Abruzzo stretches 90km east of Rome across the centre of Italy to the Adriatic Coast, encompassing Italy’s highest peak, the Corno Grande in the Gran Sasso Mountains of Abruzzo, and to the south the Majella Mountains that stretch from L’Aquila down to Chieti.
Abruzzo comprises 4 provinces. Like all of Italy they are similar but different in their local dialects, food & of course history as well as terrain:
North: Teramo – Mountains & Coast
South: Chieti – Mountains & Coast
East: Pescara – Mountains & Coast
West: L’Aquila – Mountains
How to get to Abruzzo
We generally recommend flying direct to Abruzzo International Airport based in Pescara, which is approximately 3 km outside the main city centre. If you drive there you will need to get off the A14 Autostrada at Pescara Ovest, from the A25 off at the Sambuceto junction . For reference the airport code is (PSR/LIBP).
Pescara Airport is served by mostly lo-cost carriers like Ryanair. You can fly direct to Abruzzo from international destinations that include: London, Paris, Toronto, Barcelona, Brussels, Bucharest, Frankfurt, Eindhoven, Osolo, Prague & Tirana.
To view all destinations and their serving airline and realtime timetables click here
In 2009 Pescara Airport became a hub for Ryanair and their London Stansted operation. This means that their 1 flight to London in late Autumn and Winter from Pescara leaves at the unglamorous time of 6.30am. This is perfect if you need to go straight back to work on the day you arrive home but if you don’t you could well lose a day off the end of your holiday. If this is the case we advise returning to the UK from either of the Rome airports; it is a short journey from most of Abruzzo and they have flights throughout the day until 10.00pm. If you are hiring a car through Hertz you won’t be penalised or charged extra for dropping off in Rome when you have collected the car in Abruzzo.
As a word of warning, over the summer fares to Pescara do escalate! What is normally a €80 return fare from London goes up to over €350 over the summer months, and in this case we would recommend flying to either of Rome’s Airports (generally Roma Ciampino for the lo-cost carriers)or Ancona.
There are 3 main autostrade that connect Abruzzo to the rest of Italy; these are toll roads and you can check the charges of the tolls you will pay on AutoStrada Italia for your journey in English here.
A14 -This is a coastal road that runs from Bologna in the North, to Bari in the South, and runs through each of Abruzzo’s coastal provinces.
A24 – This runs from Rome through to Teramo via L’Aquila.
A25 – This runs from L’Aquila through to Pescara.
Driving from Northern Europe
If you are driving from the UK or Northern Europe allow 22 hours of driving with proper breaks for you to get to Abruzzo’s northern province of Teramo. The most cost-effective way is via Belgium, skirting Eastern France & Western Germany, onto Switzerland and straight down into Milan. It’s a very easy straightforward drive and costs in tolls approximately €80 one way which includes your Swiss Vignette that is valid for a year! From Milan pick up the A1 to Bologna whereupon you can pick up the A14 straight down to Abruzzo.
Recommended Hotels to Stay at Along the Way:
Milan – For a great little pet friendly hotel, 5 minutes walk to from Navigli’s restaurants & 20 minute walk to the Duomo, c€80 per night for double including breakfast
Hotel Milano Corso Genova, Via Conca del Naviglio, 20 20123 – www.hotelmilancorsogenova.com
Metz – For a sweet little ** pet friendly hotel near the station, 5 minute walk to the Cathedral, opposite 3 very good patissierie shops, wonderful service, c€58 per night for double not including breakfast
Hotel Metropole, 5 Place du Général de Gaulle, 57000 Metz, France – www.hotelmetropole-metz.com
We recommend Hertz out of all the car hire companies that we have tried. They are the most cost-effective, recharge your deposit on the day and FRIENDLY (particularly at Pescara Airport). Most importantly they don’t go overboard in the sense of charging you if you unfortunately have an incident. If you are coming from the UK, book via the Ryanair website and you get a further discount than just booking direct via Hertz’s own website. Expect to pay about £90/€114 for 5 days car-hire. To fill up a car like a Fiat Panda in Italy costs £51/€65 (Prices correct April 2009).
The trains in Italy don’t have the greatest reputation, perhaps that is why so much freight goes by truck rather than train… anyway to get to Abruzzo from Rome by train you need to get to Tiburtina Railway station, from here you will be able to get out to Sulmona & Pescara but it takes almost 4 hours. From Pescara you can change and get up to Teramo via the coastal train that runs right along the Adriatic coast with stops at the most important beach areas in Abruzzo. If you are considering catching the train from London through to Abruzzo, it is possible; Eurostar to Paris, change, get an overnight sleeper down to Pescara via Milan & Bologna the third part of the of the journey taking over 7 hours that includes 3 hr transit – look at Seat61 for advice
Example – Stage 1 Leave London 14.04, arrive Paris cross to Gare de Bercy – Stage 2 -take 18.52 sleeper that arrives in Bologna at 05.58, Stage 3 change at Bologna train departs for Pescara at 09.50 to arrive at 12.49 at Pescara Central
Local bus & Coach Companies (ARPA)
If you intend to travel from Rome to Abruzzo, the station you will catch your Express or Stopping coach will be from Staz. Tiburtina. Expect to pay about €15 return for an Abruzzo destination.
Local Abruzzo public transport isn’t bad, but in saying that unless you are an early bird or are governed by your stomach your holiday travel plans without a car will naturally have to fit in with local Abruzzo work and dining times (8.00am-1.00pm & 4.00pm-12noon; at lunchtime 13.00-16.00 everything closes completely!). Our advice rent a car to make the most of your time in Abruzzo.
Useful Local Bus Website Information
Interactive ARPA Abruzzo Bus Timetable
PDF Timetable of Abruzzo Bus Connections within Teramo and to other Abruzzo provinces
Sam is a very lucky midlife mama to A who is 5 and works as a freelance travel and food web content manager and copywriter. She is currently writing a book 'Abruzzo: Folk and Food', its release date is Winter 2017.
She is the co-founder of the social enterprises: The Abruzzo Blogger Community and Let's Blog Abruzzo.