REGION ABRUZZO

“A Strong and Kind Region”

REGION ABRUZZO-1BRIEF PORTRAIT
Strong and kind: these adjectives usually associated to Abruzzo, a region between the Adriatic Sea and the central Apennines, whose nature rough and sometimes wild, combined with an ancient history and the richness of its culture, gives to those who visit emotion after another. Its history is rooted in the dawn of time, as evidenced by its name. Abruzzo, teaches the humanist Flavio Biondo, comes from Aprutium, popular  evolution of  Praetutium,  the land of Praetutii, an ancient Italic population that lived in the area of the Teramo. Abruzzo preserves some of the highest peaks in Italy ( The Corno Grande del Gran Sasso and the Majella massif), natural areas of great interest, such as the Abruzzo National Park, and a rugged , high and steep coastline. Art lovers will find great satisfaction in this reason, from the jewels architectural of Vasto and Sulmona (the latter famous for being the birthplace of Ovid), to Atri, a city to which we owes the name of the same Adriatic Sea . Many testimonies of Gothic,as well, Renaissance and Baroque art as scattered throughout the territory. Very well developed summer tourism, coastal and beach, which sees crowd the beaches of Montesilvano, Pineto, Roseto degli Abruzzi, Alba Adriatica, Ortona and the entire coast of the Trabocchi, named for the extravagant towers used by fishermen, thus avoiding of having to take the boat and go out to sea. As to food and wine, Abruzzo demonstrates its rural , pastoral and marinate roots with a variety of cuisine and at the same time simple: spaghetti alla chitarra, fish soup, are a tasty trip to the myriad flavors of Abruzzo

 

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 MAIN CITY
L’Aquila. Extraordinary city with thousand years history and, in front of herself, an uncertain future. On 6 April 2009, a terrible earthquake has devastated in fact, causing the death of about 300 people and damaging a number of buildings in the historic center. L’Aquila was founded in 1242 by Frederick II, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, which  succeeded in bringing together the populations of 99 countries from Abruzzo which stood on the territory of the city. Not surprisingly, there are many references to the number 99, starting from the medieval fountain with 99 jets, called the Fountain of 99 Spouts, near the train station, behind the medieval Porta of the Riviera. L’Aquila is dominated by the Gran Sasso massif, but also by its castle, one of the best examples of military architecture in Italy. The city is also the main access to the Gran Sasso National Park, full of hiking trails and fully crossed by two parallel mountain ranges, flanking the plain of Campo Imperatore. From here you can groped climbing Corno Grande or take a ski lift to the ski resort of Prati di Tivo.

TERRITORY
The region is mostly mountainous and hilly, while the plain is reduced to a narrow coastal strip along the coast. The towering peaks of the Apennines of Italy’s Gran Sasso (Big Horn) and the Majella massif (Monte Amaro), are also known ski resorts. The coastline in the area of Teramo, from Martinsicuro to Francavilla al Mare, has wide sandy beaches, but to the south, the landscape changes completely: from Ortona to Vasto and San Salvo the coast is in fact rather  wild, high and steep, and the beaches are surrounded by dense maquis. Today Abruzzo can boast the presence of three national parks, a regional park and 38 protected areas between oasis and regional reserves and state. In total 36% of the territory is subject to environmental protection: an average that ranks  Abruzzo first in Italy. From the point of view of nature, the parks are rare species of flora and fauna, such as the brown marsciano  bear,  the European otter, the Apennine wolf and the Abruzzo chamois.

EVENTS
Many events noteworthy in Abruzzo. The Pescara Jazz, the first Italian summer festival dedicated to this type of music (born in 1969), is one of these. The event is held every year in July at the  D’Annunzio Theater, with an average of about 2 thousand spectators in the evening. Also very prestigious International Award Ennio Flaiano, festival divided into four sections: film, theater, literature, television. It is a cultural event of international appeal, which brings together in Pescara some of the most interesting protagonists of entertainment and culture. The event was created to honor Ennio Flaiano, and to reapet constantly repeat the study of opera. The Festival takes place every year since 1974 and attracts tens of thousands of spectators. A word should be said for the now completed Outside Use, exhibition of contemporary art, enriched by the presence of some of the most famous international artists, held since 1991 and now not  renewed for lack of funds. The main feature of this event was to take place in places in abandonment of the city: former bus depots, former railway workers, former factories and warehouses, which for the occasion were returning to life.

HOW TO GET
By Plane. Abruzzo is connected to the rest of the Abruzzo International Airport in Pescara, open to civilian traffic in 1996, and has already exceeded half a million passengers a year. Today, the airport connects the region with many Italian and above all European destinations.

By Train. In Abruzzo the rail network extends about 500 km and has 85 stations. The fundamental network of the region consists of the director of the Adriatic that connects Abruzzo with Bologna and Bari across the Abruzzo coast from north to south. Particularly important among the complementary lines, the Rome-Oricola-Sulmona-Pescara.

