17 Best Places And Things To Do in L’Aquila, Italy

L’Aquila, located in the Abruzzo region of Italy, is a city known for its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant cultural heritage. Despite being severely affected by the devastating earthquake in 2009, L’Aquila has made significant strides in rebuilding and restoring its beauty. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in L’Aquila.

1. Piazza Duomo

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Start your exploration of L’Aquila by visiting Piazza Duomo, the heart of the city. This beautiful square is surrounded by several notable landmarks, including the Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio, a stunning medieval church known for its intricate facade and rose window. Address: Piazza Duomo, L’Aquila, Italy.

2. Forte Spagnolo

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Perched on top of a hill overlooking the city, Forte Spagnolo is a grand fortress dating back to the 16th century. It offers panoramic views of L’Aquila and its surroundings. Explore the fort’s towers, ramparts, and courtyards, which now house a museum showcasing historical artifacts and exhibitions. Address: Via Forte Spagnolo, L’Aquila, Italy.

3. Fontana delle 99 Cannelle

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One of L’Aquila’s most unique attractions is the Fontana delle 99 Cannelle, or the Fountain of the 99 Spouts. This fountain features 99 small spouts flowing with crystal-clear water, each representing one of the city’s noble families. Legend has it that if you manage to find the 100th spout, the city’s treasure will be revealed. Address: Via Borgo Rivera, L’Aquila, Italy.

4. Museo Nazionale d’Abruzzo

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Immerse yourself in the region’s history and art at the Museo Nazionale d’Abruzzo. Housed in the 16th-century Spanish Castle, this museum displays a vast collection of archaeological artifacts, medieval art, and religious objects. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the cultural heritage of L’Aquila and its surrounding areas. Address: Piazza Forte, L’Aquila, Italy.

5. Gran Sasso National Park

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Nature lovers should not miss the opportunity to explore Gran Sasso National Park, located just a short distance from L’Aquila. This vast wilderness is home to the highest peaks of the Apennines, including Corno Grande, the tallest peak in mainland Italy. Hiking, mountaineering, and wildlife spotting are popular activities in the park. Address: Località Fonte Cerreto, Assergi (AQ), Italy.

6. Campo Imperatore

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Within Gran Sasso National Park, you’ll find Campo Imperatore, a vast plateau known as “Little Tibet” due to its resemblance to the Tibetan landscape. The panoramic drive to Campo Imperatore offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. Explore the plateau, enjoy hiking trails, or take a cable car ride for a memorable experience. Address: Campo Imperatore, Assergi (AQ), Italy.

7. Basilica di San Bernardino

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Visit the Basilica di San Bernardino, an important religious site in L’Aquila. This beautiful church is dedicated to Saint Bernardino of Siena and is renowned for its Renaissance-style facade adorned with intricate carvings. Step inside to admire the magnificent frescoes and the tomb of the saint. Address: Piazza San Bernardino, L’Aquila, Italy.

8. Castello di Rocca Calascio

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Take a short drive from L’Aquila to reach Castello di Rocca Calascio, a majestic medieval fortress perched on a hilltop. This iconic castle offers panoramic views of the Gran Sasso mountain range and the picturesque countryside. It’s a favorite spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts. Address: Via Castello, Calascio (AQ), Italy.

9. Local Cuisine

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L’Aquila is known for its delicious culinary traditions. Don’t miss the chance to savor regional specialties such as “arrosticini” (grilled lamb skewers), “scrippelle” (thin savory crepes), and “maccheroni alla chitarra” (a type of pasta). Explore the local markets and trattorias to experience the authentic flavors of Abruzzo. Address:

10. Festivals and Events

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L’Aquila hosts various festivals and events throughout the year. The most famous is the “Festival of the Holy Spirit,” held in May or June, featuring parades, historical reenactments, and traditional music. Additionally, the city offers a lively nightlife scene with bars, clubs, and live music venues. Address:

11. The Astronomical Observatory


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If you have an interest in astronomy, make sure to visit the Astronomical Observatory of L’Aquila. Located in the nearby village of Colle Leone, the observatory offers educational programs, stargazing sessions, and telescope observations. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn about the stars, planets, and the wonders of the universe. Address: Osservatorio Astronomico di L’Aquila, Località Colle Leone, Paganica (AQ), Italy.

12. Rocca di Calascio!

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Another captivating sight near L’Aquila is the Rocca di Calascio, a medieval fortress situated at the foot of Gran Sasso. This enchanting ruin stands majestically amidst a rugged landscape and offers panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. It’s a popular spot for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers. Address: Rocca di Calascio, Calascio (AQ), Italy.

13. Church of San Pietro di Coppito

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Venture outside the city to discover the Church of San Pietro di Coppito, an ancient church dating back to the 12th century. Admire its Romanesque architecture, beautiful frescoes, and intricate rose window. The serene atmosphere and historical significance make it a must-visit for history buffs and art lovers. Address: Via San Pietro di Coppito, Coppito (AQ), Italy.

14. Sirente-Velino Regional Park

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For those seeking outdoor adventures, a visit to the Sirente-Velino Regional Park is highly recommended. Located a short distance from L’Aquila, this park offers hiking trails, picturesque landscapes, and an abundance of flora and fauna. It’s a perfect destination for nature walks, birdwatching, and picnics surrounded by nature’s tranquility. Address: Parco Naturale Regionale Sirente-Velino, Various access points near L’Aquila, Italy.

15. Palazzo Dragonetti

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Step into the historic Palazzo Dragonetti, a magnificent 18th-century palace that now serves as a cultural center and art gallery. Marvel at its elegant architecture, ornate ceilings, and art exhibitions showcasing works by local and international artists. The palace often hosts cultural events, concerts, and temporary exhibitions, adding a touch of artistic vibrancy to the city. Address: Via Roio, 1, L’Aquila, Italy.

16. Discover Local Crafts

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L’Aquila has a rich tradition of craftsmanship, particularly in the production of fine textiles, pottery, and ironwork. Explore the local shops and boutiques to find unique handmade souvenirs and traditional crafts. The craftsmen of L’Aquila take great pride in their work, and purchasing their creations is a wonderful way to support the local community. Address: Various artisan shops and boutiques in L’Aquila, Italy.

17. Winter Sports in Campo Felice

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If you visit L’Aquila during the winter months, don’t miss the opportunity to engage in winter sports in the nearby ski resort of Campo Felice. With its well-groomed slopes and stunning mountain scenery, it’s a paradise for skiing, snowboarding, and other snow-related activities. Enjoy the thrill of gliding down the slopes and soak in the beauty of the snowy landscape. Address: Località Campo Felice, Rocca di Cambio (AQ), Italy.

18. AquaFilm Festival

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L’Aquila hosts the AquaFilm Festival, an international film festival dedicated to water-related themes. This unique event brings together filmmakers, artists, and enthusiasts to celebrate the beauty and significance of water through films, documentaries, and exhibitions. It’s a thought-provoking and inspiring event that sheds light on environmental issues and encourages dialogue. Address: Various venues in L’Aquila, Italy. The specific locations may vary each year, so it’s recommended to check the festival’s official website for the most up-to-date information.