We’re passionate about sustainable travel in Italy… and what better place to travel green than in Abruzzo, Italy’s “greenest” region?
Filled with miles of unspoiled parks and countryside, the region of Abruzzo offers tons of green travel options. And, of course, green travel isn’t just about reducing the carbon footprint while on vacation—it’s also about supporting local businesses, and really getting to know the land and the people who live there. Since Abruzzo tends to be off the beaten path for most travelers, there are even more authentic ways to do that here than elsewhere in Italy!
What to see in the region of Abruzzo
If you like the outdoors and off-the-beaten-path travel, you’ll love Abruzzo! You won’t find a grand tour of famous sites in this region… but you will get a genuine feeling of what daily Italian life is like, plus get to experience rolling hills, spectacular mountains, and stunning beaches.
Abruzzo is especially famous for its parks, which cover about a third of the region. Head to Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise, Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e dei Monti della Laga, Parco Nazionale della Majella and Parco Naturale Regionale Sirente-Velino to get in touch with the “green heart of Italy.”
These parks aren’t just green; they also boast some of Europe’s tallest mountains. The Apennines are perfect for skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer, and so high that you can see both the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas from their peaks.
Looking for something more relaxing? Try one Abruzzo’s many beaches along the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea.
Where to stay in Abruzzo
Immerse yourself in nature and enjoy sustainable accommodation in any one of Abruzzo’s four provinces (L’Aquila, Teramo, Chieti, and Pescara). Green lodging options include renting an apartment or staying at a local bed-and-breakfast or agriturismo (farms that rent out rooms to guests).
Interested in getting your hands dirty? Include organic farming in your vacation by using websites like WOOF and GrowFood, which can organize opportunities for working on farms and living with local families for extended periods of time.
What to eat in Abruzzo
Abruzzo’s rich mix of mountains and sea makes for very fertile farmland—which means deliciously fresh produce! Abruzzo’s traditional dishes tend to serve up seasonal products, so you may not find the same dishes in the winter as you do in the summer (which is much better for the environment!).
Specialties in Abruzzo include arrosticini (roasted lamb skewers), handmade maccheroni alla chitarra (a pasta similar to spaghetti and resembling guitar strings) and pecorino (hard cheese made from sheep’s milk). These dishes tasted even better when paired with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo red wine!
How else to promote sustainable travel in Abruzzo
Staying at organic farms and hiking in the mountains are “green” ways to travel in Abruzzo.
But there are other sustainable ways to travel in Abruzzo and help the region, too. In 2009, Abruzzo’s capital of L’Aquila was devastated by an earthquake. It’s slowly rebuilding, but one way to help is to promote the region’s local businesses. It’s easier than you may think! Eating fresh, local food, buying artisanal goods, and staying at family-owned establishments not only boost local business, but give you a real feel for the region.
Of course, we also recommend traveling as little as possible by car. Instead, get lost on foot. Not only is it good for you, but it allows you to see the many hidden treasures that the region has to offer!