"L'Aquila" Top 5 Page for this destination Italy Off The Beaten Path Tip by iandsmith

Italy Off The Beaten Path: 430 reviews and 602 photos

  Just another mountain range
by iandsmith

In any other country this area would be a major attraction with its historic ruins of Peltuinum and Amiternum, the usual assortment of castles, monasteries, churches, mediaeval towns and fortified settlements, all set beneath the Gran Sasso d'Italia (2,914 metres).
Calling it "Off The Beaten Track" sounds like a misnomer when you learn that an autostrada slices through L'Aquila but, the only stop for most tourists is the petrol station before they continue to somewhere else.
As shown here, skiing is a distinct possibility on Italy's highest mountains outside the Alps after you've finished with evocative ruins such as the Rocca Calascio, so it's not only history that beckons and, in spring and summer there's hiking in the delightful high meadows.
L'Aquila is the capital of the Abruzzo region and, like elsewhere, has a heap of churches. One I thought was interesting was the massive Sant Maria di Collemaggio, constructed by Pietro dal Morrone (later Pope Celestine V) in the 13th century. He is buried here in a chapel to the right of the apse and was canonized in 1313.

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  • Updated Jun 6, 2003
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