Abruzzi, is a region of central Italy, extending from the Apennine Mountains to the Adriatic Sea. It also is spelled Abruzzo. Neighboring Molise constituted one region with Abruzzi until it became a separate entity in 1963. Abruzzi’s area of 4,168 square miles comprises the provinces of Sulmona, Teramo, and L’Aquila. The city of L’Aquila is the regional capital.
Abruzzi is one of the less-developed and more sparsely populated areas of Italy. The limited productiveness of its soil, its mountainous terrain, frequent earthquakes, scarcity of good roads, and absence of harbors have hampered progress. Sheep raising, once the backbone of the economy, has declined in importance. Several ski resorts cater to winter visitors, mostly from Rome.
Abruzzi comprises two distinct geographic areas. One is a mountain region in the western and central section, noted for its savage beauty and its long and cold winters. The region is crossed by ranges of the Apennines that reach their highest point in Monte Corno (9,560 feet), in the Gran Sasso d’Italia massif. Except for cultivated plateaus and high valleys and the reclaimed area of Lake Fucino, this mountain region is rocky and unproductive. The second geographic region consists of hills and narrow valleys sloping eastward to the Adriatic. Cereals, olives, and grapes are produced here.