THINGS TO SEE & DO
There is something for everyone here in Abruzzo and some careful planning will ensure you have a holiday with the perfect balance; hiking, biking, swimming, walking, shopping, skiing, exploring, eating, or just chilling on our sun terrace or by our pool.
Abruzzo is a land of mountains. Looking inland from most locations, your eyes will meet with views of the majestic peaks of the Gran Sasso or Majella ranges.
It’s a fascinating landscape that has shaped the culture, hearts and minds of this beautiful wild region in the heart of Italy. Comprising of high peaks, some reaching 3000m height, lush wide valleys, narrow gorges with waterfalls, pine forests, green pastures, plateau and many lakes, the landscape is easy to fall in love with.
The Abruzzo region has many lakes, two of our favourites are Lago Di Scanno and Lago di Barrea.
Lago di Scanno: This natural heart shaped lake and the town of the same name in the Sagittario Valley in the middle of the Majella mountains are a great day out. After exploring the steep winding streets of Scanno’s ancient town, pop down to the lake for a picnic and to cool off. The lake is well equipped in high season with rental facilities for bikes, deck chairs, canoe, pedal boats etc.
Lago Di Barrea: This lake within the national park of Abruzzo is also a great day out. Equipped in high season for visitors, with rental facilities for bikes, deck chairs, canoe, pedal boats etc.
The Abruzzo mountains offer a strong, enduring layer of snow (often lasting until spring), with countless ski resorts and facilities. Less crowded and not as costly as the better known Alpine resorts, our mountains offer great settings for both downhill and cross-country skiing. The high mountains are perfect for downhill sports like skiing and snowboarding whilst the plateaux offer ideal locations for cross-country skiing.
Numerous ski resorts which are dotted along the Apennine range, from Monte Piselli in the north to Roccaraso and Pescasseroli in the south, touch on four parks: Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga, Majella, Sirente-Velino and Abruzzo-Lazio-Molise. The exceptional variety of natural environments allows the Abruzzo mountains to offer a whole range of winter sports, from more extreme ski-touring to dog sledging to quiet family excursions with snowshoes.
For visitors to Villa Leonardo, the Passo Lanciano and Majelletta ski areas offer winter sports opportunities and are only a short drive away.
The Adriatic coast of Abruzzo is famous with Italians as a holiday destination, with long stretches of safe sand or shingle beach. The beaches of which 22 are blue flag beaches, are clean, well-looked after, with many bars and restaurants. Windsurfing, fishing, diving and sailing are readily available.
Pescara is a vibrant and modern city, with the largest tourist harbour on the Adriatic. In July and August, the sandy beaches are full of holidaying Italian families, but out-of-season in May, June and September, even the busiest spots are often surprisingly peaceful!
The Francavilla area immediately south of Pescara is that which is closest to Villa Leonardo.
After Francavillla al Mare, the coastline begins to change from wide, sandy beaches, to dramatic cliffs and secluded bays. This area is known as the 'Trabocchi' coastline is named after the picturesque wooden fishing platforms that are dotted along the coast. A large part of this particular coastline has been designated a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Moving towards Vasto, you will find sand dunes and some of the best-preserved environments on the whole coast. The area has many marinas where, at night, the little fishing boats sell their catch of the day to people and restaurants.
Abruzzo plays host to two large water parks, both providing a full and entertaining day out: Acqualand del Vasto and Onda Blu Acquapark (Tortoreto) which is central Italy's biggest water park. Both parks have many pools and water slides and are well equipped for babies and toddlers.
Food and Drink
Abruzzo is one big food safari! It offers a wide range of food, from tasty grilled meats in the mountain regions, to the fresh seafood of the Adriatic coast. You can enjoy fresh local produce in every part of the region.
Abruzzo’s strong rural tradition ensures that it offers a wide selection of flavours and aromas.
Enjoy a leisurely lunch inland at one of many local family-owned restaurants, where the local Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Pecorino and Trebbiano wines provide the perfect accompaniment to the freshest local produce, or head for the coast and one of the many seafood restaurants overlooking the sparkling blue Adriatic.
Abruzzo’s wholesome cuisine is noted for its abundance, freshness and sense of tradition. The diverse geography of the region has ensured that it yields unforgettable food and drinks, not to mention a number of famous chefs including Aldo Zilli.
The DOC wines of Abruzzo are becoming increasing more popular around the world. There are many award winning cantinas locally. The traditional grapes of the region are the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo (white) and the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (red). Abruzzo is also famous for its liqueurs, notably Centerbe (hundred herbs) from the foothills of Majella, and orange-flavoured Aurum, produced in Pescara. Many of the cantinas offer tours and wine tasting sessions.
The extra-virgin olive oil that is produced in Abruzzo is superb and we recommend that you leave space in your suitcase to take some back home.
Abruzzo is also famous for its pasta production. The excellent durum wheat from the hills and the clear water of the mountains make pasta one of the highlights of local cuisine. There are a number of pasta factories in the region that are open to visitors.
In the Abruzzo hills, it’s all about meat. We and everyone else that we know are addicted to an Abruzzese speciality called arrosticini, small skewers of charcoal grilled lamb.
The Adriatic provides fishermen with a catch of high-quality fish and shellfish. In the coastal restaurants there is always a wide variety of fish to choose from.
Le Sagre - Food Festivals
As you can understand, the Abruzzese people are extremely proud of their cuisine, and eating and drinking play a central role in their daily lives. The locals here take every opportunity to celebrate their local produce by holding many food festivals - sagre - throughout the year.
During the summer, in whichever part of Abruzzo you find yourself, you will have the chance to participate in the celebrations and taste many local specialities, including truffles, saffron, red garlic and various types of local pasta. In the autumn, the harvests are commemorated, in particular the grape harvest, and chestnuts.
The list of festas in Abruzzo cannot be contained within this page. However, Bucchianico itself has a reputation of being a ‘festa’ town and having not one but two patron saints (San Camillo & Sant’Urbano) provides the locals with a great excuse for a long season of festas.