Moving to a village in Abruzzo: tax benefits and quality of life
Castel del Monte and its surroundings: like in a Sergio Leone film
The pure mountain air refreshes the body and spirit here in Castel del Monte: a village in Abruzzo at an altitude of 1,350 metres included in the network of Italy's Most Beautiful Villages. It is a real panacea if you are tired of crowded metropolises and feel the need for peace and quiet once you reach retirement; or if you are in the silver age, aged 65 and over, and are looking for a second life of well-being. After the journey, forget your troubles and enjoy the scenery. The village is very old - the first settlements date back as far as 324 BC - and has been extraordinarily well maintained, still carved into the living stone of the nearby Gran Sasso. A lot of work has been done to revive the place after the damage caused by the 2009 earthquake, thanks also to the Government Support Decree that promoted reconstruction.
You are in a green lung, inside the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, together with the friendly inhabitants of the small town, of which there are only 500. You will get to know them one by one: they will be full of wonderful tales to tell you and advice on how best to explore the area with healthy walks through beech forests and pastures. The two small churches will welcome you for moments of contemplation: that of San Marco and the Madonna del Suffragio. And if you have loved the films of Sergio Leone, you will be on one of the sets that the brilliant director favoured for shooting his films. Not only spaghetti western, from Ladyhawke to The American and The Name of the Rose were filmed here.
How to get to Castel del Monte
You can fly to Pescara airport and then get the train to L'Aquila, travelling on by bus.
Nature is an ally of well-being in Ovindoli
The mountain air here also proves to be a valuable health booster. You will feel at home in this village at the foot of Mount Magnola, where the walls bear witness to an ancient history. You will rediscover the pleasure of carefree cycling on loop routes because here, in the Parco Regionale Naturale del Sirente – Velino, the valleys open wide. And you can also ski in the snow season, maybe on the perfectly equipped cross-country skiing tracks. For those who love to relax, the Ovindoli Planet is an ideal destination for a game of bocce or to read a good book surrounded by nature, or to go horse riding in one of the many stables that can be found on the Altopiano delle Rocche. And in the evening, sheep's cheese from the alpine pastures accompanied by a local red wine will sweeten your nights. The Italian way of life is also this: sitting in front of a fireplace tasting simple delicacies of a tradition never forgotten.
How to get to Ovindoli:
The suggested itinerary is to fly to Rome, enjoy the capital for a few days, and then reach Ovindoli by bus in a little under two hours, to start your new life at leisure.
The rebirth of Santo Stefano di Sessanio: the reasons for moving here
Thanks to extensive restoration work that followed at a good pace after the 2009 earthquake, the symbol of this village in the province of L'Aquila has recently been returned to its inhabitants: it is the Torre Medicea, a true sign of rebirth. Moving here, you will have the privilege of actively participating in the repopulation of a medieval village of rare beauty, with old stone peasant houses and charming little alleys.Once inSanto Stefano di Sessanio, enjoy the quiet of the Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga and indulge in several morning walks to the bakery, where you can buy mostaccioli, traditional biscuits, or pizzettas still warm. The National Park has structured trails suitable for everyone, as part of the Slow Park project, in the name of maximum accessibility. You will easily find the one that suits you best.
How to get to Santo Stefano di Sessanio: you can fly to the airports of Rome or Pescara (the nearest is about eighty kilometres away to be covered in just over an hour), and then carry on by train and bus.
Civitella del Tronto: a charming medieval village
Civitella del Tronto, another village in northern Abruzzo, was hit by the earthquake that struck central Italy on 26 and 30 October 2016. Since then, the dwellings have been renovated in accordance with earthquake-proof criteria and the village is now restored to its former beauty. Its symbolic monument is the 16th-century Fortress, an imposing defensive building: visitors never tire of visiting it, just as every walk through the historic centre always offers something new. Nor is it ever tedious to pause at the belvedere that opens onto Piazza Pepe, where the view takes in the ring of mountains up to the summit of the Gran Sasso.
From Campli to Teramo, between the mountains and the Adriatic coast
You will one day be in the mood for a different setting and head for another wonderful village, Campli, which is only fifteen minutes from Civitella del Tronto by bus or rented car. Also here, the wounds of the 2016 earthquake are healing and the location has come back to life, thanks to redevelopment works. The Churches will enchant you with their masterpieces of art, while all around is a verdant landscape.
You can also visit the nearest town, Teramo, which recently celebrated the completion of post-earthquake reconstruction work on the beautiful Cathedral. You may well like the place so much that you plan to settle here, in one of the region's capitals, perhaps after spending some time in the smaller neighbouring villages. Getting around the historic centre is easy, and it is just as easy to leave from here for day trips. The choice is yours: towards the nearby Adriatic Sea, with shores well served by fully equipped establishments, or towards the Gran Sasso, for peaceful walks along paths suitable for everyone. A stop at one of the many agritourisms spread throughout the area will reveal all the richness of the local gastronomy and the handmade maccheroncini alla chitarra, served with an excellent ragout, guaranteed to satisfy you.