Set in the mountains L'Aquila is a fairly large and beautiful city. Its establishment is recent by Italian standards. During the 13th century the people of the nearby 99 castles were asked to become allies. Being in the middle of the crossroads between the Middle East and Northern Europe invasions were frequent. In Piazza di Porta Rivera you will see the fountain of 99 spouts commemorating this event.
The National Museum of Abruzzo, whose collection boasts some excellent pieces. Is housed in a perfectly preserved castle a 16th-century fortresses. Built by the Spanish to punish and prevent those aquilani who would attempt to revolt.
This area has always been known for it's castle's and sheep it is a primarily primitive area by most standards and contains some very early historical artifacts. It's history can be traced back to invasions by Lombards, Saracens, Hungarians, Normans, German Hohenstaufens, French Angevins and Spanish Aragonese. Due to it's location between the Tyrrhennian and Adriatic seas and the plentiful roads built by the Romans.
Many of these fortresses or Castles were built in the Middle Ages to protect the people from invasion. They provided a safe place for them to live and bring their animals. They were usually located halfway up a mountain slope, very close to the town. These castles were usually built in the shape of a triangle were surrounded by large grassy areas. Their size was determined by the number of people in the village and it's livestock.
The Abruzzi National Park is one of the largest parks of its kind, is located in L'Aquila province. It contains 300 species of birds, 40 species of mammals and 30 species of reptiles and amphibians. Much of this area has been untouched over the centuries.
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