A Brief History of the Region
Abruzzo has been inhabited since ancient times, with settlements of the Sabini tribe and then conquest by the Romans. In the Middle Ages, the Normans brought Byzantine and Arabic influences. Abruzzo was later controlled by the Kingdom of Naples before Italy's unification. The mountainous terrain sheltered historic hill towns from major destruction in WWII.
What the Region is Known For
Abruzzo is known for its stunning mountain landscapes, including the Apennine range and Gran Sasso peak. The region contains three national parks protecting historic villages, wildlife, and natural beauty. Medieval castles and monasteries dot the interior, while beaches fringe the coast. Ski resorts thrive in the mountains.
Culture and Language
Abruzzo has an ancient cultural heritage passed down through generations. Traditions include folk music and dances, artisan crafts, and religious festivals. Local dialects descended from ancient regional languages persist, though standard Italian is widely used. The people are known to be hearty, passionate and family-oriented.
Gastronomy of Abruzzo
Food in Abruzzo reflects its terrain, with hearty mountain dishes, fresh seafood, and produce from fertile valleys. Pecorino cheese, saffron, truffles, chili peppers, and garlic feature prominently. Popular dishes include arrosticini lamb skewers, seafood soups, and smoked and cured meats. The Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wine pairs perfectly with regional cuisine.
Top Foods to Try
Don't miss arrosticini, maccheroni alla chitarra pasta, lamb stew, fiadoni cheese ravioli, spicy pepper 'nduja sausage, and rich Montepulciano red wines. Savor fresh seafood by the coast, and sample aged pecorino cheese.
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