This is our latest dispatch of Abruzzo news in English.

Poor air quality in Teramo

The city of Teramo has one of the worst air quality in Italy. The national environmentalist association Legambiente published a study which shows high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air pollution in Teramo.

NO2 pollution comes mainly from car fumes and home heating. Teramo has 899.49 cars per 1,000 inhabitants plus the vehicles arriving from other municipalities for work. Pescara often has high levels of outdoor particulate pollution while L’Aquila is among the cleanest cities in the region and Italy.

In Italy, the smog emergency remains a chronic problem. 2021 was a black year for overall air quality. Legambiente reported that out of 102 provincial capitals, none managed to comply with all necessary limit values suggested by the World Health Organization.

Photo via

Mystery in the skies

A mysterious glow over the Majella Mountains continues to puzzle Abruzzo. First spotted and photographed in the cloudless evening sky above Passo San Leonardo on January 17, it was dismissed by the National UFO Centre (CUN) as a lens reflection common for low-resolution cameras, despite the fact that the photographer said he saw the glow also with the naked eye.

On February 3, a mysterious glow was reported again above Palombaro and Casoli, this time accompanied by smoke, according to several independent witnesses. A fire brigade flew to the locations while a team of policemen inspected the areas from the ground. There has been no official explanation yet.

Small artisan businesses in crisis

The crises of small artisan businesses in Abruzzo continues. Local media report that in 2021, the region came second in the national ranking (worse only the Marche) losing 200 artisan businesses, a drop from 1614 to 1414. The provinces of Chieti and L’Aquila were hit the worst with 69 and 60 artisans respectively going out of business. Peak closures were in clothing, leather goods and food and car repairs.

Abruzzo is one four regions, together with Marche, Molise and Umbria, to register a decline in the artisan activity while other Italian regions show an increase of 0.79%.

Orfento River. Photo by Majambiente

Native trout to return to rivers

Abruzzo’s rivers are to be repopulated with the Mediterranean trout, a species that almost disappeared from its natural habitats, as part of the European project Life Streams. Scientists at the Experimental Ichthyogenic and Hydrobiology Center (C.I.S.I) in L’Aquila have selected 34 trout for egg production. In spring, the fry, newly hatched fish, will be released into the Orta and Orfento rivers within the Maiella National Park.

Cold winter ahead?

In Abruzzo, the popular belief is that if it snows or rains on February 2, La Candelora (Candlemas), the winter will be soon over but if the day is sunny cold weather is to be expected and March will be like January. The old saying in local dialect goes like this:

Se ci nangue o se ci piov

da l’invern sem fora,

se ci sta lu sularill

sem in mezz a l’invernarill!

(courtesy of our Facebook follower Dina Iannotti)

As you can see from the video below, it was a beautiful sunny day in Abruzzo, which might mean spring will be delayed. In the last few years, we’ve had cold snaps and snowfalls in late February and March. Stay tuned for our updates if you are curious to see how it turns out and whether the Abruzzese lore can predict the weather.  

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