Where is Abruzzo?
When I tell people where we stayed in Italy, every single person would give us a blank face. You could see the question marks in their eyes as no recognition came over them. Truth be told, not many outside of Italy have heard of the Abruzzo region which is one reason why I love it. I affectionaly call it the Middle Child of Italy but it is one destination that should be on your radar. Next time you are heading to Italy, consider adding this hidden gem to your list and here are just a few reasons why…
Like most of Italy, the food is superb here. Abruzzo is located in the mountains alongside the Adriatic region. Making it known for not only its seafood but for its hearty but simple meals of meat and potatoes. If you’re lucky enough to make it here, make sure to order Arrosticini and Maccheroni all chitarr aka guitar pasta! Both are classic dishes that are sure to leave your taste buds tingling.
In any given moment you can view the most incredible snow-capped mountain to minutes later being at the blue Adriatic sea and vice versa. Almost every town has medieval architecture that makes you often think you are taking a step back into time.
Everyone I have met here are friendly and kind. Many don’t speak English so make sure to have your Google translate at ready or know a few basics to help out. It also helps that they are patient if they see you are trying. Worse comes to worse, charades can help!
This area is not full of tourists. Many Italians will come here to ski and swim in the sea but, it has mainly been Germans and a few few Brits who have come during the summer. As such, very rarely are things jacked up with tourists prices. Enjoy a seafood meal and wine for under 15 euros! Downside, it also means that if you don’t speak the language it can be hard to communicate and or figure out hours aka when a place is open.
The best part of this region? There are SO many hidden gems from Grottos, to skiing to beautiful medieval villages that you stumble upon. Due to the fact that not many tourists come, there is lots to discover still! If you are looking for beauty all year-round, Abruzzo is for you. From the famous Rocca Calascio to Campo Imperatore (where wild horses roam) there’s something for everyone. No matter the time of year. Just make sure to have an open mind but also ear, as many of these places you find out from locals.
Pescara is one of the biggest cities in the region and is a great connector to destinations around Italy either through bus or train. This makes stopping here for a few days before moving on possible and easy. You can even fly direct from London Gatwick on Ryanair!
There is a bit of magic here. The sense of laid-backness and calmness of the people does imprint on you. Desire a holiday to reset and relax? Then this is the area for you to do just that. Sit in the sun, drink 2 euro wine and eat incredible food, what more could you want?
Magical is how I describe the Abruzzo region. The next time you are heading to Naples or Rome, consider doing a little trek off the beaten path to Abruzzo. Your wallet won’t be mad, your stomach will be glad and you will be able to say you went before anyone else did.
Have any questions for me or want to know more insider details? Feel free to ask me anything below! Convinced to give Abruzzo a try? There is a variety of places to stay from rental to hotels and Agriturismos. They are scattered throughout and my mother even rents her house occasionally. It is full of olives trees, a pool overlooking the valley and plenty of places to eat nearby. Check it out here!