Abruzzo is an Italian region, situated in the centre-south of the Italian peninsula, though is still considered by statistics as a part of Southern Italy due to its political and historical heritage. In fact, it was a part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Abruzzo borders the region of Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and south-west, Molise to the south-east, and the Adriatic Sea to the east. L’Aquila is the capital city of Abruzzo and of the Province (county) of L’Aquila. In addition, Abruzzo is made up of Pescara, Chieti and Teramo’s counties. Today L’Aquila is often linked to the earthquake that hit the city on 6 April 2009, but Pescara is doubtless the most renowed city in Abruzzo due to its geographical location and International Abruzzo Airport, which is actually situated in between the Provinces of Pescara and Chieti, but just few kilometres from Pescara’s city centre.
Before the World War II, Abruzzo’s economy was mostly based on agricolture, fishery and sheep farming. Nature was mostly untouched and Abruzzo coastline was scarcely urbanized. Today the most of population resides in the coastal towns, while the once-more-populated mountain towns are getting more and more deserted. Today the whole population of Abruzzo is about 1,330,000 with a density of 123.5/sqkm (319.7/sq mi).
Geographically, Abruzzo covers an area of 10,794 sqkm (4,168 sq mi) facing the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the most mountainous region in Italy. The massifs of Gran Sasso and Majella are the highest mountains in the Appennines. The rivers are all seasonal except for the biggest (from north to south): Tronto, Vomano, Saline, Pescara, Sangro. Abruzzo is considered the “European Green Region” due to its national parks and nature reserves in which wild fauna and flora still live, though the industrial turnover in the postwar period has altered the delicate equilibrium between man and Nature. In Abruzzo there are few specimens of Marsican bear (and endemic subspecies of the European bear) and European lynxes, while the population of wolves and chamois is growing considerably. The survival of these rare animals is one of Abruzzo’s pride, though it is an opinion of who write that further efforts are needed to guarantee their protection.