Sightseeing Museums & Galleries History & Culture cathedral ruins fountains fort Italy > L'Aquila

9 Best Things To Do In L'Aquila, Italy

9 Best Things To Do In L'Aquila, Italy
Lorre
Lorre
Published

L'Aquila sits in a quiet valley, safely enclosed within its medieval walls. The Apennine Mountains rise around this city, founded in the 13th-century, which is now the capital of Abruzzo and the province of L'Aquila. The winding streets, Baroque churches, Renaissance buildings, and beautiful plazas of this city will charm you. Home to the University of L'Aquila, a symphony, and a film institute, L'Aquila sparkles with culture. A short distance away lies the intense solitude of the Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga. Over the centuries, earthquakes have shattered this city, traumatic events that brought buildings to the ground. But L'Aquila rebuilt. More than once. This city defines resilience.

Read on to learn about the best things to do in the area!

Travel Advisory (Coronavirus Disease COVID-19)

Outbreak: Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Due to the recent increase in the number of confirmed cases in Northern Italy*, travellers are advised to postpone all non-essential travel to Northern Italy until further notice. Travellers who have returned from Italy should monitor their health for two weeks and minimise contact with other people. Travellers who develop symptoms of a cough, fever, or shortness of breath should seek medical attention immediately.

*Northern Italy refers to the eight administrative regions of Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Piedmont, Liguria, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Aosta Valley and Trentino-Alto Adige

Read More: Travel advisory and updates on the COVID-19.

1. Fontana delle Novantanove Cannelle

Fontana delle Novantanove Cannelle, or the Fountain of Ninety-Nine Spouts, located in La Rivera, the oldest part of the city, visually represents the stories and myths linked to L'Aquila’s foundation and history. According to legend, in the 13th-century, ninety-nine lords joined together to create the city of L'Aquila. Construction of the fountain began in 1272. The fountain was intended to remind all who passed of the unity and power of the new city.

Fontana delle Novantanove Cannelle

Address: Parco delle Acque, Piazza San Vito, 67100 L'Aquila AQ, Italy

See our full list of recommended Hotels in L'Aquila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in L'Aquila

2. Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio

Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio
Source: Wikimedia

The patterned pink and white exterior of The Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio makes it appear almost festive. Construction of this masterpiece of Romanesque and Gothic architecture began in 1288. Inside the basilica rests two Baroque altarpieces. Frescos from the 14th,15th, and,16th centuries color the walls of the building’s understated interior.

Santa Maria di Collemaggio

Address: Piazzale Collemaggio 5, 67100 L'Aquila AQ, Italy

See our full list of recommended Hotels in L'Aquila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in L'Aquila

3. Museo Nazionale d'Abruzzo

Forte Spagnolo home of the Museo Nazionale d'Abruzzo
Source: Wikimedia

Located in the Forte Spagnolo, the Museo Nazionale d'Abruzzo’s galleries display a dazzling variety of exhibits related to the history of Abruzzo. Exhibits include dinosaur bones, pre-Roman artifacts, religious art, Roman finds from Abruzzo, medieval and modern paintings, works by Abruzzese artists, and contemporary art.

Museo Nazionale d'Abruzzo

Address: Via Arco S. Jacopo della Rivera 35, 67100 L'Aquila AQ, Italy

Website: Museo Nazionale d'Abruzzo (in Italian)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in L'Aquila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in L'Aquila

4. Basilica di San Bernardino da Siena

Basilica di San Bernardino da Siena
Source: Wikimedia

Construction of the Basilica di San Bernardino da Siena began in 1454 and required eighteen years to complete. Girolamo Centiempo painted the stunning ceiling and several frescos in the basilica. Pompeo Cesura’s Adorazione dei Magi hangs in a chapel.

Basilica di San Bernardino da Siena

Address: Via S. Bernardino, 5 67100 L'Aquila AQ, Italy

See our full list of recommended Hotels in L'Aquila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in L'Aquila

5. Fontana Luminosa

Fontana Luminosa
Source: Wikimedia

Fontana Luminosa, a quaint fountain in Piazza Battagliona, comes alive at night with a display of colored lights. A bronze statute designed by Nicola D'Antino in 1934 of two women holding a basket stands at its center. Views of the distant mountains of the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park make this worth a quick stop.

