Abruzzo’s combination of sea and mountains is famous. Its geography makes it a distinctive part of Italy: facing the Adriatic but, simultaneously, 60 kilometres from the beach, one finds the highest of the Apennine mountains, Italy’s Gran Sasso.
Abruzzo has something for every season. In wintertime, the most popular ski resorts are Rivisondoli, Roccaraso and Pescocostanzo. In the summer, coastal destinations are preferred: Montesilvano, Pineto, Roseto degli Abruzzi, Giulianova, Alba Adriatica, Tortoreto, Ortona, Vasto, Martinsicuro, Silvi Marina and the trabocchi coast. Many of these places have been awarded the European Union’s Blue Flag for the quality of their beaches, making Abruzzo 4th among Italy’s regions for the number of its Blue Flags (15 in 2011). Abruzzo is also known as a green region of Europe due to its enormous number of parks and protected areas: 36% of its territory is environmentally protected, more than any other province in Europe. Notable is Abruzzo National Park, inhabited by local species of bears, wolves, antelope, and deer.
Presiding over the dinner table is maccheroni alla chitarra (guitar maccaroni), a home made pasta cut with special steel frame; in Teramo the traditional dish is scrippelle, soft layers of pasta in broth. For the main course the recipe of choice from Chieti is scapece, a fried fish marinated in vinegar. For dessert what stands out are torroni, a confectionary specialty from Sulmona, together with cicerchiata, balls of fried dough covered in honey.
This traditional Abruzzo meal is sprinkled with the best wines of the region, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Sangiovese and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo.