Province of L'Aquila

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Province of L'Aquila
L'Aquila Piazza del Duomo 2007 by-RaBoe.jpg
Piazza del Duomo at L'Aquila.
Provincia dell'Aquila-Stemma.svg
Coat of arms
L'Aquila in Italy.svg
Map highlighting the location of the province of L'Aquila in Italy
Region Abruzzo
Capital(s) L'Aquila
Comuni 108
  PresidentAngelo Caruso
  Total5,047.55 km2 (1,948.87 sq mi)
 (30 September 2017)
  Density60/km2 (150/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
67100, 67010, 67012, 67013, 67014, 67015, 67017, 67019, 67020, 67021, 67022, 67023, 67024, 67025, 67026, 67027, 67028, 67029, 67030, 67031, 67032, 67033, 67034, 67035, 67036, 67037, 67038, 67039, 67040, 67041, 67043, 67044, 67045, 67046, 67047, 67048, 67049, 67050, 67051, 67052, 67053, 67054, 67055, 67056, 67057, 67058, 67059, 67060, 67061, 67062, 67063, 67064, 67066, 67067, 67068, 67069
Telephone prefix0862, 0863, 0864
Vehicle registration AQ

The Province of L'Aquila (Italian : Provincia dell'Aquila) is the largest, most mountainous and least densely populated province of the Abruzzo region of Southern Italy. It comprises about half the landmass of Abruzzo and occupies the western part of the region. It has borders with the provinces of Teramo to the north, Pescara and Chieti to the east, Isernia (in Molise region) to the south and Frosinone, Rome and Rieti (in 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, Corno Grande, the high plain of Campo Imperatore, and Europe's southernmost glacier, the Calderone. The province's major rivers are the Aterno-Pescara, Sangro, Liri, Salto, and the Turano; its major lakes are Lago Scanno and Lago Barrea. It once included the largest lake on the Italian peninsula, Lago Fucino, which was drained in one of the 19th century's largest engineering projects. The lake basin is today a flourishing agricultural area and an important technological district.

Economy and population

The province is known for its many castles, fortresses and pristine medieval hill towns. The province's two major cities, L'Aquila and Avezzano, have had rapid economic expansion since the late 20th century, with the growth of transportation manufacturing, telecommunications, and computer industries.

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


Earthquakes mark the history of the province, especially its capital city L'Aquila. The city suffered earthquakes in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries [1] [2] and most recently on April 6, 2009. This caused extensive damage to the city and areas of the province just outside l'Aquila, particularly along SS 17. At 01:32 GMT (03:32 CEST) on April 6, an earthquake of 6.3 magnitude struck central Italy with its epicentre near L'Aquila, at 42°25′22″N13°23′40″E / 42.4228°N 13.3945°E / 42.4228; 13.3945 (Earthquake 6 April 2009) . [3]

Main sights

L' Aquila

Basilica of San Bernardino L'Aquila, Basilica di San Bernardino 2007 by-RaBoe-1.jpg
Basilica of San Bernardino

Tourists in L'Aquila come mostly from Italy.

In the highest part of the town is the massive Spanish Fort (Forte Spagnolo), erected by the Spanish viceroy Don Pedro de Toledo in 1534. It is currently home to the National Museum of Abruzzo.

L'Aquila Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Maximus of Aveia (San Massimo), was built in the 13th century, but crumbled down during the 1703 earthquake. The most recent façade is from the 19th century, but after the earthquake of 2009 and subsequent aftershocks the transept and possibly more of the cathedral has collapsed.

The Basilica of San Bernardino (1472) has a fine Renaissance façade 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 town, has a very fine Romanesque façade 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 Celestine V erected in 1517. Many smaller churches in the town have similar façades (S. Giusta, S. Silvestro and others).

The town also contains some fine palaces: the municipality has a museum, with a collection of Roman inscriptions and some illuminated service books. The Palazzi Dragonetti and Persichetti contain private collections of pictures. Outside the town is the Fontana delle novantanove cannelle, a fountain with ninety-nine jets distributed along three walls, constructed in 1272. The source of the fountain is still unknown.

A well-known city landmark is the Fontana Luminosa ("Luminous Fountain"), a sculpture of two women bearing large jars, built in the 1930s. The local cemetery includes the grave of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, a 19th‑century German gay rights pioneer who lived in L'Aquila; every year, gay people from all over the world meet at the cemetery to honour his memory.

