Nestled between two small villages within The Gran Sasso National Park of Pescara, our detached and well-equipped holiday home (La Montanara) offers modern and comfortable 3 bedroom accommodation ideally situated for a visit to the Abruzzo region of Italy. There are two double bedrooms, a smaller bedroom which is big enough for two single beds, a bathroom with shower and an open-plan living room with kitchen. Balconies run the full width of the house at the front, providing a place to sit and admire the panoramic views of the countryside including the Maiella mountain range, right to the sea. There is a garden with a patio area at the rear, and secure parking. Full central heating and double glazing ensure warmth in case of a cold snap, and for added cosiness, you can burn logs in the imposing fireplace. The fully fitted kitchen includes oven, hob, fridge/freezer and washing machine.
The joy of the region is that it has not been commercialised, and the tourist trade - such as there is one - caters largely for Italians. The ski resorts of Campo Imperatore and Roccaraso are not far away, and offer top quality skiing. In April, you can apparently ski in the morning and sunbathe on the beach in the afternoon. Whether that is strictly true is not clear, but you get the general idea.
Sightseeing and visiting mediaeval towns is a must, and you will be agreeably surprised at how many picturesque locations there are. In the house is a folder containing details of places worth visiting, but it is by no means exhaustive. Places like Castel del Monte, at 1,346 metres above sea level one of the highest towns, and one which is frequently cut off in winter due to snow, or Lago di Scanno, a town clustered on a hillside with a beautiful lake. For the more adventurous, Rome is a two hour coach ride away, or you can go by train - slower but apparently spectacular as the railway winds across the mountain passes.
The whole area around La Montanara is a National Park, so there is no shortage of unspoilt natural scenery. Higher up in the moutains are bears and wolves (allegedly) and other forms of wildlife, so get your hiking boots on and commune with nature for a while.
The nearest main city of the Abruzzo region is Pescara (the others being Teramo and L'Aquila) which is also where the airport is located - about 40 km away (25 miles). A relatively modern and well-ordered city, it is situated on the coast and is a major fishing port. Pescara sits on the river after which it is named, and at the river mouth, if you turn right you will find the fishing harbour, whereas if you go left you will be faced with 7 kilometres of beautiful, clean sandy beach, with a huge variety of restaurants mostly serving fresh seafood.
Inland, and nearer to La Montanara, the cuisine becomes simpler and centres around meat. The local speciality is arrosticini - tasty lamb on wooden skewers grilled over charcoal and served in bundles of 10.
Driving in this region is a joy, with uncluttered roads and acres of olive groves and vineyards to look at, as well as the mountains
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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