From Tuscany we moved down to Abruzzo as my partner is buying a house here. We plan to spend a lot of time in Italy, in particular touring and photographing the region and the country as a whole. As you drive down, you notice a change in landscape. Things become wilder, less well ordered and more unkempt. There is more scrub and huge swathes of forest. I preferred the wilderness of the more southerly regions to the overly pristine fields of Tuscany (although both have their obvious charms). As we neared the Parco Nazionale del Gran Sasso mountain region I was gobsmacked. It is a beautiful mountain range, and I plan to spend many more hours photographing the mountains alone! Within the mountain ranges there are bears and wolves, verdant plant life and abundant invertebrates and other wildlife.
Investment in the roads was a standout issue in Abruzzo, but only in some areas. Housing is more sparse than in Tuscany, and in some areas these are poorly maintained or simply abandoned. There are many ruins standing alone on quiet hills or just by the roadside. There are so many of the stunning hilltop medieval towns that are characteristic of Italy, each pulling you in for a closer look. We visited a few of these. We also visited Civitella del Tronto and its Fortress and Grotte di Stiffe with its limestone stalactites and stalagmites. We saw and experienced the most incredible thunderstorms too, whilst there, which was entertaining for me as I managed to film some of it, and it also alleviated some of the intense heat of the previous few days. I cannot wait to go back.