Driving across Italy, from Rome to the region of Abruzzo is recommended. It may be a hefty trip compared with other airport transfers (around 3 hours) but it celebrates the supremacy of Italian autostrade…
Most people familiar with Italian potholes would find this a strange thing to declare, but the truth is that Italian taxes go into long distance roads rather than local roads. Those same people probably don’t enjoy driving in Italy… I love it! You can take the girl out of London, but you can’t take London out of the girl…
A culture which generally flouts rules, respects the no 1 rule of the road: make progress. That is, giving way to anyone faster, better or making more progress than you.
This road trip introduces you to the magnificence of the Appenine Mountains, as you glimpse views of monster mountains in the distance and suddenly find yourself facing walls of sheer rock, as you drive out of a tunnel.
Abruzzo has experienced three earthquakes in the last four years, the most recent in January 2017. Aquila, hit in August 2016, is still struggling to get back on its feet, with a high number of people still in temporary accommodation.
I am a strong believer that you shouldn’t go through life thinking about what could happen otherwise none of us would ever achieve anything! So Abruzzo was one of the possible destinations for the Italian Masterplan and a reccie was made to see what the area had to offer.
It is a truly awe-inspiring region; utterly beautiful with a mix of vineyards and olive groves in the foothills, trees familiar to us in the higher levels and pine forests on the higher peaks. The food of the region is typically rustic and delicious, of course, and there are some beautiful mountain villages in the region that have hardly changed since the fifties. Undoubtedly a stunning region but a few things missed the mark for us.
You quickly reach a high altitude in Abruzzo, even when coming inland from the coast, so although this would (and did!) present excellent mountain biking, with ancient shepherd’s paths being transformed into bike trails, it was certainly much cooler in the mountains. Although this would potentially provide us with a Winter/ ski season, I have no love of snow… So, believe me, I wouldn’t stick around to see it! A real shame, as this is a truly stunning region.
Here is a taster of the awesome peaks the region offers: