L’Aquila is the capital city of the Province of L’Aquila and Abruzzo Region. With Pescara, it houses the Regional Council and Government seats. Its population is about 73.000. L’Aquila is situated 721 m above sea level. So it is one of the highest and coldest cities in Italy, with a wide summer-winter and day-night range. L’Aquila rises on a hill that dominates the valley of the Aterno river and watches over the Gran Sasso massif. Part of its territory (467 km2 wide in total) is about 2000 metres above sea level, in Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park.
The area in which the city is today located was the borderland between Vestin and Sabin tribes living in the Aterno river valley. After the Roman conquest in III century B.C., near L’Aquila it was founded Amiternum, in which the famous historian Sallustio was born. Only in 1229 the 99 castles detached in the Aterno valley united in founding a new city: L’Aquila, how symbolized in the fountain of 99 spouts. Ruled by Normans, Angevins, Aragoneses and Bourbons, L’Aquila is doubtless a city of historical value, proved by its numerous monuments. The main ones are: the Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio , the Spanish fort, the Basilica of San Bernardino, Santa Maria del Suffragio and Anime Sante churches (both in Piazza Duomo), picturesque squares and fountains. The urban parks (Parco del Castello, Parco del Vera), the theatres (Teatro Stabile dell’Aquila, Teatro Stabile d’Innovazione l’Uovo), the museums (Museo Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Museo di Scienze Naturali e Umane, Casa Museo “Signorini-Corsi”, Museo Archeologico di Santa Maria dei Raccomandati), L’Aquila University and the rugby team (L’Aquila Rugby 1936) are other city glories.
Unfortunately the earthquake on 6th April 2009 has caused death and damages in the whole city. In respect to the 308 casualties and many injured people, this blog has made the decision not to post photos that show ruins, in the hope to be shortly seeing L’Aquila drawing back its past splendour.