L'Aquila, Abruzzo

Old Jan 18th, 2020, 01:40 PM
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L'Aquila, Abruzzo

Hello Fellow Posters! Has anyone been to L'Aquila recently? Is it pretty much recovered from the earthquake? I'm planning on staying two nights there in September. Does anyone have any fab dining recommendations, particularly places not too expensive? I read on Chowhound about a good restaurant in Carsoli called L'Angola d'Abruzzo but that seems a bit far to drive for a meal after driving from Castel di Sangro via Sulmona. TIA!

Since posting this, I googled my query about L'Aquila and found this article from the Guardian from about 9 months or so ago. It says there are still cranes all over the place and only half the town is rebuilt.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ke-restoration

Would someone be able to recommend another place within easy proximity to Gran Sasso if indeed L'Aquila is not the best choice? Again, TIA.

Last edited by Redlandsneen; Jan 18th, 2020 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Further information regarding earthquake recovery.
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Old Jan 18th, 2020, 01:57 PM
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Have you looked at Santo Stefano di Sessanio? That is where we stayed in the Gran Sasso. It is very small, however. We stopped in Sulmona and thought it looked great.

You will love Abruzzo!

ETA: Just checked with my friends to see if we stopped in L'Aquila at all--they don't think so as it was so close to where we were staying. What does the rest of your itinerary look like? Just curious.

We stayed here in Santo Stefano di Sessanio:
https://www.sextantio.it/santostefano/abruzzo/

It's a bit pricey for the area, however.

Last edited by Leely2; Jan 18th, 2020 at 02:49 PM.
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Old Jan 20th, 2020, 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Leely2 View Post
Have you looked at Santo Stefano di Sessanio? That is where we stayed in the Gran Sasso. It is very small, however. We stopped in Sulmona and thought it looked great.

You will love Abruzzo!

ETA: Just checked with my friends to see if we stopped in L'Aquila at all--they don't think so as it was so close to where we were staying. What does the rest of your itinerary look like? Just curious.

We stayed here in Santo Stefano di Sessanio:
https://www.sextantio.it/santostefano/abruzzo/

It's a bit pricey for the area, however.
Hello. I had a quick look at SS di S...it looks really beautiful. I think I may keep my plan to stay in L'Aquila if only because it's further west which is the direction we are heading from there. We will be dropping the car off in Siena and staying the night there. I've been several times before, but my friend has not. We plan on leaving quite early and winding our way to Siena via Spoleto and Assisi, although we may stop in other places too. We are covering a lot in a short time.

We start our trip driving from Salerno to Matera for 1 night. From there, we go to Polignare a Mare, stopping at Alberobello on the way. We will be in P.a.M. for 2 nights, so we might drive to Lecce for the day, or just do a loop around Ostuni, Monopoli etc. We will see how we go. From P.a.M. we head up to Abruzzo via the coast so that we can have lunch on a trabocco (fishing platform) before heading inland to Castel di Sangro which sets us up for the drive to L'Aquila (Gran Sasso) via Sulmona. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2020, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Redlandsneen View Post
Hello. I had a quick look at SS di S...it looks really beautiful. I think I may keep my plan to stay in L'Aquila if only because it's further west which is the direction we are heading from there. We will be dropping the car off in Siena and staying the night there. I've been several times before, but my friend has not. We plan on leaving quite early and winding our way to Siena via Spoleto and Assisi, although we may stop in other places too. We are covering a lot in a short time.

