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Abruzzi E Molise


ABRUZZI E MOLISE, a group of provinces (comparti mento) of Southern Italy. The total area is 5,951 sq.m. and the population (1921) 1,399,980. The interior is mountainous includ ing the central portion of the Apennines and their culmination, the Gran Sasso d'Italia. The coastal hills consist mainly of some what unstable clay and sand; the zone of level ground along the coast is quite inconsiderable. The Ioo miles of coastline have not a single harbour of importance. Climate varies with altitude, the highest peaks being covered with snow for most of the year, while the valleys running north-east towards the sea are fertile and well watered by several small rivers, the chief of which are the Tronto, Vomano, Pescara, Sangro, Trigno and Biferno. These are fed by minor streams, such as the Aterno and Gizio, with valleys between the main chains of the Apennines. They may be suddenly swollen by rains, and floods and landslips often cause damage. This danger has been increased, as elsewhere in Italy, by indiscriminate timber-felling without provision for reafforestation, though considerable oak, beech, elm and pine for ests still exist and are the home of wolves, wild boars and even bears. The woods have large herds of swine, and the hams and sausages of the Abruzzi are famed. The rearing of cattle and sheep was at one time the chief occupation, and many flocks are still driven down to the Campagna di Roma for the winter and back again in the summer, but more cultivation is now done, especially in the valleys and in the now drained bed of Lago Fucino where beet sugar is produced. Industries are small but various : e.g., arms and cutlery at Campobasso and Agnone and majolica at Castelli and elsewhere. -Liqueurs are also made in several places. The river Pescara and its tributary the Tirino form an important source of power for generating electricity. Communications are not easy. Railways are (1) the coast rail way (a part of the Bologna-Brindisi line), with branches from Giulianova to Teramo and from Termoli to Campobasso ; (2) a line diverging S.E. from this at Pescara and running via Sulmona (whence there are branches via Aquila and Rieti to Terni, and via Carpinone to (a) Isernia and Caianello, on the line from Rome to Naples, and (b) Campobasso and Benevento), and Avezzano (whence there is a branch to Roccasecca) to Rome, (3) a connecting line between the coastline (at Ortona and S. Vito Lanciano) and the line from Solmona to Isernia (at Castel di Sangro). There are, consequently, no large towns. The dis trict was, in Lombard times, part of the duchy of Spoleto, and, under the Normans, a part of that of Apulia; it was first formed into a single province in 1240 by Frederick II., who placed the Justiciarius Aprutii at Sulmona and founded the city of Aquila. After the Hohenstaufens lost their Italian dominions, the Abruzzi became a province of the Angevin kingdom of Naples, to which it was of great strategic importance.


Poggi, Arte Mediaevale negli Abruzzi (Milan, Bibliography.-G. Poggi, Arte Mediaevale negli Abruzzi (Milan, 1914) ; E. Agostinoni, Attipiani d'Abruzzo (Artigrafiche Bergamo, 1912), well illustrated ; V. Bindi, Monumenti storici ed artistia degli Abruzzi (Naples, 2889) ; A. de Nino, Usi e costumi Abruzzesi (Florence, 2879-1883).

line, valleys, pescara, naples and via