Described as "the most handsome city of the Abruzzo" by the Financial Times, L'Aquila sits upon hillside in the middle of a narrow valley, tall snow-capped mountains of the Gran Sasso massif flank the town. A maze of narrow streets lined with baroque or renaissance buildings and churches, opening onto elegant piazzas, home to the University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila is a lively college town and as such has many cultural institutions: a repertory theater, a symphony orchestra, a fine-arts academy, a state conservatory, and a film institute.

The Fountain of 99 Spouts, designed by Tancredi da Pentina, is one of the most unusual in Italy. but perhaps the real charm of L'Aquila lies in its hidder corners and courtyards, and the pleasure of emerging from a dark, narrow street to discover an intersting church or fountain.
The main square of the town is what the people of L'Aquila call "La Piazza".

Although less than an hour-and-a-half drive from Rome, and a popular summer and winter resort with Romans hiking and skiing in the surrounding mountains, the city has not yet been heavily affected by foreign tourism.


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