Top choice in Abruzzo

This enchanting albergo diffuso, with 28 distinctive rooms and suites scattered throughout the village, was what helped rescue Santo Stefano from oblivion. Designed to reignite Italy's lesser-known settlements without scrimping on luxury, they marry traditional handmade bedspreads and rustic furniture with under-floor heating, mood lighting and divinely deep bathtubs. Everything was restored using local materials.

The hotel's restaurant, Locanda Sotto gli Archi, serves quality regional fare in a 16th-century dining room.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Abruzzo attractions

2. Hotel Campo Imperatore

8.08 MILES

Built in the 1930s, the Campo Imperatore is the hotel where Mussolini was briefly imprisoned in 1943, before his dramatic rescue by German paratroopers…

3. Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio

12.3 MILES

With its distinctive chequerboard facade and strong links to Italy’s much admired hermit-pope Celestino V (whose remains are interred inside), the 12th…

4. Basilica di San Bernardino

12.41 MILES

A marvel of post-earthquake restoration, the 15th-century San Bernardino gleams like a salvaged Titanic brought to the surface to sail once more. Position…

5. Fontana delle 99 Cannelle

13.07 MILES

L'Aquila's erroneously named 'fountain of 99 spouts' (there are actually only 93 of them) was one of the few monuments to quickly reopen after the…

6. Museo Nazionale d'Abruzzo

13.09 MILES

L’Aquila’s valuable collection of art, sculpture and archaeology, previously housed in the San Giorgio castle, was mostly rescued after the 2009…

7. Abbazia di Santo Spirito Al Morrone

22.68 MILES

It’s hard to miss this massive 13th-century Celestine abbey in Badia, close to the sheer western slopes of the Morrone mountains. Notable for its…

8. Eremo di Sant’Onofrio al Morrone

23.07 MILES

This cliff-clinging hermitage with its 15th-century ceiling, 13th-century frescoes, narrow oratory and arched porticoes cowers under a massive rock face…