L'Aquila Travel Guide

  • L'Aquila
    by jorgejuansanchez
  • L'Aquila
    by jorgejuansanchez
  • L'Aquila
    by jorgejuansanchez

L'Aquila Things to Do

  • the castle / Spanish fort

    The castle of L'Aquila is also known as Spanish fort, because it was a Spanish man, Don Pedro from Toledo, viceroy of Naples, who decided to build it in 1534... to defend the city from the French armies.The architect behind it is another Spaniard, Luis Escribà, akthough the construction took centuries and none of them clearly managed to see it...

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  • Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio

    The Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio is a fantastic romanic church in the city... the largest in the Abruzzo area. Look at the white and pink stones in which it's built: it's the same stones that were used for the fountains of the 99 spouts.It dates back to 1287, and was commissioned by an hermit known as Pietro del Morrone but whose real...

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  • fontana luminosa

    The fontana luminosa - or else fountain of light, was created by Nicola D' Antino. The base is made of marble and on top of it there are two bronze naked women. They are holding a particular vessel, which is typical of the Abruzzo region, called "la conca".The fountain is great during the day and at night. In the daylight you can admire, on a clear...

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  • piazza del duomo

    Piazza del Duomo is the main square of the city, and it is its heart and soul... it's where people meet, and every day there is a market. It's an oval sqaure with two twin fountains and two religious buildings: the duomo of San Marco and the chiesa del Suffragio, You can also find a small tourist information office, which hands out very impractical...

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  • church of San Bernardino

    The most beautiful church of the old town is the church of San Bernardino... orignally its plan would have been to look like the church of Santa maria del Fiore in Florence, but when the 1725 eartquake stroke the city and destroyed parts of t, a new plan was concocted.The facade is the original one, since it was not damaged... it's interesting how...

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  • S. Vito di Tornimparte

    S. Vito di Tornimparte is a beautiful little church that tends to be overlooked... and for a simple reason: it stands right opposite the fountain of the 99 spouts, and people are so taken in by this monument, that they often miss this little white church with a fine romanic portal.Tornimparte is a village of 2.966 inhabiotants in the Aquila...

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  • La Fontana delle 99 cannelle

    La Fontana delle 99 cannelle (the fountain with the 99 spouts) is a large fountain built in 1272 by the architect Tancredi da Pentima and it is the symbol of the city. it is in trapezoid shape and it has 99 spouts with 99 masks - it is believed that they are the masks of the lords of the castles who founded the city.If this is your first stop in...

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  • The Few Sites We Saw in L'Aquila

    We only walked around L'Aquila for about an hour or so. It was a Sunday evening, and it was quite difficult to find a place to park. We drove around and around. Finally, we parked on a narrow side street and then walked to the Piazza Duomo which was filled with young people, families, and older couples.We were looking for the Information Center. We...

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  • First sight

    "There's a fairly large town over there" were my words as I first set eyes on L'Aquila from the truck stop service station.By the time I'd reached this point I was so far away from where I'd originally intended that I decided to plunge on further, through the 10 kilometre plus tunnel and find my way past Ascoli Piceno and onto near Gubbio where we...

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  • It's all about the mountains

    If a couple of naked women arching their backs is what makes the world go round for you then you're bound to enjoy this monument, the Fontan Luminosa, dedicated to "Alpini L'Aquila" on the Piazza Battaglione just 30 metres from my hotel.That's the alpine club for the totally language challenged.

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  • fontana delle 99 cannelle

    With "collemaggio church" is the symbol of the town.it is large fountain where water comes out from the 99 sculptures of the lords who founded the town.It is situated on 3 of the 4 sides of a wide square.don't miss it!!!

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  • The gateways

    Unlike many other towns in Italy, where traffic is generally banned from the old town and the portos are a standout feature as you enter the city, the ones here have passed their use-by date and today are more of an impediment. The Porta Castello (1769), erected during the time the town was finalizing its shape after the great earthquake, is such...

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  • A different kind of architecture

    The half bricks poking out of buildings must have some name but, of the people I spoke to, no one seemed to know.The building on the right is where I had my evening meal in L'Aquila. It houses a local trattoria. It was smoky, as many on them are, but the food was good and I love the atmosphere of trattorias generally.All this is in the Piazza San...

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  • Piazza Del Duomo

    There aren't any important palaces along the sides of the square because this was the place for the common people. In the afternoons and on Sundays people walk around under the open sky, sitting on the border by one of the two twin fountains by Nicola D'Antino.At the lower side of the square (called "piedi piazza", while the upper part is known as...

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  • The piazzas

    By the comments you may have already read, you may think piazzas hardly exist here. Well, they have their share, it's just that they're not as grandiose as other towns I had been in the previous couple of weeks.It didn't stop them being just as busy as you can see here. While I was on my morning sojourn the frameworks were being clanked into...

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  • The castle

    This is a surprising edifice. Coming from castle-less Australia I find these buildings a bit of a turn-on and something to look forward to. This one is different. It has an air of solid impregnablitiy about it unlike any other castle I've seen.Lacking ornate castellations, it has a brooding dominating air about it that lacks artistic...

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  • Always the mountains

    This view is looking away from the famous Church of S. Bernardino down the aptly named Scalinata di S. Bernardino towards the Piazza Bariscianello.As always, the mountains sit brooding over all. The Gran Sasso, highest peak the Corno Grande at 2,912 metres, looms large to the north while the Parco Regionale Sirente Velino looks down from the...

