‘The land of a thousand castles’ paints a rather romantic picture, perhaps one you would expect to find tucked away within the pages of a magical story book. But this mystical land is in fact one of Italy’s hidden gems, lying to the east of historic Rome. Sometimes referred to as the ‘green heart of Italy’, the Abruzzo region is a much loved treasure, largely untouched by modern tourism.

A must for those looking to enjoy the wilderness, Abruzzo has a surprisingly varied landscape; to the west lies the spectacular peaks of the Apennines Mountains whilst to the east lies a vast stretch of the Adriatic coastline, with its azure waters and sandy coves. Huge National Parks occupy much of the region’s rustic interior, ideal for keen hikers and lovers of the great outdoors. But history and culture lovers can also rejoice; Abruzzo’s towns and hamlets are the stuff of fairytales, with hill top settlements scattered across the landscape dating back to the medieval and Renaissance periods, retaining their old world charm and age-old traditions.

Because Abruzzo remains largely unknown, lying in the shadow of some of Italy’s more famous regions, it spoils its visitors with an opportunity to explore authentic Italy away from the well trodden tourist trail. Whether you’re after a holiday full of the great outdoors, exploring charming villages or simply relaxing by the sparkling sea, Abruzzo certainly ticks a lot of boxes!