The Abruzzo region is just to the east of Lazio and south of Le Marche, with a coastline along the Adriatic Sea and one-third of its land preserved in national parks.
The Apennine Mountains make up the western part of the Abruzzo region, including the highest peak in that mountain range—Gran Sasso, at more than 9,550 feet. These are busy ski areas in the winter, though not as well known as the famous alpine ski resorts in northern Italy. On the eastern side of the region, the beaches are popular with Italians (and many Europeans) in the summer months.
Given that so much of the region's territory is parkland or nature reserve, it's not surprising that this also means quite a bit of the land feels untouched. In addition to skiing and sunbathing, other outdoor activities are popular in Abruzzo, such as hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. Aside from the Italian outdoors enthusiasts, however, Abruzzo is often overlooked by visitors.
There are rail lines that cut through different parts of Abruzzo, connecting the region's cities and towns with other parts of Italy, but none rival the speed and efficiency of the high-speed train lines in northern Italy. Some locals prefer cars or buses to get around the region.
Photo credits: Angelo Amboldi