Jun 28, 2012 12:27 - holly | 2,523 views
You have already used up most of your holiday days on a Caribbean cruise, doctor appointments, and annoying last minute errands, but here comes the summer and you are running out of options for how and where to get away on one of your weekends.
The region of Abruzzo in Italy is not only less expensive than other more touristy regions, but it also offers everything from beaches to mountains, artistic treasures, and delicious food. In the three days you’ve managed to set aside, you could potentially fit in all of the above.
Abruzzo is located in the centre of Italy between the Apennines and the Adriatic coast and is famous for the patience and strength of its inhabitants. The “Abruzzesi” people are known to never give up and are always eager to show the best of their province. In fact, Abruzzo is one of the few Italian regions that has experienced an economic growth in the tourism and food sectors.
If all you want is to go to the beach, Abruzzo beaches stretch along 129 km of warm Adriatic coastline. In the north there are seven coast villages called the “Seven Sisters”, and they’ve all been awarded the Blue Flag Status. The best and most idyllic one is Pineto, whose beach is divided from the town by a pine forest. Take a walk along the sand to the Tower of Cerrano, the most elegant sea tower in the region, and experience the beauty of the sunset.
However, if you talk to someone from south Abruzzo, they’d probably tell you that the best beach to watch the sunset from is Mottagrossa, which is tucked well out of the way of the crowds and resorts of the closest town, Pescara.
The National Parks: Trekking, Climbing and Horse Riding
There are 3 National parks where you can experience nature and wildlife at its best any time of the year. ‘Parco del Gran Sasso’ and ‘Monti della Laga’ are both must sees.
There are several trekking routes, but one of the most scenic is the one that starts from the locality of Ceppo, famous for mushrooms. Take the path that crosses the Martese forest and leads you to the enchanting, 40m tall ‘Morricana’ waterfall. Otherwise, from the borough of Padula, you can take the trail to the Cantagalli waterfalls. From here, you can continue on to the Fosso della Cavata and reach the Tordino springs and the Fiumata Refuge, where it is common to meet shepherds with their flocks in the summer.
If you love climbing then you must experience some classic climbs such as the ‘Via Degli Aquilotti’, ‘Gervasutti’, ‘Fiamme di Pietra’, and ‘Vecchiaccio’. If you’re an expert mountaineer and want a challenge, climb 2,500m to the top of Via Janneta, which nearly reaches the almost inaccessible north wall of Monte Camicia.
Horse lovers will feel right at home in Abruzzo. The Gran Sasso horse trail is the longest horseback riding trail in Italy (300km), and takes a couple of days to complete. Along the way there are well-equipped rest areas and places to eat, with signs that indicate the various architectural and gastronomical information of the area. However, you can always rely on one of the several equestrian centers, like the River Ranch in Bellante or the Monte Fanum Equestrian Association, to provide you with good information as well as accommodation.
If you’re tight for time but want to experience a host of sceneries and activities, head to Abruzzo. It will strike you with its natural beauty and hospitality, making your weekend unforgettable.
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