Our weekly round-up of news from Abruzzo in English:

Abruzzo in the orange

From Monday, Abruzzo is in the orange zone from next Monday as the hospital beds occupancy and the incidence of infections has been above the limit thresholds for over a week already. However, as the regional media report, there is a light at the end of the tunnel: on Friday, exactly the day when the government announced the decision, hospitalisations numbers started to drop by 2-3%.

The new restrictions affect very little those with a Super Green Pass, while those with a negative test (Green Pass) are not allowed to shopping centers on weekends or classrooms.

Orange zone rules

Five years since the Rigopiano avalanche

This week marks five years since a deadly avalanche that hit the luxury Hotel Rigopiano, near Farindola, killing 29 people. In the afternoon of January 18, 2017, an avalanche of snow, debris and tree trunks engulfed the Hotel Rigopiano. A police report later said that the force of the avalanche was as if four thousand fully loaded trucks had crashed into the hotel at a speed of 100km per hour. The impact was so violent that the three-storey building rotated about 13 degrees and was moved over 10 meters from its original place. The victims’ families are still waiting for justice to be served as 30 people are facing numerous charges such as illegal construction of the hotel, negligence leading to injury and death, manslaughter. Read more in our article here.

The Holy Stairs in Campli

Scala Santa di Campli celebrates 250 years

The beautiful Holy Stairs (Scala Santa) in the town of Campli was built 250 years ago. The famous monument, one of the most popular religious destination in Abruzzo, opened on January 21 in 1772 with a permission of Pope Clement XIV. According to Roman Catholic tradition, pilgrims and faithful must climb the 28 steps on their knees while praying to receive an absolution or plenary indulgence. There are several Holy Stairs in Italy but the Scala Santa in Campli is undoubtedly among the most beautiful and is worth a visit even if you are not religious.

Historic railway winter schedule

The winter schedule has been announced and online reservations are open for the historic Ferrovia dei Parchi on the Sulmona-Carpinone-Isernia route, known as Italy’s Trans-Siberian railway. Trains are scheduled every Saturday and Sunday from 5 February to 6 March with departure from Sulmona and arrival in Roccaraso. The 117-kilometres route runs through Abruzzo’s magnificent mountains and is the second highest in Italy, only a few metres below the railway in Brennero. Winter rides on this routes are spectacular as the mountains are all snow-capped and more snowfalls are expected. The booking website is available in Italian, English, French and Spanish. Read about travelling on Abruzzo’s historic trains in this National Geographic’s article.

Abruzzo’s historic railway

Price hike on pasta and olive expected

Pasta and olive oil producers in Abruzzo and nationwide are expected to increase their prices as energy costs skyrocket creating a chain reaction. Coldiretti, Italy’s major organisation representing agricultural entrepreneurs at national and European level, have warned about a 30% cost increase in wheat for pasta production and a 12% jump for extra virgin olive oil. This year, wheat farmers have to spend 400 euros more per hectare, from sowing to harvesting, according to Coldiretti’s analysis, due to diesel, fertilisers, glass and paper packaging becoming more expensive.  

New app for visitors to L’Aquila

New app for L’Aquila

A new app has been released for visitors to L’Aquila. It lists the main city’s landmarks, tourist attractions, places to eat and stay. Through the app multimedia contents such as audio and video guides can be accessed by scanning the QR-codes at the entrance of places of interest. The app is in Italian (a great way to improve your language skills!) and shortly will have an English version. It is available for iOS and Android.

For in-depth articles on Abruzzo’s history, culture and travel tips subscribe to ABRUZZISSIMO Magazine here.

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