A well kept secret but a must for anyone dreaming of a road trip in Italy is The Wilds of Abruzzo. Abruzzo will help you get off the touristy path and into the heart of the Italy. Chosen as one of Lonely Planet’s Epic Drives of the World this region is known for its beautiful mountains and lakes. This diverse landscape is full of beauty and history where ever you zig-zag to during your road trip.
Most people set out for Abruzzo from Rome which is only a 2 hour drive. Once in the region of Abruzzo you will be surrounded by national parks and quaint medieval villages.
Check out these must see pit stops on your road trip in Abruzzo.
Located in the province of L'Aquila in Abruzzo looms a 10th century military fortress. Prepare for a slow and steady climb up the 1480 meters in your campervan. The route can be windy and narrow in some areas so it’s best to be cautious. You can find parking that leaves with only a 10 minute hike to the top. Once you arrive Rocca Calascio offers spectacular 360° views of the town of Calascio, lush green valleys, rugged mountains and parts of the Trino Valley. Don’t forget your camera to capture some picturesque shots in (especially dramatic in dusk). It’s often windy at the very top and keep in mind that the temperature tends to drop the further you climb so bring a jacket to be safe.
When on a road trip in Italy you must stop by the capital of the Abruzzo region. Take your campervan down to this medieval town with nearly 800 years of historyL’Aquila old town is walled in classic Italian fashion. It hosts the charming San Bendadino di Siena church dating from the Renaissance period.
For castle lovers L'Aquila's also has a beautifully well-preserved 16th-century castle which is where you can find the national museum of Abruzzo. You can also check out the renowned Fountain of 99 Spigots, which symbolizes the unification of the 99 castles which circle L’Aquila.
Pescasseroli is located in the heart National Park of Abruzzo so it's completely surrounded by beautiful mountains. The town has become a tourist resort for skiing and hiking because of its unique position and landscape. This town has a prehistoric history has has long been a hub for some of Italy’s finest woodwork craft. This is a must see spot for anyone exploring the National Park of Abruzzo in a campervan.
Sulmona is another great stop on a road trip through Abruzzo. It’s located in a area near where two rivers converge below the mountains. It’s notable feature its beautiful cathedral, medieval gate and aqueduct. Sulmona has a round piazza which acts as a hub for locals to cool down with fresh drinks. For those with a sweet tooth, Sulmona is also famous for being the home of confetti candy (almonds that are sugared and shaped into flowers). Abruzzo makes a great base for setting off and exploring the rest of the region.
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