One of the world’s most scenic countries, Italy seems to have the best of everything in abundance. From baskets full of ripe, fresh tomatoes to freely flowing carafes of wine, from the crashing waves of the Mediterranean and the Adriatic to the snowy mountaintops of the Apennines, Italy is filled with a kaleidoscopic variety of beautiful images. Turn in one direction and you might find yourself in the heart of a Medieval town, winding your way through its alleyways. Turn another direction and you could be on the marble steps of a Baroque church, eating gelato in a geometrically-harmonious piazza, or standing in a fragrant orange grove. Everything is possible in Italy. Yet, as tourism swarms and overtakes regions like Lazio, Umbria, and Tuscany, it becomes increasingly difficult to find an “authentic” Italian experience, free of touts and tourist traps alike.
Yet one almost untouched province in Italy offers some of the country’s best experiences at a fraction of the cost and fuss
you might find in Florence or Rome. Abruzzo, located between the majestic Apennines mountains and the sparkling Adriatic sea, has something for every traveler. Culture vultures can explore scenic Medieval and Baroque towns and cities like Pescara, Teramo, Chieti, and Sulmona – famous home of the Ancient Roman poet Ovid – while outdoorsy types can trek through the remote scenery of the Abruzzo National Park,
Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park, and more: one-third of Abruzzo is designated national parkland! Snow bunnies and beach bums alike have reason to celebrate; in the winter, 21 ski areas constituting 368 km of trails become open to the public, while summer sees the Adriatic’s sandy beaches fill with savvy travelers looking to escape the tourist glut of the Amalfi coast.
Whether your interests lie in mountains or museums, sand or skis, Abruzzo has become Italy’s most celebrated destination. If you’re looking to stay in Abruzzo, consider the seaside resort of Pescara, known for its elegant beachfront promenade, historic town centre, and proximity to all major sites and national parks. Easily reachable with Ryanair and other low-cost airlines, Pescara makes a perfect base from which to explore the Abruzzo region and consider a more tranquil stay in a private rental villa: a perfect way to experience Italy the way the Italians do.
Isabella B. is a travel writer. She has previously written for Metrowize, TripHip, and Nomad Magazine, among others. When she returns to Pescara each summer, she chooses to stay with Abruzzo Villas
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