The surrounding area boasts Roman ruins (the important Roman city of Amiternum), ancient monasteries, and numerous castles. The best-known of these is Rocca Calascio (used in the 1980s as the location for the movie Ladyhawke ), which is the highest castle in Italy and one of the highest in Europe. Also nearby are several ski resorts like Gran Sasso d'Italia, the highest of the Apennines where in its valley the movie The Name of the Rose was filmed in the end of the 1980s.


Sulmona has various piazzas, churches and palaces of historical and touristic interest. Some of these include:

Sulmona Cathedral. Sulmona 20.jpg
Sulmona Cathedral.

The remains of the ancient city are of little interest as ruins, but indicate the existence of a considerable town; among them are the vestiges of an amphitheatre, a theatre, and thermae, all of them located outside the gates of the modern city. About 3 km from the city, at the foot of Monte Morrone, are some ruins of reticulated masonry, traditionally believed to be Ovid's villa. Today, they are more properly identified as the sanctuary of Hercules Curinus. Nearby is the Badia Morronese , a large (c. 119 × 140 m) religious complex located near Pope Celestine V's hermitage. It was founded by Celestine as a chapel in 1241, and was enlarged and later made into a convent.

Rocca Calascio


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Risorgimento square
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Tunnels of Claudius

The city was completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1915 has no monuments of particular interest as other locations in the region Abruzzo.

Remaining sights include the Castello Orsini-Colonna, built in 1490 by Gentile Virginio Orsini; the Tunnels of Claudius (41–52 AD); the Cathedral (11th–13th centuries); the Sanctuary of Pietraquaria. The remains of the ancient Roman site of Alba Fucens are located 7 kilometers north of the city.

Cities and towns

Map of the province. Aquila mappa.png
Map of the province.

There are 108  comuni in all

The largest are:

L'Aquila 71,761
Avezzano 39,670
Sulmona 25,363
Celano 11,012
Pratola Peligna 7,890
Tagliacozzo 6,820
Trasacco 6,115
Castel di Sangro 6,109
Luco dei Marsi 5,776
Capistrello 5,473
Carsoli 5,238

See also

Related Research Articles

Abruzzo Region of Italy

Abruzzo or Abruzzi is a region of Southern Italy with an area of 10,763 square km and a population of 1.3 million. It is divided into four provinces: L'Aquila, Teramo, Pescara, and Chieti. Its western border lies 80 km (50 mi) east of Rome. Abruzzo borders the region of Marche to the north, Lazio to the west and south-west, Molise to the south-east, and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Geographically, Abruzzo is divided into a mountainous area in the west, which includes the Gran Sasso d'Italia, and a coastal area in the east with beaches on the Adriatic Sea.

LAquila Comune in Abruzzo, Italy

L'Aquila is a city and comune in central Italy. It is the capital city of both the Abruzzo region and of the Province of L'Aquila. As of 2013, it has a population of 70,967 inhabitants. Laid out within medieval walls on a hill in the wide valley of the Aterno river, it is surrounded by the Apennine Mountains, with the Gran Sasso d'Italia to the north-east.

Santa Maria di Collemaggio

Santa Maria di Collemaggio is a large medieval church in L'Aquila, central Italy. It was the site of the original Papal Jubilee, a penitential observation devised by Pope Celestine V, who is buried there. The church, which therefore ranks as a basilica because of its importance in religious history, sits in isolation at the end of a long rectangular sward of grass at the southwest edge of the town.

Sulmona Comune in Abruzzo, Italy

Sulmona is a city and comune of the province of L'Aquila in Abruzzo, Italy. It is located in the Valle Peligna, a plateau once occupied by a lake that disappeared in prehistoric times. In the ancient era, it was one of the most important cities of the Paeligni and is known for being the native town of the Roman poet Ovid, of whom there is a bronze statue, located on the town's main road and named after him.

Avezzano Comune in Abruzzo, Italy

Avezzano is a city and comune with a population of about 42,500 inhabitants, situated in the Abruzzo region, province of L'Aquila, Italy. It is the second most populous municipality in the province and the sixth in the region. Avezzano was documented as an existing urban center in the ninth century. The city was destroyed by the earthquake of 1915. It was rebuilt after the 1944 Allied bombing. The city was decorated with the silver medal for civil merit, an award granted by the Italian Republic.

Celano Comune in Abruzzo, Italy

Celano is a town and comune in the Province of L'Aquila, central Italy, 120 km (75 mi) east of Rome by rail.

Pacentro Comune in Abruzzo, Italy

Pacentro is a comune of 1279 inhabitants of the province of L'Aquila in Abruzzo, Italy. It is a well-preserved historic medieval village located in the central part of Italy, several kilometers from the City of Sulmona about 170 kilometres (110 mi) east of Rome. Pacentro has been nominated as one of the "Borghi più belli d'Italia".

