Abruzzo is a land to discover, which makes its landscape a great asset. It is no coincidence that the coat of arms of the Region is a Italic shield divided into three transverse bands: white, like the peaks of the snow-capped mountains; green; Like the gentle inland and blue hills, like the sea.
1. BASILICA OF SANTA MARIA DI COLLEMAGGIO
Majestic in all its beauty, Santa Maria di Collemaggio, near Aquila, deserves your attention: wanted by the end of 1200 by Celestino V, the Pope of the great rejection, which with the land of Abruzzo had a completely bond. In particular, the basilica will conquer you in every detail, from the rosette, one of the symbols of the city, to the façade, to the details of the different portals. In front of it, the large green meadow, full of students in pausing lessons, or the side park, which in summer becomes a theater of many events, will welcome you for a moment of refreshment. Do not miss one of these dishes once again with Navelli's saffron risotto, precious, before proceeding to the next stage.
2. STIFFE CAVES
Among the most spectacular karst phenomena in Italy, the Grotte di Stiffe, geologically formed about 600,000 years ago and located in the province of L'Aquila, in the municipality of San Demetrio and the Vestini, will only be able to catch you: a touristic route of 700 mt will make you discover an unexpected world at the borderline between reality and fantasy, huge stalactites and stalagmites, black lakes, lights and shadows and impetuous streams. Equip yourself: in the caves the temperature is rather low. Now you are ready to cross the threshold.
3. SCANNO LAKE
An enchanted, romantic village that seems to have fallen asleep under the green mountains of pines, with the blue lake at its feet: we are in Scanno, "the pearl of Abruzzo" set in the High Valley of Sagittarius, with a wild and almost uncontaminated nature. Get lost in the alleyways and do not forget the entry into craft shops or lace shops and jewelery, where you can not miss the Presentosa, a jewel in the area that has a long history behind it. Then taste the bear pan, a typical tradition sweet, and finally indulge in the well-deserved rest on the shores of the lake, which by some visuals takes on the shape of a heart.
4. THE HERMITAGE OF SAINT BARTHOLOMEW IN LEGION
If you need to find yourself, perhaps with a nice lonely journey, and unplugging the frenzy of everyday life, have a thought to the hermitage of Saint Bartholomew in Legion. Of a disarming beauty, literally excavated within a rocky spur of about 700 m over the sea level, the hermitage is located in the municipality of Roccamorice, in the province of Pescara. In the silence of the woods of the Maiella and the Morrone, there is only to turn off the cell phone, close your eyes and breathe a full lungs!
5. ROCCA CALASCIO
The place is magical, it is a postcards, and seems to be painted for how beautiful it is: this is Rocca Calascio, a medieval fortification at 1,464 m high, in the territory of Calascio. Immersed in the Gran Sasso National Park and the Laga Mountains, the rocks, wholly white stone and accessible through picturesque and winding coves roaming on the rocks, were chosen as a set of films such as The Rose Name, with Sean Connery, or Lady Hawke, with Michelle Pfeiffer. On the path that leads to Santo Stefano di Sessanio, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy that I also recommend visiting, there is the church of Santa Maria della Pietà, which you can admire from the fort, just below the Grand Horn of the Gran Sasso: From here the panorama is really impressive, you will find yourself out of time. And a little closer to heaven.
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