We start our trip driving from Salerno to Matera for 1 night. From there, we go to Polignare a Mare, stopping at Alberobello on the way. We will be in P.a.M. for 2 nights, so we might drive to Lecce for the day, or just do a loop around Ostuni, Monopoli etc. We will see how we go. From P.a.M. we head up to Abruzzo via the coast so that we can have lunch on a trabocco (fishing platform) before heading inland to Castel di Sangro which sets us up for the drive to L'Aquila (Gran Sasso) via Sulmona. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
Wow, you are covering a lot in a very short period of time! We stayed at a very nice airb&b apartment in the little village of Calascio not far from Santo di SS. It sounds like you want to be further away, but if you really want to see Gran Sasso, you might want to slow down a bit. The other thing I will mention is you should check to make sure you can get lunch on a Trabboco. We were there in Sept., and it was an only dinner affair. Make sure to locate which one you want to go to - and make reservations. Not every Trabocco is a restaurant and they don't pop up every few miles. We ate at Pesce al Palombo, or something like that, in Fossacesia. Loved it. Have fun! I just looked and it seems some trabboci offer lunch!
nice article

Last edited by Rocket79; Jan 22nd, 2020 at 08:48 AM.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2020, 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Rocket79 View Post
Wow, you are covering a lot in a very short period of time! We stayed at a very nice airb&b apartment in the little village of Calascio not far from Santo di SS. It sounds like you want to be further away, but if you really want to see Gran Sasso, you might want to slow down a bit. The other thing I will mention is you should check to make sure you can get lunch on a Trabboco. We were there in Sept., and it was an only dinner affair. Make sure to locate which one you want to go to - and make reservations. Not every Trabocco is a restaurant and they don't pop up every few miles. We ate at Pesce al Palombo, or something like that, in Fossacesia. Loved it. Have fun! I just looked and it seems some trabboci offer lunch!
nice article
Thanks for the info about Calascio and the trabocchi. Yes, I do get a bit nervous about all the driving sometimes, but we do have two nights in L'Aquila, so the full day we were going to drive to Fano a Corno. We are not hikers, so once we see Gran Sasso, we'll be satisfied. Trabocco Pesce al Palombo was definitely on my short list. I hope they serve lunch.

The reason the trip is like this is because I was interested in Puglia and also missed out on Gran Sasso in 2017 whilst in Le Marche. But my friend who is joining me for 12 days for what is a reunion after 25 years, really wanted to see Florence. She appreciates that she'll only be scratching the surface this time but usually she can't be away even these 12 days. It'll be fine.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2021, 03:24 PM
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Well, like many people, my trip to Italy in September 2020 was cancelled. Not sure if we will be able to go this September, so I am thinking May 2022. I want to re-visit places to stay for 2 nights in the proximity of L'Aquila (but nicer) which will give us a full day to visit Gran Sasso, including the cable car from Fonte Cerreto. We would be coming from Sulmona and want to head toward Siena after visiting the Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso. TIA!
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Old Aug 14th, 2022, 03:40 PM
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Hi all. I am now considering staying 2-3 nights in Sulmona instead of L'Aquila and doing a day trip from there to Campo Imperatore (about 1.5 hour drive I think). We would be coming from Vasto where we are planning to eat lunch or dinner on a trabocco. From Sulmona, we will then also be able to visit the National Park of Abruzzo, driving through Scanno. Any thoughts? Thanks.
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Old Aug 15th, 2022, 12:53 AM
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Vasto is a nice little place, look out for the fake Venitian house constructed in the 20s in the main square looking down into the sea from the high town (not the beach town). For me the best bits are all along the cliff front looking down.

L'Aquila, a friend of mine lives there (he was a logisitics manager during the 'quake) and, according to him, rebuild will always be a bit stop and start as cash gets released and engineers make their minds up. The town is running fine and the University is now back after Covid (another friend's son just started school there).
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Old Aug 16th, 2022, 12:16 AM
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Hi. Thanks for your comments. Do you have any feelings about staying in Sulmona instead of L'Aquila? It will be our last stop before heading back to Rome to drop off the car. My main purpose for going to Abruzzo in the first place was to see the Gran Sasso. In 2017, I went as far south as Ascoli Piceno (Marche) so I didn't see that part of the range. But the Abruzzo National Park has also been recommended, so I thought if I stayed in Sulmona, it's about 1-1.50 hours to each place. We had planned to do a day trip from L'Aquila to Sulmona anyway. So I guess I'm asking if Sulmona is nicer. Thanks again.
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Old Aug 24th, 2022, 01:40 AM
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Final itinerary for Abruzzo, Puglia

