Established in the 10th century as a farming village, Roccaraso is a small town and winter ski resort in the Abruzzo region of Italy. It flourished in the late 19th century with the arrival of the railroad from Naples, which brought tourists attracted by the area’s natural beauty.
Things to do in Roccaraso
Stroll through the centre of Roccaraso to admire the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, a charming, whitewashed church that dates back to the 12th century. Inside is a 13th-century altar and a bishop’s throne, as well as a gilded ciborium. Also of note is the Chiesa di San Rocco, which was built to honour a 17th-century miracle protecting the town’s inhabitants from the plague.
If you’re visiting in the winter months, you can explore the ski area of Roccaraso, which has been attracting visitors since its first lift was installed in 1936. It boasts around 160 kilometres of downhill trails and a vast network of cross-country routes, making it one of the largest Italian ski resorts outside of the Alps. In addition to an ice skating rink, the resort also features two snow parks.
A short drive from Roccaraso is the medieval town of Pietransieri, which is perched atop a rocky outcrop on the slope of Tocco Mountain. It is home to an elegant mausoleum commemorating the victims of a World War II massacre. Sprawling north is the Riserva Naturale Orientata Quarto Santa Chiara, which is home to Apennine wolves and Marsican brown bears.
Getting around Roccaraso
Roccaraso is around 1.5 hours’ drive from Pescara and Abruzzo Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe. Buses connect to Roccaraso and the town is small enough to explore on foot. Renting a car is the most convenient way of getting around the region.