Fontana Luminosa

Address: Piazza Battaglione degli Alpini, 67100 L'Aquila AQ, Italy

See our full list of recommended Hotels in L'Aquila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in L'Aquila

6. La Chiesa di San Silvestro

La Chiesa di San Silvestro
Source: Wikimedia

The rose and white Romanesque facade of La Chiesa di San Silvestro dates from 1350. Earthquakes destroyed the church on a number of occasions resulting in marked shifts in architectural styles. La Chiesa di San Silvestro was named a national monument in 1902. Raphel’s Visitation originally hung on the walls of the Branconio Chapel. Spanish troops removed the painting in 1655. Raphael’s masterwork remains on display in the Prado. Stunning 14th, 15th, and 16th century frescos adorn the walls. The 2009 earthquake caused extensive damage and the structure remains under reconstruction.

La Chiesa di San Silvestro

Address: Via S. Silvestro, 67100 L'Aquila AQ, Italy

See our full list of recommended Hotels in L'Aquila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in L'Aquila

7. Amiternum

Roman Ruins at Amiternum
Source: Wikimedia

The ancient Roman city of Amiternum lies a few kilometers outside of L'Aquila’s historic center. Ruins of a Roman amphitheater, theater, forum, and baths rest quietly waiting for exploration. Gaius Sallustius Crispus, otherwise known as Sallust, author of the The Conspiracy of Catiline and The Jugurthine War, was born here in 86 BCE.

Amiternum

Website: Amiternum (in Italian)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in L'Aquila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in L'Aquila

8. Rocca Calascio and Chesia Santa Maria della Pietà

Rocca Calascio soars above the Apennine Mountains from inside the Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga National Park. A ruined fort, it is the highest ever built in the Apennines. Construction of the fort began in the 10th-century. An earthquake in 1703 caused extensive damage after which it was never rebuilt. While at Rocca Calasico, take a look at the quiet and simple beauty of the octagonal 17th-century Santa Maria della Pietà church on the road to the fort.

Rocca Calascio and Chesia Santa Maria della Pietà

Address: Località Rocca Calascio, 67020 Calascio AQ, Italy

Website: Rocca Calascio and Chesia Santa Maria della Pietà (in Italian)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in L'Aquila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in L'Aquila

9. La Cattedrale Metropolitana dei Santi Massimo e Giorgio

L'Aquila Cathedral
Source: Wikimedia

La Cattedrale Metropolitana dei Santi Massimo e Giorgio dominates the landscape of the Piazza del Duomo. Construction of the cathedral began in the 13th-century, around the time of the city’s foundation. An earthquake in 1703 destroyed the cathedral and a Neoclassical building replaced it. Dedicated to Saint Maximus of Aveia and Gaint George, exquisite Baroque details and magnificent paintings fill the cathedral. The earthquake of 2009 inflicted enormous damage on the structure, requiring its closing. As of July 2017, the cathedral has not yet reopened.

La Cattedrale Metropolitana dei Santi Massimo e Giorgio

Address: Via Roio 4, 67100 L'Aquila AQ, Italy

See our full list of recommended Hotels in L'Aquila and also compare the prices with airbnbs in L'Aquila

Why not stay awhile in L'Aquila

So find a favorite bar, that perfect local restaurant, and of course, a go-to place for your morning coffee. And while you’re at it, why not think about staying awhile in this wonderful city. L'Aquila’s manageable size makes it a great destination for really getting to know a place. Make it a home base for exploring the surrounding countryside. After a few weeks in L'Aquila, you won’t want to leave.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

L 27aquila 2c basilica di santa maria di collemaggio 2007 by raboe 1
Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

Lorre Luther is a writer who lives in the Netherlands.

Top 3 activities to book in L'Aquila

Have a question? Ask fellow travellers and travel experts here.
 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore L'Aquila
Good things are meant to be shared!