The city of L'Aquila is always combined with the number 99: 99 castles, 99 churches, squares and fountains,99 spouts and 99 strokes of the bell of the cathedral.
Everything comes from the genesis of the city. According to tradition, in fact, it was a federation of 99 castles (villages) to help build the city, commissioned by Frederick II and his son Conrad IV. Each castle had a space to build his district and had to provide for the building of the main urbanization work of the period (a square, a fountain and a church). This gave rise to many small neighborhoods, next to each other,
in the name that recalled the castle of birth, but united in one voice: "Eagle (Aquila)". It 's that the repetition of the number 99 starts, with all squares, churches and fountains.
After the founding of the city, it was necessary to build a wall to protect it from raids by soldiers of fortune and the amplitude of these walls shows that the city lived, at that time, an important population increase and an urban development.
The province of L'Aquila is the largest in the region. It's the only one that doesn't have direct access to the sea, but it compensate this absence with its many historical and cultural wealth, its tourism and its nature, all scattered throughout its territory, and we must remember that it has thirteen small towns included in the prestigious club of "The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy".
In defense of nature there are: the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, the oldest in Italy (thanks to these parks, several species have been saved from extinction , such as the Apennine wolf, the chamois of Abruzzo (Rupricapra Adorned, considered the mostbeautiful in the world) and Marsicano brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus), all returned again to live Abruzzi Apennines); the western side of the National Park of Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga; the plateau of Campo Imperatore (the huge plateau karst place to 1.800/2.100 m high and nicknamed the "Little Tibet") and Lake of Campotosto; part of the Majella National Park, with the Monte Amaro (2795 mt) hosts the second highest peak in the Apennines; the Sirente-Velino, where river Aterno flows (considered the coldest in Italy), and, finally, the Natural Reserve "Zompo lo Schioppo", characterized by the most beautiful natural waterfall of the Apennines. All enchanted places where man is only one of the citizens and not the master ...
For lovers of skiing, cross country skiing or downhill doesn't matter, the Province of L'Aquila is full of ski slopes at Campo di Giove, Campo Felice, Campo Imperatore, Ovindoli, Pescasseroli, Rivisondoli, Roccaraso, Scanno, etc...
L'Aquila - CASTLE
There are many place in the Province that preserve treasure and testimonies of inestimable historical and artistic value, starting from L'Aquila that has earned the prestigious names as "Florence of Abruzzo" and "Salzburg of Italy."
The city is full of noble palaces dating from the period from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. There are many spectacular churches that adorn the city streets with their ancient facades and bell sound, the sixteenth-century Spanish fort stands impressively.
There are so many other towns rich in history, culture and traditions in the area of L'Aquila: Scanno and its natural lake, the beautiful medieval villages of Castelvecchio Calvisio, Fontecchio, Pacentro, Pescocostanzo and S. Stefano di Sessanio, Fossaand its Necropolis, the pre-Roman Amiternum; the historic Corfinio, which was the capital, under the name "Italy", the Italian people revolted against Rome; Cocullo and its snake-charmers, Celano, Rocca di Mezzo and Rocca di Cambio ; Stiffe's caves, Castel di Sangro, the fortified village of Castel del Monte, the religious Sulmona and its "confetti"..just to name a few.
And even if you try to go to the center of the Plain of Navelli and close your eyes ...you will find yourself in the middle of a plain of Navelli as it was then ... without the black asphalt running through it .. and looking around you will see all the villages upon the rocks, with residents in their daily life, committed to storing supplies for winter, and to resist the invaders, such as ants.
You can see the circular plant of Capestrano and its castle, San Pio delle Camere with bunk accompanying the valley of the mountain where it rises, Navelli and its perfumed fields of saffron, Santo Stefano di Sessanio with its Medici Tower and its narrow and twisted streets, Calascio with its arches and windows, and there, behind that mountain, you can the castle of Rocca Calascio (over 1,500 m. high), with its four bastions that rise majestically from the rocky ground, its intact walls that surround the village, its underground passages built to defend people against invaders, soldiers who control the valleys looking of enemies…