Acciano Comune in Abruzzo, Italy

Acciano is a comune in the Province of L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy. The small, medieval village is in the Subequana valley and is a part of the Sirentina Mountain Community.

Fontecchio Comune in Abruzzo, Italy

Fontecchio is a comune and town in the Province of L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy. The small, medieval village is located within the Monte Sirente community and the Sirente-Velino Regional Park.

Ocre Comune in Abruzzo, Italy

Ocre is a comune (municipality) and town in the province of L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region of southern Italy.

Rocca di Cambio Comune in Abruzzo, Italy

Rocca di Cambio is a comune and town in the province of L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy.

Santo Stefano di Sessanio Comune in Abruzzo, Italy

Santo Stefano di Sessanio is a comune and hill town in the province of L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region of southern Italy. Located in the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park, in the highest region of the Apennines, this medieval hill town sits adjacent to the high plain of Campo Imperatore.

Villa SantAngelo Comune in Abruzzo, Italy

Villa Sant'Angelo is a comune and town in the province of L'Aquila, in the Abruzzo region of Italy, which lies in the Aterno River valley near the convergence of the Sirente and the Gran Sasso mountain ranges. Many of the municipal functions are managed cooperatively with adjacent villages, comprising the Comunità Montana Amiternina.

Borgo Velino Comune in Latium, Italy

Borgo Velino is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Rieti in the region Latium, Italy. It is located about 70 kilometres (43 mi) northeast of Rome and about 15 kilometres (9 mi) east of the town Rieti. It has an area of 17.3 square kilometres (6.7 sq mi), and as of 31 December 2010 it had a population of 1,004. Until 1927 Borgo Velino was part of the province of L'Aquila in Abruzzo. It is located near the site of a pre- or early-Roman Sabine village named Viario. Rare ruins of this ancient village, now occupied by a cultivated field, were found near a standing medieval tower. Borgo Velino is the birthplace of Giulio Pezzola, a notorious outlaw of the 17th century.

Paganica Frazione in Abruzzo, Italy

Paganica is a hillside town in the province of L'Aquila, in the Abruzzo region of southern Italy. It is a frazione of the comune of L'Aquila, and has a population of about 5,000.


Marsica is a geographical area in the Abruzzo, central Italy, including 37 comuni in the province of L'Aquila, the most important of which is Avezzano. It is located between the plain of the former Fucine Lake, the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, the plain of Carsoli and the valley of Sulmona.

Monte Velino

Monte Velino is a mountain (2,487 m) in the province of L'Aquila, Abruzzo, central Italy, part of the Abruzzo Apennines. Located nearby the boundary with Lazio, between the Fucino plain and the Aterno, Salto and Velino rivers' valleys, it is the highest peak in the sub-chain known as Velino-Sirente, the highest point in the Tiber basin, and the third highest peak in the whole Apennines.

Tourism in Abruzzo Place

Tourism in Abruzzo has become one of the most prosperous sectors in the economy of Abruzzo, and in recent years has seen a remarkable growth attracting numerous tourists from Italy and Europe. According to statistics from the Italian institute of statistics (ISTAT), in 2007 arrivals totaled 1,371,155 Italians and 189,651 foreigners. A total of 7,374,646 arrivals were tourists, a figure that puts the region seventeenth among the Italian regions for numbers of tourists per year. According to market analysis and sector studies on tourism in the Abruzzo National Society TurisMonitor 2012, after an increase that was estimated at between 4 and 5% of international tourist arrivals in the Abruzzo region in 2012 was estimated to increase that international arrivals will be around 3/4% by the end of 2012 with staff working in tourism will increase settling at about 25,000 people. Always position first-arrivals from Germany. A moderate support to tourism is also given to the Abruzzo Airport with many low cost and charter flights connecting the entire region with the rest of Europe. Abruzzo tourism can basically be divided into three different types: mountain tourism hiking natural which includes numerous ski resorts, nature reserves and protected areas, beach tourism and coastal with the number of resort, hotel, camping and beaches, and finally the art-historical tourism religious and cultural concentrated mostly in mountain villages and historic towns such as l'Aquila, Vasto, Chieti, Teramo, Sulmona and many others.

Abbey of the Holy Spirit at Monte Morrone, Sulmona

The Abbey of the Holy Spirit at Morrone, known by various titles, is a former monastery some five kilometers outside of the town of Sulmona, at the base of Monte Morrone, in the Province of L'Aquila, region of Abruzzo, Italy.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy.


  1. "L'Aquila, prov. of L'Aquila, Abruzzo". Retrieved 2009-04-06.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2017-09-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)