The Abruzzo Region
Abruzzo - often called Abruzzi in English - us a region in the centre of the Italian peninsula, with a surface of 4,168 square miles, a coastline extending over 150 Km and a population a little over 1.3 million (in 2019). It is bordered by Marche in the North, Latium in the West, Molise in the South and the Adriatic Sea in the East.
In 1807 under Giuseppe Bonaparte the province "ultra flumen Piscariae" was divided into the two provinces of Abruzzo Ulteriore I, with capital Teramo, and Abruzzo Ulteriore II, with capital L'Aquila, while Chieti remained the capital of Abruzzo Citeriore. The existence of three provinces under the name of Abruzzo also explains why the region has always be known in the plural, Abruzzi, and many place names maintain the plural (Anversa degli Abruzzi, Tione degli Abruzzi, Villa Santa Lucia degli Abruzzi, not to speak of the regional capital, L'Aquila degli Abruzzi), though it is no longer commonly used by Italians. Pescara, the fourth and last province, was added in 1927 with territories from the three provinces.
After the fall of the Hohenstaufen dynasty in the 13th century, Abruzzi and Molise in turn came under the control of the Anjou, the Aragonese, the Spanish Hapsburgs, and finally, in the 18th century, became part of the Bourbon kingdom of Naples, under whose rule the region was divided into Abruzzo Ulteriore I, Abruzzo Ulteriore II, Abruzzo Citra, and Molise. By the early 19th century small liberal groups were taking part in revolutionary activities, and in 1860 the region became part of united Italy. In 1948 Abruzzi was joined with Molise, to the south, to form the region of Abruzzi and Molise; but in 1963 the two regions were separated again.
- The first, and most widely accepted theory, was proposed in its Italia Illustrata by humanist historian Flavio Biondo, who considers Aprutium as a corruption of "Praetutium", that is to say, the land of the Praetutii, a population that originally inhabited the ancient Phoenician colony of "Petrut", near present Teramo, later called Petrutia or Praetutia by the Romans.
- According to another hypothesis, the name may derive from the Latin aper (=wild boar), whereby Abruzzo would be the region of wild boar
- A third theory is from the Latin participle abruptum (=steep, rugged), that is, the region of steep rocks
- A further one is from the phrase "a Bruttiis", namely the land that begins with the Bruttii, inhabitants of southern Italy (modern Calabria).
Important throughout the region is also the breeding of livestock and sheep, which once represented one of the primary sources of livelihood for the population, molding the culture through the age-old practice of transhumance - the movement of livestock from mountain pastures to the plains outside the region. Even pig breeding has reached a certain level of relevance and many kinds of salami, sausages and ham are produced locally. Fishing as well is one of the qualifying sectors of the economy of the region.
The Abruzzo region produces one fifth of the whole hydroelectric energy in Italy, thanks to the large plants at Campotosto, Sagittario and Alto Sangro. Underground resources include petroleum (Alanno), aluminum (Marsica), bauxite and hydrocarbons. Industrial development is limited, except for areas near the bigger centers: there are large factories in Avezzano, L'Aquila, Pescara, Teramo and Chieti. Tourism is an important and growing industry on the Adriatic coast and in ski resorts.
Other Sections on Abruzzo
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