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  • Just another day at the office

    This is the entrance to the castle, across the now waterless moat, a fairly substantial affair 23 metres wide and 14 metres deep.The castle is unique also in that it has protruding pairs of "ears" on each corner, as clearly seen in my previous photo.The walls themselves are between 5 and 10 metres thick and today the building is used as an office...

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L'Aquila Hotels

See all 23 Hotels in L'Aquila
  • Hotel La Compagnia Del Viaggiatore

    Strada Statale 80 Km 6, angolo via martin luther king, L'Aquila, 67100, Italy

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Families

  • Hotel San Michele

    Via dei Giardini, 6, L'Aquila, 67100, Italy

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

  • Hotel Nido dell'Aquila

    Fonte Cerreto, L'Aquila, 67010, Italy

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Families

L'Aquila Restaurants

  • a table with a view on the 99 spouts

    We found this restaurant by mistake...we were planning on having lunch in another one around the corner, which had been recommended to us - yet at 1.30 PM the waiter was still busy preparing the tables... so we figured we'd not wait and go somewhere else... which meant the nearest one. The restaurant was cosy and the staff really helpful and...

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  • Outstanding Eating Experience at

    Finally, we selected a restaurant and were ready to eat! We chose the Darkover Restaurant simply because of convenient location [it was very near to where we had parked our car].Sometimes, luck is with us...The Darkover Restaurant was an excellent choice. We were reluctant because there we few people in the establishment on this Sunday night about...

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  • Giant pumpkins inside

    I ate here for the second time in 10 years in October 2006 and was as pleased as I was the first time. Although the front door is open by 6:30, the owners don't come out to take orders until close to 7:30. There were two gigantic pumpkins (zucca)near the front door, maybe in honor of Halloween. There are no menus as the selections are given...

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L'Aquila Transportation

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    by call_me_rhia Written Aug 19, 2007

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    L'Aquila is really not conveniently located on any route major train route... getting there will involve a couple of train changes... either in rome and then in terni, or else in pescara and then in sulmona.

    The station is far out of town, but there should be buses. However if you arrive on Sunday, you're likely going to be stuck. The only way out is to call a taxi, which shouldn't cost more than 5-7 euros.

    the little train to sulmona

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L'Aquila Local Customs

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    by mario_spring_83 Written May 21, 2004

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    It's without doubt the main event in the town.
    Every year, in the last week of august in every corner of the town there are
    Concerts, Music, fireworks, happiness, parties all the time.
    is the best period to come to L'Aquila.

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L'Aquila Warnings and Dangers

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    by call_me_rhia Written Aug 18, 2007

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    At the fountain of the 99 spouts... don't drink the water. At least this is what two not very evident signs say. Of course we had already drunk some when somebody pointed that out to us... nothing happened - we felt as healthy as usual.

    Apparently the reason is because no one knows for sure where the water comes from... but whereas I would not suggest you to drink it, I would also say that you shouldn't be paranoid about it. In many places in town, including the bathroom of the Spanish castle, you'll see similar signs...

    mask and water spout

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L'Aquila Sports & Outdoors

  • Campo felice ski resort

    Campo Felice: one of the biggest ski resort in center and southern italy. Velino mountain group.trees at slopes limits.altitude: 1700-2000 m ski season: december to april11 lifts- lot of slopescon's: very crowded on saturdays and sundays because close to Rome. lot of possibilities for mountain ski. ski equipment (possible to rent)

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  • campo imperatore ski resort

    Very beautiful landscapes skiing on the highest mountain of appennines!Altitude: 1950-2300 mSki season: from november to mayEasy to reach: 15 minutes driving from l'aquila center. Than cablecar from 1100 to 2100 in 7 minutes.There are also buses from l'aquila to cablecar station2 lifts, 10 slopeslarge possibilities for mountain ski. ski equipment...

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  • L'Aquila Hotels

    23 Hotels in L'Aquila

L'Aquila Favorites

  • l'aquila and the cabbala

    L'Aquila is a town of about 72.000 inhabitants and it's the administrative center of the Abruzzo region... I am ambivalent about this town: there are great monuments to be seen, and beautiful mountains in the backdrop... but other than this I found it dirty and uncared for...its main symbol is the fountain of the 99 cannelle (sports)... and 99,...

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  • Information please

    At the information centre I went to (three are listed) and from enquiries I had made from Australia, it was apparent that L'Aquila was looking for tourists. The proffering of seemingly endless maps and information indicated that. I reflected that, in places like Sienna and Florence, everything has a price and they've had tourists up to their ears....

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  • Beware the gnomons!

    Adjacent to the fountain is a small church. It's one of the ones like those I encountered at Quintodecimo (see my Aquasanta pages). It's on a more personal level than the grandiose ones you find in every travel brochure. No finely carved facade with stories from the ages, just a barely visible sundial and meridian indicator.No Michaelangelo...

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Comments (1)

  • Khanw's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    When I asked a local about L'Aquila today she described it simply as "a sad place". I didn't fully grasp what she meant until I visited the town this afternoon. What once must have been a lively medieval regional centre is now a ghost town. In the old part all buildings are deserted since the big earthquake in April 2009 and there is an eerie silence only interrupted by the occasional creaking of a door in the wind.

    Sad as it was, the sight made me realise for the first time just how devastating earthquakes can really be. Walking among these buildings held up only by the steel support beams in which they are wrapped to keep them from falling apart, I pictured the terrifying experience of standing in these narrow streets when the trembling starts. I hope that somehow the people from L'Aquila can find the courage and financial means to rebuild their town and make it habitable again. And they just might. After all, it's not the first time that L'Aquila was destroyed by an earthquake.

 
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