Located in the heart of Italy, the region of Abruzzo is crossed by the Apennines, mountains that count the highest peaks of peninsular Italy, and is sided by the Adriatic sea, which strongly influences the business of its people. The area inherited its name from the medieval toponym Aprūtium, which was first found in VI century and whose origin can be traced in the ancient regional word Praetūtii.
Until 1927 Abruzzo counted just the three provinces of Teramo, L’Aquila and Chieti, and until 1963 it formed one region with Molise. Before Italy united, Abruzzo was the northern border of the Kingdom of Naples; this probably explains why Abruzzo is often referred to as a Southern region, although it is geographically located in the centre of the Italian peninsula.
Abruzzo counts a huge variety of fine food and wine products such as pasta, oil, saffron, and cheese (scamorze, caciocavalli, pecorino, burrini). Its four provinces share most dishes but also offer their own unique local specialties. The traditional ingredients are those of a simple cuisine that favours meat, especially lamb. Abruzzo’s art of cookery includes: the maccheroni alla chitarra, the Le Virtù soup (with seven different types of legumes, of fresh vegetables, of pasta and meat), the agnello incaporchiato, the brodetto fish soup from Pescara and Vasto, the scapece chietino (fried fish sprinkled with Navelli saffron and kept in vinegar). Homemade patisserie (cicerchiata, zeppole, taralli, ferratelle and mostaccioli) as well as the industrial one (confetti from Sulmona, parrozzo from Pescara, chocolate torrone) are also a remarkable specialties of the area.
Abruzzo features a wide range of fine wines with registered designation of origin, such as the Controguerra, the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo among its most famous; here can also be found typical digestive liquors such as the Centerbe from Tocco da Casauria and the Aurum from Pescara. Abruzzo also offers protected-designation-of-production olive oil, grown and produced in the Aprutino-pescarese, Hills of Chieti and Hills of Teramo areas.