While the historic town of Barrea may not be on your bucket list like Rome, but this location makes a great place for a quiet get away. This quaint town is built along the steep slope of a mountain that has acted as a defensive mechanism for this town. Homes made of local stone run down the mountain side to the Barrea Lake. The great thing about this destination is it’s perfect for all seasons – beaches in the summer and skiing on the mountain in the winter!
As you walk through the cobblestone streets and alleyways filled with fresh potted plants and overhanging laundry and the past pastel coloured homes you can’t deny the village’s charm. This town is peaceful and quiet as there are only about 1,100 permanent residents. After the earthquake of 1984 many residents refused to return to their homes in Barrea and sold their homes to tourists.
There’s also lots of amazing architecture, including the library that was once a Benedictine Abbey back in the 7th century. Monks rebuilt this abbey back in 1017 to make this monetary as strong as fortress. Visit the Parish Church of St. Thomas built back in the 16th century to celebrate the patron saint.
Today, Barrea is in the middle of the National Park of Abruzzo, the oldest in the Apennines that protects the Brown Bear, Italian Wolf and Eurasian Lynx among others. You’ll also see golden eagles soaring over the park and on the ground you’ll find more than 2,000 plant species, including the beech trees that dominate the park. Enjoy the waters at the Barrea Lake while taking in its wildlife. This Lake was created after a dam was build on the Sangro River just after WWII and has since been a gathering place for people and animals a like.