The Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park is perhaps the quintessential green paradise and is virtually synonymous, in public imagination, with the idea of unspoilt nature. Founded in 1922, it covers over 50,000 hectares of stunning Apennine landscape peppered with lakes and picturesque towns and villages. It can also boast a fantastically rich reserve of plant and animal life. For instance, there are a few dozen Marsican brown bears, a critically endangered species, as well as Apennine wolves, Apennine chamois, golden eagles and various other kinds of animal.
This enormous “green lung” offers a succession of welcoming settlements and high-mountain destinations that, over the course of the year, will present a variety of different faces, each as charming as the last. The towns of Avezzano, and Sulmona offer a rich patrimony of art and history and are well worth a visit, as is the Fucino Plateau – with its prized vegetable farms – and the countless other towns and villages scattered among the mountains, including Opi, Scanno, Pescocostanzo, Pacentro and Tagliacozzo.
Ski enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the resorts of Roccaraso, Campo Felice, Ovindoli and Pescasseroli, while those in search of rest and relaxation can treat themselves to a restorative session at the Terme di Carmanico spa complex.
Delight at the profusion of over 2,000 plant species that paint the meadows with colour in the spring
Discover the iconic animals of the Abruzzo National Park, such as the Marsican brown bears, Apennine wolves, Apennine chamois, deer, and golden eagles
Visit Avezzano, the largest town in the Marsica region, with its interesting 20th-century architecture, and measured pace of life
Treat yourself to a moment of romance, gazing out over the heart-shaped Lake Scanno
Stroll through the medieval heart of Opi, which was immortalised in the art of M C Escher
Sneak away to Pescasseroli, in the heart of the Marsican Mountains, almost 1,200 metres above sea level
Drink in the poetic beauty of the hillside village of Barrea, which is reflected, together with the surrounding mountains, in the water of the eponymous lake
Listen as the walls of the castle and the 10th-century Norman tower recount the ancient history of Alfedena, which was once an important Samnite settlement
Visit noble Sulmona, the small, but fascinating city associated with the production of confetti – the candied almonds traditionally given to wedding guests in Italy. Admire the medieval aqueduct, and spot the references to the city’s most famous son, the poet Ovid.
Enjoy some skiing on the pistes of Ovindoli, Roccaraso and Campo Felice