Discover the Bel Paese best-kept secret. Choose your Abruzzo Bike Tour or learn more about this wild corner of Italy.
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Not far from Rome, but a world away from the touristic crowds, Abruzzo is the wildest region of Italy. A third of its territory is protected by National Parks and is dominated by a pristine nature ranging from the sandy Adriatic beaches to the mighty peaks of Gran Sasso and Majella mountains.
to ancient times
Populated since the Neolithic era, some artefacts date back to beyond 6,500BC, the region was conquered by the Romans around the year 290BC and lived a relatively prosperous period thanks to its proximity to the empire’s capital. Following the fall of Rome, Abruzzo was ruled by many different civilisations including Lombards, Byzantines and Normans. They all left visible marks in the local culture and in the enchanting hamlets and castles that nowaday are scattered in the region. The area also has a deep connection with the Second World War: the anti-Allies Gustav line ran through Abruzzo and in 1943 the conflict hit the area with the September bombing of Pescara and the December battle of Ortona, regarded as one of the fiercest campaigns of the war.
From the Gran Sasso
to the Adriatic coast
An incredible variety of terrains makes Abruzzo a quintessential destination for cyclists of all kinds. Thrilling backroads connect the UNESCO-Heritage Trabocchi Coast, named after its striking collection of fishing structures, to gentle hills dotted with vineyards, olive grows and enchanting hamlets. Proceeding inward, mighty climbs await to be conquered; some of them, as Campo Imperatore and Blockhaus, have often been featured in epic battles at the Giro. Traffic is nowhere to be seen and on a typical ride sheep flocks are met more often than vehicles.
EAT AND DRINK
With mountains and sea as strategic borders, fishing and farming are Abruzzo’s lifeblood and perfectly explain its varied local cuisine. By the beach seafood dishes like brodetto alla vastese are prominent while legumes and meat, especially mutton and pork, reign in the mountains. Arrosticini, thin mutton skewers simply salted and flame-grilled, are one the most famous regional dishes. Abruzzo also boasts a long history of pasta-making, a remarkable production of Pecorino cheese and excellent olive oils. To end with some sweet, some must-try are Pizza Dogge, Parrozzo and the Sise delle Monache, literally nuns’ breasts, typical of Guardiagrele. When it comes to wine, the red Montepulciano d Abruzzo is the regional flagship but also lesser known whites as Pecorino, Passerina and Trebbiano hold many surprises.
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