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From the sea to Gran Sasso

by Marcello Parmeggiani last modified 2008-06-20 15:10

Stroll along the seafront or climb the peaks of Gran Sasso. From culture, to history and natural beauty - there's something for everyone in Abruzzo.

Duomo di San FlavianoThe sun-kissed city of Giulianova is a thriving year-round resort and one of the most popular holiday spots in the Abruzzo area. Our first stop is the Duomo di San Flaviano (1470), a Renaissance-style church with an unusual octagonal shape and a beautiful crypt. It is one of those rare examples of a historical building which thankfully survived last century's development of the coastal strip into a tourist trap. Giulianova has other surprises in store, such as its complex underground tunnel system built in ancient times to supply the town with water.

Gran Sasso National ParkYou'll have no difficulty finding accommodation in Giulianova thanks to the wide variety of hotels available. So bed down early for the night, as we've a busy day tomorrow.
It's worth getting - or staying - up to watch the sun rising over the sea before you head inland towards the breathtakingly beautiful Gran Sasso National Park. If you don't feel up to scaling the peaks there are lots of walking, horse-riding and mountain bike trails. As well as bird and animal watching for the less energetic, and water sports on the mountain lakes.

Before heading back towards the coast stop off for a mouthwatering meal at the Valico delle Capannelle restaurant just a few kilometres after the homonymous pass. (Call +39-0761-493202.)

On your way back down to the coast you can take a detour to Bucchianico, just outside Chieti, for a colourful local festival called the sagra dei Banderesi, which, as luck would have it, takes place on the very Sunday of the race. The festival celebrates the legendary victory of Bucchianico over Chieti in the 13th Century. (Call +39-0871-81112.)

If you've got time to spare in Francavilla join the locals as they stroll along Corso Roma or wander up Via Spaccapietra towards the Chiesa di San Franco, which was built in 1957. The church façade and fountain are the work of sculptor Pietro Cascella. There's lot's to see in and around Francavilla but unfortunately you'll need more than a day to enjoy it to the full.
A hotel for the night? No problem, just book in before treating yourself to a slap-up dinner in one of Francavilla's best restaurants: "Marianna", in Via D'Annunzio.

Gran Sasso National Park - - All you need to know to holiday in the Park.
Abruzzo 2000 - A window on the Abruzzo region, for both tourists and residents.

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