Abruzzo is known as “the greenest region in Europe” as almost half of its territory, the largest in Europe, is set aside as national parks and protected nature reserves. There are three national parks, one regional park, and 38 protected nature reserves. These ensure the survival of 75% of Europe’s living species, including rare species such as the golden eagle, the Abruzzo (or Abruzzese) chamois, the Apennine wolf and the Marsican brown bear. Abruzzo is also home to Calderone, Europe’s southernmost glacier.
The visiting nineteenth-century Italian diplomat and journalist Primo Levi (1853–1917) said that the adjectives “forte e gentile” (strong and kind) best describe the beauty of the region and the character of its people. “Forte e gentile” has since become the motto of the region and its inhabitants.
Most famous in the world is Abruzzo’s wine Montepulciano d’Abruzzo; in the late 20th and early 21st century, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo earned a reputation as being one of the most widely exported DOC classed wine in Italy.