Province of L'Aquila

Abruzzo, Italy

Province of L'Aquila
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About Province of L'Aquila

The Province of L'Aquila (in Italian: Provincia dell'Aquila) is the largest, most mountainous and least densely populated province in the Abruzzo region of Southern Italy. It includes about half of the land mass of Abruzzo and occupies the western part of the region. It borders the provinces of Teramo to the north, Pescara and Chieti to the east, Isernia (in the Molise region) to the south and Frosinone, Rome and Rieti (in the Lazio region) to the west. Its capital is the city of L'Aquila.

The province of L'Aquila includes the highest mountains of the Apennines (Gran Sasso, Maiella and Velino-Sirente), their highest peak, the Corno Grande, the high plain of Campo Imperatore and the southernmost glacier in Europe, the Cauldron. The main rivers of the province are Aterno-Pescara, Sangro, Liri, Salto and Turano; its major lakes are Lake Scanno and Lake Barrea. At one time it included the largest lake on the Italian peninsula, Lago Fucino, which was dried up in one of the largest engineering projects of the 19th century. The lake basin is today a thriving agricultural area and an important technological district.

Economy and population

The province is known for its numerous castles, fortresses and pristine medieval cities. The two main cities of the province, L'Aquila and Avezzano, have undergone rapid economic expansion since the end of the 20th century, with the growth of the transport, telecommunications and IT industries.

During most of the 20th century, there were severe population declines in rural areas, with the near collapse of the province's pastoral economy as people moved to the city for work. Since the founding of the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga and Majella national parks and the Sirente-Velino Regional Park, tourists have been attracted to mountainous landscapes. Tourism and associated services have favored the economy of rural L'Aquila and have begun to reverse its population decline.


Earthquakes mark the history of the province, in particular its capital L'Aquila. The city suffered earthquakes in the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and more recently on April 6, 2009. This caused significant damage to the city and to the areas of the province just outside L'Aquila, in particular along the SS 17 Alle 01:32 GMT (03:32 CEST) on April 6, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit central Italy with its epicenter near L'Aquila, at 42 ° 25′22 ″ N 13 ° 23′40 ″ E / 42.4228 ° N 13.3945 ° E / 42.4228; 13.3945 (Earthquake of April 6, 2009).

Main attractions


Tourists in L'Aquila mainly come from Italy.

In the highest part of the city there is the imposing Spanish fort (Spanish Fort), erected by the Spanish viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo in 1534. It is currently home to the National Museum of Abruzzo.

The Cathedral of L'Aquila, dedicated to San Massimo d'Aveia (San Massimo), was built in the 13th century, but crumbled during the 1703 earthquake. The most recent facade dates back to the 19th century, but after the 2009 earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks the transept and perhaps more of the cathedral collapsed.

The Basilica of San Bernardino (1472) has a beautiful Renaissance facade by Nicolò Filotesio (commonly called Cola dell'Amatrice) and contains the monumental tomb of the saint, decorated with beautiful sculptures, and executed by Silvestro Ariscola in 1480.

The church of Santa Maria di Collemaggio, just outside the village, has a beautiful Romanesque facade of simple design (1270-1280) in red and white marble, with three finely decorated portals and a rose window above each. The two side doors are also fine. The interior contains the mausoleum of Pope Celestino V erected in 1517. Many minor churches in the city have similar facades (S. Giusta, S. Silvestro and others).

The city also contains some beautiful buildings: the municipality has a museum, with a collection of Roman inscriptions and some illuminated service books. The Dragonetti and Persichetti Palaces contain private collections of images. Outside the city there is the fountain of ninety-nine spouts, a fountain with ninety-nine jets distributed along three walls, built in 1272. The source of the fountain is still unknown.

A well-known landmark of the city is the Fontana Luminosa ("luminous fountain"), a sculpture of two women with large vases, built in the 1930s. The local cemetery includes the tomb of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, a 19th century German gay rights pioneer who lived in L'Aquila; every year, gays from all over the world meet at the cemetery to honor his memory.

Source: Wikipedia
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