Sulmona is the capital of the Peligna basin (also known as the Sulmona valley). It is a busy town of 25,000 with an ancient and beautiful centre. The stroll along the mostly traffic free street (Corso Ovidio) that runs from one end of the centre to the other is a relaxing delight – the historic buildings and piazzas, the churches and cafes and the narrow, intruiging alleyways that lead off to either side lie waiting to be discovered.
The town’s tourist information office and finest church, L’Annunziata, lie on the corso as does Piazza Settembre XX with its statue of Ovid, the roman poet and town’s most famous son, who was born here over 2,000 years ago.
Sooner or later you will find yourself in Piazza Garibaldi, the expansive and elegant space at the heart of the town, covered in market stalls if it’s Saturday or Wednesday morning. The square is framed at one end by the medeival aqueduct and overlooked at the other by the dominating forested slopes of the Monte Morrone massif.
Casa La Rocca is 5km south of the town and it takes less than ten minutes to drive in (or twenty to cycle)
In the autumn of 2009, George Clooney was the talk of Sulmona as he stayed in town for several weeks making his film, ‘The American’. The film features the historic centre and the nearby old villages of Anversa and Castel del Monte as well as beautifully showcasing the glorious countryside of Abruzzo!
Pettorano Sul Gizio is a very beautiful hill top village about six kilometers south of Casa La Rocca. It lies in an elevated position above the valley but tucked beneath the surrounding mountains as they close in to form the far southeastern corner of the Sulmona valley. Exploring Pettorano is a real treat – tight alleyways, narrow cobbled streets, no building seemingly less than 200 years old.