The Province of L’Aquila, with its 108 municipalities, is the broadest but least densely populated in Abruzzo. It borders the province of Teramo to north, the provinces of Pescara and Chieti to east, Molise to southeast and Lazio to west. It is made up of three areas and respective capitals: Valley of Aterno (L’Aquila), Peligna Valley (Sulmona), Marsica (Avezzano).
The province of L’Aquila is almost entirely mountainous with no access to the Adriatic sea. It goes from the Simbruini to the Meta mountains, including the Laga Mountains, parts of the Gran Sasso and Majella massifs, the Cantara, Ernici and Marsican mountains. The main rivers of this province are Aterno, Sangro, Tirino and Sagittario. Man-made lakes are Barrea (Sangro), Campotosto (Rio Fucino), Capo d’Acqua (Tirino) and the lake of St. Domenico (Sagittario). Natural lakes are the lake of Scanno and the small lake Sinizzo.
In the Province of L’Aquila there are three national parks: National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, National Park of Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains, Majella National Park. In addition, there are several nature reserve: Gorges of Sagittario, Lake of St. Domenico, Zompo lo Schioppo, Lake of Campotosto, Mount Genzana, Mount Salviano, Caves of Pietrasecca and the Sirente-Velino Regional Park, with the breathtaking caves of Stiffe.
The Province of L’Aquila is well known for its historical and architectural value. There are 13 most beautiful Italian villages: Anversa degli Abruzzi, Bugnara, Castel del Monte, Introdacqua, Navelli, Pacentro, Pescocostanzo, Pettorano sul Gizio, Opi, Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Scanno, Tagliacozzo e Villalago. Some other villages are worth visiting for their natural and historical value, such as Calascio, Capestrano, Caporciano, Fontecchio; small towns such as Sulmona, Castel di Sangro and Celano. Typical productions of the province are sugared almonds (Sulmona), saffron (Navelli) and lentils of Santo Stefano di Sessanio. Rites such as Celestino V’s Perdonanza in L’Aquila, Running Madonna in Sulmona, and serpari festival in Cocullo pull in tourists from the rest of Italy and abroad.