mare, a Romanesque monument with interesting bas-reliefs on its façade. We would not say that this town is worth a journey, but if you are in the area, the town has a historic center rather than just being a resort town.
Pescara is the largest city of the region. I was not taken with the town. We went to Pescara because of its beach. It stretches for some 15 km. That sounds so scenic. But if the beach stretch forever, so does the rows of hotels. The Pescara beach itself has a 6.5 km seaside promenade.
We did stop at a cafe and have lunch along the water. It was okay, but there was not enough for my liking to stay much longer. Luckily we were not here in August. In that month I understand life is almost unbearable along this stretch. In the other months you will have plenty of room to yourself.