Flanked by bleak mountains and bristling with legends about its most famous son, Ovid, SULMONA is a comfortably affluent provincial settlement that owes its wealth to gold jewellery and sugared almonds. Although it sustained some damage during the 2009 earthquake, most of it was internal, and it remains an atmospheric little place, with a dark tangle of a historical centre lined with imposing palaces and overshadowed by the mountainous bulk of the Majella. Sulmona’s sights can be seen in a morning, but the surprisingly undervisited town makes a useful base for exploring the surroundings – from ancient hermitages to towns with snake-infested festivals.

Corso Ovidio, Sulmona’s main street, cuts through the centre from the park-side bus terminus, leading up to Piazza XX Settembre. From here, Sulmona’s sights are within easy strolling distance.

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