Abruzzo (UK: / æˈbrʊtsoʊ /, US: / ɑːˈbruːtsoʊ, əˈ - /, Italian: ; Abbrùzze, Abbrìzze or Abbrèzze in Neapolitan Abruzzese; Aquilano: Abbrùzzu) or Abruzzo is a region southern Italy with an area of 10,763 square km (4,156 square miles) and a population of 1.2 million. It is divided into four provinces: L'Aquila, Teramo, Pescara and Chieti. Its western border is 80 km (50 miles) east of Rome. Abruzzo borders the Marche region to the north, Lazio to the west and southwest, Molise to the southeast and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Geographically, Abruzzo is divided into a mountainous area to the west, which includes the Gran Sasso d'Italia, and a coastal area to the east with beaches on the Adriatic Sea.
Abruzzo is considered a region of southern Italy in terms of culture, language, history and economy, although geographically it can also be considered central. The Italian Statistical Authority (ISTAT) also believes that it is part of Southern Italy, in part due to the historic Abruzzo association with the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
Abruzzo is known as "the greenest region in Europe" since almost half of its territory, the largest in Europe, is reserved for national parks and protected natural reserves. There are three national parks, a regional park and 38 protected nature reserves. These ensure the survival of 75% of the living species of Europe, including rare species such as the golden eagle, the chamois of Abruzzo (or Abruzzese), the Apennine wolf and the Marsican brown bear. Abruzzo also hosts Calderone, the southernmost glacier in Europe.
The Italian diplomat and journalist Primo Levi (1853-1917), visiting in the nineteenth century, said that the adjectives "strong and gentle" (strong and gentle) best describe the beauty of the region and the character of its people. "Strong and kind" has since become the motto of the region and its inhabitants.
Provinces and politics
Abruzzo is divided into four administrative provinces:
Human settlements in Abruzzo exist at least since the Neolithic period. A skeleton of the Lama dei Peligni in the province of Chieti dates back to 6,540 BC. under radiometric dating. The name Abruzzo seems to derive from the Latin word "Aprutium". In Roman times, the region was known as Piceno, Sabina and Sannio, Flaminia and Piceno and Campania and Sannio. The region was known as Aprutium in the Middle Ages, deriving from four possible sources: it is a combination of Praetutium, or rather of the name of the Praetutii people, applied to their capital, Interamnia, the ancient Teramo.
Many Abruzzo cities date back to ancient times. Corfinio was known as Corfinium when it was the capital of the Paeligni, and was later renamed Pentima by the Romans. Chieti is built on the site of the ancient city of Teate, Atri was known as Adria. Teramo, known variously in ancient times as Interamnia and Teramne, has Roman ruins that attract tourists.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, there were a number of invasions and rulers in the region, including Lombards, Byzantines and Hungarians. Between the 9th and 12th centuries, the region was dominated by popes. Subsequently, the Normans took over and Abruzzo became part of the Kingdom of Sicily, later the Kingdom of Naples. Spain ruled the kingdom from the 16th to the 18th century. The French Bourbon dynasty took over in 1815, establishing the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies and ruled until Italian unification (also known as Risorgimento ) in 1860.
Until 1963, Abruzzo was part of the combined region of Abruzzo and Molise. The term Abruzzo (plural of Abruzzo) derives from the time when the region was part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The territory was administered as Abruzzo Citiore (closest to Abruzzo) and Abruzzo Ulterior I and II (further Abruzzo I and II) from Naples, the capital of the kingdom. Abruzzo Citiore is now the province of Chieti. The provinces of Teramo and Pescara now include the Abruzzo Superiore I. The Abruzzo Superiore II is now the province of L'Aquila.
In the twentieth century, war had a major impact on the region. During the Second World War, Abruzzo was on the Gustav line, part of the German winter line. One of the most brutal battles was the Battle of Ortona. Abruzzo was the seat of two prison camps, Campo 21 in Chieti, and Campo 78 in Sulmona. The Sulmona camp also served as a prison camp in the First World War; much of the structure is still intact and attracts tourists interested in military history.
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abruzzo