Beautiful region and maybe under estimate, in its southern part it has an area that on the naturalistic level has a few to envy for the other Italian regions. Taking Roccaraso as a reference point, maybe its most famous place (but not the most beautiful one), it is 200km far from Rome and 140 from Naples and during the winter it is an appreciated skiing station with its 100 km slopes and in summer a very good solution for the families with small kids that want to escape from the high temperature and from the crowds of the beach.
Roccaraso is not characteristic but is the best organized one for family’s needs; on its meadow there are a lot of playgrounds for kids but everywhere you can find kids areas; for example “L’Ombrellone is a very known place on the higher part of town and from where through a suggestive chairlift (Colle Belisario, 9 euro round ticket, the kids up to 5 free), you arrive in a mountain shelter where you can organize pleasant picnic (there is also a restaurant-bar and another area with slides, swings etc-for small kids).
In the main square during the summer interesting concerts are held.
To highlight in Roccaraso:
- Bakery “L’Ombrellone”, both on the main street and , as told, in the higher part
- Bakery “Dolci Momenti” (Via Roma).
- D’Altorio shop (Via Guglielmo Marconi, 6); very good homemade pasta
- Butchery “Punto Carni” (Via Napoli).
- Snack bar (Piazza Luigi di Savoia, 7); everyday at 12pm they cook very good, also to take away
- Bakery Compagnone (Piazza Luigi di Savoia, 4), besides the typical Pan pizza not to be missed the nutella cake
- Pub Rosso e Nero (Via Roma, 47), perfect for families and also for soccer supporters (they play soccer games)
- Campetto degli Alpini, where there is a very good restaurant, a bar and a lot of outdoor tables (both under the shadow and exposed to the sun) where it is possible to have pic nic. Nearby there are a lot of playgrounds for kids (slides, swings, small houses, etc)
- Wednesday market (in the square adjacent to the big soccer court and the tennis courts, where during the summer they organize a school camp for kids from 3 years old) in particular between the food stands we highlight the fish one and that of ham, cut on the moment (excellent the truffle salami), and there is also a shirts’ stand for kids
In Pizzalto, the part of Roccaraso where are the scope, the Hotel Pizzalto is very comfortable with its big surrounding meadow and its restaurant. Always in Pizzalto area there is the restaurant “la Baita” and the mountain shelter Lago D’Avoli. At the end the playground “Coppa dell’Orso” is a suitable place for families with kids, there are a lot of attractions for less small kids.
In Aremogna, further access point for the slopes, there are:
- Hotel Boschetto, maybe the only one with swimming pool. Also here right before the entrance there is a play ground, and also a good restaurant
- Hotel Rifugio Principessa Giovanna, where you can eat both inside and outside; very interesting and didactic is the different animals’ presence (horses, pig, dogs, alpaca and a wonderful eagle owl) close to the hotel.
Third and last access point to the slopes is Monte Pratello that, unlike the former two, doesn’t have structures to highlight , except for the restaurant “Quarto del Pozzo”.
Several excursions in few km; between them:
- Pescocostanzo, one of the most beautiful village of Italy. The Santa Maria del Colle basil is very beautiful. We highlight the restaurants “Da Paolino” and the twin in front of it ”L’Altro Paolino” (in both cases reserve in advance), the “Sciatore” (managed by the beautiful and volcanic Artemisia), the Bar on Domina (Via Ottavio Collecchi, 49) right below the church (very good variety of draft beers), the Vin Cafè del Corvo (Via della Fontana Maggiore, 11) close by, with a wonderful wine cellar and the Bistrot Relais (Via Francesco Mosca,1), an easy restaurant, perfect for families
- Maiella national park
- Sant’Antonio wood,where you can have picnic in the nature. We highlight the presence o fan ancient monastery
- Giuliana farm where you can buy the best meat of the area where you can cook directly on the barbecue outside. Two particulars: 1) the barbecue has to be done by oneself, 2)often there are many flies.
- Palena, on which street there is a neat outdoor swimming pool.
- Pacentro, beautiful village, where the singer Madonna has her origins; the tract from Passo San Leonardo to Pacentro is very beautiful and suggestive.
- Sulmona, famous for the sugared almond and where there is the “Club dei Buongustai” (Via Pescara, 28), there is the only fish restaurant of the area.
- The Verrino close to Isernia.
- Picnic on the Sangro river.
- Picnic at the Montagna Spaccata where for every family it is reserved area with tables and wooden benches and especially a barbecue for cooking.
- Pietransieri, small and very nice village, in the summer there i san interesting pasta feast. On the road to Pietransieri there is a well equipped horse centre (“Il Castellaccio”), here also the kids can ride and you can also have lunch. We also recommend the restaurant “La Petra” (Via Adua) and the restaurant “Tratturo” (Via Pietransieri, 5), one of the best quality-price ratio (very good pizza) is very suitable for the families (there is also a playground inside)
- The Abruzzo bio-park
- Alfedena, very nice village on the street to Barrea Lake; we recommend the “Locanda Monte Greco” (Via Mansueto De Amicis, 14) and the farm holiday Rio Torto (Via del Lago).
- Montagna Spaccata lake (closet o Alfedena).see Video: Montagna Spaccata
- Barrea lake, in which there is both an organized place and another one more savage
- Civitella Alfedena with its amazing Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park (see website)
In the end, in Rivisondoli, other important town, we recommend the Osteria del Tarassaco (Piazza Garibaldi, 6) and “Spazio” (famous chef Niko Romito’s place, founder of the restaurant “Reale“, now moved to Castel di Sangro).
In the end a very suggestive video about Montagna Spaccata Lake in Alfedena:
I was forgetting: for those arriving from south, at 37km to Roccaraso, there is a stop absolutely not to be missed: the la Pizzeria Lo Scoiattolo (Via Nazionale 2/3, Colli a Volturno – Isernia). Its sandwich is really very good so as the pizza. Cult.