Originally Posted by Rocket79 View Post
Wow, you are covering a lot in a very short period of time! We stayed at a very nice airb&b apartment in the little village of Calascio not far from Santo di SS. It sounds like you want to be further away, but if you really want to see Gran Sasso, you might want to slow down a bit. The other thing I will mention is you should check to make sure you can get lunch on a Trabboco. We were there in Sept., and it was an only dinner affair. Make sure to locate which one you want to go to - and make reservations. Not every Trabocco is a restaurant and they don't pop up every few miles. We ate at Pesce al Palombo, or something like that, in Fossacesia. Loved it. Have fun! I just looked and it seems some trabboci offer lunch!
nice article
Hi Rocket79. I just thought I'd let you know (since you've been very nice, enthusiastic and HELPFUL!) that I decided to stay in Sulmona for 3 nights. Not only is it central to both Abruzzo National Park, where I hope we can do an easy walk one day, and the Gran Sasso area, I feel it is more attractive than L'Aquila and a nice place to walk around at night. I understand the drive from Assergi is quite beautiful and I'm hoping to take your suggestion to drive along the SS17bis road. Is it reasonable to do a loop drive in one day from Sulmona to Fonte Cerreto and Campo Imperatore and back through Santo Stefano di Sessanio (or other towns). Do you recommend a particular direction for the loop with an early morning start? This would be in May so the days are longer.

I've been stuck on this particular leg of the trip for years literally! This is how it stands now:

Meet friend in Naples - 1 night (together)
Ferry Naples to Sorrento, pick up car, drive to Salerno - 1 night
Drive to Matera - 1 night
Drive to Polignare a Mare - 3 nights (Alberobello, Locorotando, Monopoli)
Drive to Vasto - 1 night (dinner on trabocco)
Drive to Sulmona - 3 nights (national parks, Gran Sasso)
Rome 1-2 nights with my friend who will leave from Rome.

I'm hoping to arrive initially in Rome/Bari (or Brindisi) to spend 3-5 days in the Salento (Lecce, Otranto etc) before flying to Palermo for 2 weeks with my sister before heading to Naples.

Whew! I'm tried just thinking about it.

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Old Aug 24th, 2022, 03:34 PM
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My husband and I spent 8 nights in Sulmona this Spring. It is really a beautiful little town, with great food and a really nice vibe.
Unfortunately, we both got Covid there so, we didn't get around as much as I had planned.
You can look on my blog: keepyourfeetinthstreet.com and search for Sulmona to get some ideas.
Our lunch at Clemente was really memorable! We also loved Buonvento Vino e Cucina.

Enjoy!


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Old Aug 24th, 2022, 04:47 PM
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I think I answered one of your other threads about this in the past--we stopped Sulmona during a road trip from Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Abruzzo to Naples. Haven't visited L'Aquila, so I have no basis for comparison, but we liked Sulmona a lot.

I now look forward to reading jangita's blog posts about her longer stay there! Thanks.
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Old Aug 27th, 2022, 02:35 AM
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Thanks Jangita and Leely2. I'll check out your TR, Jangita, and yes Leely2, I did note your previous response re Sulmona. I'm glad I decided to stay in Sulmona. My friend really likes to visit national parks, so I was struck by something I saw or read about the Abruzzo Park and am going to check out some short (easy) day walks to really get out and experience a little bit of the park. Fingers crossed I remain Covid free!
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Old Aug 27th, 2022, 03:33 AM
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Hi again Jan. I found your blog. It's so wonderful. I wanted to comment a few times but couldn't seem to do it. Just wanted to say about your enjoying a "Franciacorta" - you're a gal after my own heart. I bought myself a bottle but am waiting to share it with someone who would appreciate it. It's darn near impossible to find here in Australia but found it I did - for $85! Anyway, I also wanted to say I know the feeling of leaving Venice. I've been there four times and at least each of the last two times I was sure it would be my last, but I hope I am proven wrong again next May!
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