You can't go anywhere in Abruzzo without finding a medieval hill town with a backdrop of mountains. The area is dominated by the Gran Sasso mountains, the highest part of Italy's Appennine range, at 9,500 feet. And the land beneath these mountains is very hilly, gradually dropping as it raches to the Adriatic Sea. The taller hills have ancient towns and fortresses and the other hills are a patchwork of fields, orchards, and vineyards.
The other day we drove north to an amazing fortress looming over a Gothic-Rennaissance village. Civitella del Tronto dates back to the tenth century and the fortress is about 250 years old. The photo at the top is looking from the outside walls of the fortress down over the rooftops to the cultivated lands below and the mountain backdrop.
This is the 13th .century gate to the town.
And here is one of its residents.