By Car. There are three highways that serve the region: the A24, connecting Rome with Aquila and Teramo: the A25, which consente connection between Rome and Pescara; and the A14, which leads from Bologna to Taranto

TO VISIT
Besides the Abruzzo National Park, the Valley of Orfento, the Sheds of Job, The Gorges of Salinello, the Badlands, Scanno and its lake in the shape of heart, Abruzzo is a city that holds, as in a casket , real medieval gems and quirky museums, like that of the Insects of Bisegna . Here a large collection in the exhibition showcases the typical species  of the mountains of Abruzzo, but also from other countries and continents. In Sulmona, there is the Museum of Drageoir Art and Technology , able to remove the visitor any curiosity about famous sweets, whose production has developed since the fifteenth century. On display are various machines and documents, while a century laboratory illustrates as the once  were preparing the almonds covered with hardened sugar. Since 1922 the museum is a national monument.

TRADITIONS AND FOLKLORE
Land and religious traditions have always been the great loves of Abruzzo. The most revered saint is St. Anthony Abbot, protector of animals, celebrated August 17 with great fires and bonfires, pageants and food festivals. In Fara Filiorum Petri, in the province of Chieti, it is celebrated with Farchie Festival, giant bundles of reeds filled with dry leaves and straw, but if you move Villavallelonga to not annoy the saint must “submit” to the 50-course lavish banquet set for the occasion. The banquet begins on Christmas Eve and lasts until the morning of the festival, in conjunction with the parade of floats. Very symbolic also the anniversary of the Holy Spouses (January 23), an unique event in the world and to celebrate the marriage between the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. It takes place in San Martino della Marrucina, in the province of Chieti, and begins in the morning of January 23, with a religious solemn  ceremony, followed by a procession with the statue of Mary and her husband brought before the altar. In July 26 is the time of the Feast of St. Anne or the Triumphs, in Teramo, commemorating the narrow escape of the domination of the lordship of Acquaviva (1521), the war of the Tronto and peace restored town. Parades of floats, a defiance of flag-wavers, the dance of the nymphs and the Lavender carousel  see the entire population poured joyous to the streets. In Francavilla al Mare, in the province of Chieti, the protagonist is the dance of the Pupa, an original fireworks display around the Pupa,a female puppet form with a frame made of reeds. Inside takes place a man who dances to the sound of a barrel organ and an accordion, while outside are placed the fireworks that are fired when their dance becomes frenetic.

AT TABLE

Sheep Farming  and agriculture activities are still well developed in Abruzzo and gastronomy offers strong and genuine tastes, without adulteration of any kind. The regional cuisine is therefore largely based  on sheep meat, cheese and vegetables. Significant incidence of the dough in the Abruzzo diet . Many pasta dishes, are great protagonists of Abruzzo cuisine: from the macaroni on guitar, long strips of pastry made of flour and eggs passed on guitar (beech frame with two sets of steel wire). Are served with lamb sauce and accompanied by local wines such as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Termane DocG , red wine made from grapes of the same name that requires a minimum age of two years, including one in wooden casks and six months in bottle. Another famous wine of the area is the White Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DocG,  with a minimum alcohol content of eleven degrees. As for the cheese, you have to report the Pecorino of Farindola, only cheese in the world made with rennet pork product and on the eastern side of the Gran Sasso. Other local pecorino is the Canestrato of Castel Del Monte made from the milk of sheep grazing at 180 meters, at Campo Imperatore. Among the meats, Ventricina is a sausage wrapped in pig stomach (and not in a gut) spiced with pepper powder and fennel and ripened for three months. Many characteristic oils : the Aprutino Pescara Dop oil, The Petruziano of Teramo Hills and the s Teatine Hills  Dop. Among other products of excellence of Abruzzo prominently deserve white black truffles and  Aquila Dop saffron  produced in fifteen municipalities of the Navelli plateau and obtained by roasting  flower stigmas of Crocus sativus .

LOCAL PRODUCTS
In Abruzzo crafts representing one of the reality of the production and economic of the  region, especially the ability to maintain the traditions unchanged over time, and can be considered as a integrated phenomenon and rooted in local culture. There are many shops and stores offering artifacts, that the Masters have been able to create working poor and characterisric materials of this land. The art of Abruzzo is also found in small things: vases painted with bright colors, wicker baskets hand-woven tapestries with delicate embroidery, processing of copper and iron, jewelry and carved stone. They are potters, stonemasons, goldsmiths, carvers, blacksmiths, weavers or coppersmiths, artisans of Abruzzo are located in each corner of the region, usually at affordable prices.  Exceptions are the L’Aquila  saddles production  so appreciated by taking the path of the stables of Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British royal family. And then the ceramics of Castelli and those Bontempo, and traditional jewelry, such as Presentosa (usually gold or gold plated metal), jewel worn by women on festive occasions. The jewel is set in earrings or necklaces hanging, to be placed in plain view on the chest.

DID YOU KNOW THAT…

In Abruzzo was created the first museum of pork in the world? It is located in Carpineto Sinelli, in the province of Chieti and was opened in 2008. Five sections: “Who is the pig”, “The history of the pig in the culture and in the rural Italian, from Roman times to the present day” , “learning area”, “breeding and marketing of pigs agribusiness economy in central-southern: the historical role of Carpineto Sinello”, “the art of charcuterie Abruzzo especially Carpineto and Vastese past and present.