Abruzzo, Italy

Last Updated:

Interactive Map of Abruzzo, Italy

Abruzzo, Italy Map Links:

Abruzzo is a region on the eastern coast of central Italy. It is a medium-sized region that covers a total area of approximately 4,156 square miles. The coastline, as seen on the Abruzzo Italy map, includes long sandy beaches in the northern half and pebble beaches in the southern half. Even though it is one of the smaller regions of Italy, Abruzzo contains a vast range of wildlife, including the golden eagle, Marsican brown bear, and Apennine wolf.  

Cities as Seen on a Map of Abruzzo

  • L’Aquila
  • Chieti
  • Pescara
  • Vasto
  • Sulmona
  • Scanno
  • Avezzano

Quick Facts About Abruzzo Region:

  • Population = 1.3 million as of 2018
  • Languages = Italian (Abruzzese and Teramo dialect)
  • Ethnicities = Italian, Ancient Italian (Samnites, Sabines, Vestini, Umbri, Aequi) 
  • Capital = L’Aquila
  • Total Area = 4,156 square miles

Abruzzo, Italy is located in central-eastern Italy at the narrowest section of the country. Abruzzo covers a moderate area of central Italy, measuring 4,156 total square miles. There are four main provinces located within Abruzzo: Chieti, L’Aquila, Pescara, and Teramo.

The History of Abruzzo

The geographical region of Abruzzo was part of the ancient Roman Empire until its fall in the year 476. The ancient Romans helped advance the region of Abruzzo by implementing new roads and improving infrastructure from the Adriatic Sea to Rome. The growth and improvement of Abruzzo were halted when Rome fell in 476. Much of the architecture and structural engineering of Abruzzo happened during Charlemagne’s rule in the 6th century. 

At the turn of the century in the year 1000, the Normans began invading southern Italy and were able to take control in a little over a century. On December 25, 1130, the Norman Kingdom of Sicily was created. During this time, the Normans had a strong influence on the architecture and the art in Abruzzo and surrounding areas, and those influences can still be seen in Abruzzo today. 

The Abruzzo region was first documented in 1233 when Abruzzo was created by Frederick II of Swabia. He created Abruzzo with two distinctive colonies: Abruzzo ulteriore and Abruzzo citeriore. Abruzzo ulteriore contained the two colonies that we know today as L’Aquila and Terano. Abruzzo citeriore contained the remaining two colonies that we know today as Chieti and Pescara.

Abruzzo also played a significant part in Italy’s involvement during World War II. By 1943, Italy had joined the Axis powers making them an ally with Nazi-Germany. The Allied powers (United States, Britain, and France) took control of Sicily in July of 1943. On June 4, 1944, the Capistrello Massacre took place. Capistrello is a small town in the Abruzzo region where Nazi-Germany had taken control. 

One of the most iconic structures of World War II in Abruzzo is the Casoli internment camp. This internment camp was in operation from 1940 to 1943. Internment camps differ from extermination camps in that the prisoners of the internment camp were not sentenced to death while confined.


Italian is the language that is spoken in the Abruzzo, Italy region with dialects that include Abruzzese and Teramo.


Roman Catholicism is the primary religion in Abruzzo. There are many religious relics, sanctuaries, and paintings that are found in the region of Abruzzo. In the town of Manoppello, visitors would come to a Roman Catholic church to view a veil that contained the face of Jesus Christ. Many visitors believed the veil was the Veil of Veronica that was once kept at the Vatican. The veil is now located at the Sanctuary of the Holy Face in the Philippines. 


Abruzzo is a region of Italy that contains both mountains and coastline, and you can divide the region in half to separate the two. The western half of Abruzzo is mountainous with rolling hills, and the eastern half of Abruzzo transforms the rolling hills into the coastline of the Adriatic Sea. Along the eastern half of Abruzzo on the Adriatic Sea are many natural gorges that have developed over time.

Abruzzo was founded on agriculture, farming, and fishing, and that way-of-life continues today. It is a rural region with historic architecture, beautiful snow-capped mountains, and plenty of nature. 

In 2009, a major earthquake hit the capital city of L’Aquila. There were 308 people killed by this 5.9 magnitude earthquake.


The culture of Abruzzo has remained the same throughout history. Abruzzo was founded on agriculture and religion, and those fundamentals continue today. Abruzzo is a historical region with limited luxury and an abundance of nature, history, and architecture. 

Migration Patterns

During the Industrial Revolution, residents in Abruzzo began to emigrate from the region to other areas in Europe or the western hemisphere in search of work. By 1915, approximately 500,000 Abruzzese people had emigrated out of the region, and only 150,000 had returned. It is believed that many Abruzzese people had found work in countries outside of Italy and had begun a new life in those areas. 

Emigration increased, once again, during World War II with the expansion of fascist regimes in the area. 

It wasn’t until the 1980s that migration patterns changed directions. During this time, immigration to Abruzzo was larger than emigration from Abruzzo with a majority of the immigrants seeking refuge from third-world countries.


Abruzzese people have many lines of heritage in which they are connected to. While Ancient Rome ruled the region, most of the people in the area were Roman or Greek. Over time, neighboring regions began to invade the area, which brought Spanish, Austrian, German, and French lineage to the area.  

Because Abruzzo was involved in World War II with both Allied and Axis powers, many countries were within the borders of Italy for many years, further extending the foreign lineage within the region. Lineage and heritage that is defined as Abruzzo genealogy likely includes many European generalities, including Spanish, French, British, German, and Greek characteristics. 

With the influx of immigrants from third-world countries that have entered Abruzzo since the 1980s, the genealogy pattern of Abruzzo will likely begin to contain characteristics and traits from these areas in generations to come. 

List of Itlay Regions

Caleb Pike
About the author

Caleb Pike is an avid hiker and nature lover, with a passion for exploring the great outdoors. He's a writer, photographer, and adventurer, always seeking new trails to blaze and peaks to conquer.