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2 weeks in Abruzzo - suggestions?

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Yippee, we're fulfilling a long time dream and will be taking an extended trip to Italy in October/November. Among our travels we have allotted 2 weeks in Abruzzo - we have family in Giulianova, on the coast, and will probably rent an apartment there while taking day trips through Abruzzo, maybe Le Marche, maybe San Marino, wherever we can drive to and back in a day. (My husband loves to drive, so I'd say that up to 2 hours each way is OK). Our next stop after Giulianova will be Orvieto, so we'll hit the Umbria/Tuscany/Lazio day trips from that home base.

We've been to Giulianova several times, and it's lovely, but we really want to explore some other sights/towns, as well as the Gran Sasso park area. Any suggestions for towns or sights that you think are special? Is San Marino worth a day trip? Any particular restaurants or wines that you'd recommend?

Just as an aside, I find it interesting that most travel books don't cover Abruzzo; even my most recent Fodor's guide seems like it has a chapter on every region/state, except Abruzzo!

Just fyi, we are early 60's (& have purposefully planned this trip while we still have the hips/knees to handle the cobblestones!). We really enjoy history, seeing the sights, great food/wine, as well as just sitting in the piazza enjoying the "dolce far niente."

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