If you are planning to visit Abruzzo, you might be wondering how to get around this beautiful region of Italy. There is a public transport system in Abruzzo that can help you travel within and between the cities and towns of Abruzzo. Combining trains and buses, you can get anywhere, but it requires some patience and flexibility as you’ll need to do a bit of planning and have plenty of time on your hands.
In this blog post, we will introduce you to the different public transport options available in Abruzzo and give you some tips on how to use them effectively and efficiently. Over the past decade, the region has continued to develop and hone this system. Public transportation options include several bus lines and numerous rail routes.
History of public transportation in Abruzzo
Abruzzo’s reputation as an isolated area originated from its position beyond the Apennine mountains and the difficulty of crossing them. Up until the 1950’s donkey travel was still prevalent. Many people as young as 50 still recall traveling from one village to another in the back of donkey carts. Often roads were merely improved mule paths or sheep routes. The late 1960s, however, saw the development of new roads and railway routes. The autostrada A24 connecting Rome and Teramo was constructed in 1973 and literally paved the way for visitors and commerce to flow between Abruzzese cities and those outside the region. As more people were able to discover the beauty of Abruzzo, it became less remote, with more transportation options available over the years. Today, residents and visitors have several transportation options – none of which mandate climbing on the back of a donkey!
Getting around in Abruzzo by bus
Abruzzo’s most extensive bus line is the TUA (Transporto Unico Abruzzese) line. TUA is a public bus transportation provider that operates 25 bus routes within the city of Pescara and throughout Abruzzo. It offers urban (city) and extra-urban (suburbs outside Pescara and intra-regional areas) travel.
The urban routes run north-south between Montesilvano and Francavilla al Mare; while east-west routes connect Francavilla al Mare to the east with Collecorvina to the west. This route offers 592 stops!
The extra-urban routes cover an area from Giulianova on the coast to Popoli in the interior. When it comes to smaller towns and villages in Abruzzo, there are bus services available that connect them to the nearest train station or bigger city. However, these bus services are not very frequent and primarily cater to the needs of the local community. They only run two or three times a day, five days a week, scheduled very early in the morning and in the afternoon, catering to the transportation needs of the local community. So, if you plan to explore the smaller towns and villages in Abruzzo, it’s recommended to check the bus schedules in advance and plan your travel accordingly.
On the TUA website you will find available routes, ticket sales points, a link to the TUA app, and downloadable timetables in PDF.
Public transport in Abruzzo includes urban routes with several major cities that have their own bus lines.
L’Aquila operates its AMA (Aquilana Mobility Company). It offers “hourly” tickets which are valid for 1 hour and 20 minutes from the time they are stamped. Cost is €1.20. These intra city buses can transport you to many of the main sites in the city. Teramo is served internally by Baltour urban lines. Cost for a 90 minute ticket is also €1.20. In Pescara, besides TUA, the Satam bus line runs from Pescara and Chieti to Castel di Sangro, Roccaraso and Sulmona. It also connects these towns and cities to several destinations in Molise, Marche and bigger national destinations such as Bologna, Naples, Rimini. It is a slow, but inexpensive option.
Getting around in Abruzzo by train
Rail transportation has also come a long way in Abruzzo, with stations and regular trains in every major city and many small towns.
Trenitalia is the major rail company in Abruzzo and throughout Italy. With Trenitalia, you can find routes that will take you to Pescara, Teramo, Chieti, Vasto, Sulmona, and other main points. In summer, additional trains are scheduled to take tourists to hiking routes and nature sites such as the Grotte di Stiffe caves.
Prices are reasonable and range from €2.10 for the shorter routes to €6.50 for longer journeys.
On the Trenitalia website you can see timetables and purchase tickets (tickets for some routes within the region are not available for sale online; you will have to buy them at a railway station).
Combo Travel by bus and train
Trenitalia and TUA each offer tickets that combine travel via rail and bus.
With Trenitalia, you can purchase tickets that allow you catch a train to L’Aquila, Sulmona, Avezzano, and Teramo and then hop on a bus in one of those cities to take you to you desired destination.
These tickets can be purchased online on the Trenitalia website, via the Trenitalia App, at train stations, and tabacchi shops.
TUA offers frequent service between Pescara Centrale train station and the Pescara airport. Cost is €1.20 each way.
Taxis in Abruzzo In the cities of Teramo, L’Aquila, and Pescara, taxis are available. They are expensive, however, and not as ubiquitous as you find in larger cities such as Rome or Milan. Private car hires exist, but, again, are not economical (e.g. a 40-minute ride for two people from the Pescara airport to the small village of Roccamorice costs €70-80). Find several taxi companies listed here. Taxi drivers in Abruzzo rarely speak English.
Apps to download for getting around Abruzzo
Read more: How to get from Rome to Abruzzo?