Abruzzo or Abruzzi, so which is it?

You probably noticed that we always call our region Abruzzo, and wondered why you have always known it as Abruzzi. There is a reason behind this difference, that dates back several years ago. 

From the origin and meaning of the name Abruzzo, it is possible to understand its history and geographical evolution over time.

At the beginning – in the Middle Ages – it was called Abruzzo, probably from the Latin word Aprutium, which appears for the first time in the letters of San Gregorio to mention the territory of the city of Teramo and its surroundings.

Later, the region was divided into three areas, Abruzzo Citeriore (nearer Abruzzo), Abruzzo Ulteriore I and Abruzzo Ulteriore II (farther Abruzzo I and II). So if you learned a little bit of Italian, you know that the plural of a word ending in an “o” ends in “i” – thus Abruzzi referred to all three of these areas. At this time it was part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

When Italy was unified in 1860, these three areas were merged to Molise, and the region became known as Abruzzi e Molise until 1963, when the government splitted Abruzzo and Molise into two separate regions. 

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So which is it?

The correct name is Abruzzo, even if the term Abruzzi is still used, especially abroad and in our dialect. Many Americans – and foreigners of any country – often call it Abruzzi because when their ancestors left Italy, the region was still named this way. We also have a town called Roseto degli Abruzzi, that recalls our past.

These continuous changes are also the reason behind our many historical and cultural traditions, that makes Abruzzo vital and unique.

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If you have any questions or curiosities, just get in touch with us and we will be happy to answer them. And if you’re not quite ready to make an enquiry, sign up to our free email course to learn everything you need to know about planning a tour of Abruzzo.


4 thoughts on “Abruzzo or Abruzzi, so which is it?

  1. 12/24/2020

    I am trying to return to Abruzzo where my family heritage dates 600 years. If anyone has information to help me I would very much appreciate it.

  2. Maria Colella

    My father Pasquale Marini was born in San Benedetto in Pirillis, Prov Aquila … emigrated to America early l900s…. My husband, Franco (Frank) also born in San Benedetto, came to America as a child…. they are now both deceased…. I visited San Benedetto in l984, two years after my husband died at age 56…. Our plan was to visit Italy on our 25th wedding anniversary… Never happened, but I was able to visit accomanied by my sister…My love is Italy

    • Fabrizio Lucci

      Ciao Maria, many thanks for sharing your family information, it is great to know that your family is from Abruzzo. I’m happy to know that you managed to visit Abruzzo with your sister. Ciao for now, Fabrizio

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