If you fancy exploring Abruzzo a little, the Majella is right in the middle and from Decontra within easy driving distance of a great variety of things to see and do.
If want to stay close to home, about 20 minutes from Decontra, at Bolognano you’ll find the vineyards and gustations of Zaccagnini, Abruzzo’s most famous winemaker. Bolognano is also a beautiful little medieval town that sits above the river Orta where a short walk away on a bend in the river you can go for a dip in a natural pool complete with waterfall.
If you fancy a swim in the Adriatic and a leisurely lunch later at a seaside cafe, there are many lovely beaches north and south of Pescara along the Abruzzo coast which is just 45 minutes from Decontra. Rent an umbrella and a couple of beach chairs at I Riparri di Giobbe south of Francavilla, or try a plate of delicious fish caught that day at a trabocco - one of the small restaurants on stilts for which the coast of Abruzzo is famous.
Abruzzo’s other great national park, Gran Sasso, with its vast, dramatic landscapes and the Apennines’ highest peak, Corno Grande at 2912 metres, is about an hour’s drive away. Here too you’ll find Rocca Calascio the highest medieval fortress in the Apennines , and Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a perfectly preserved rennaisance borgo whose wool trade prospered under their Medici masters.
In winter, also about an hour’s drive from Decontra, there are many ski resorts in Abruzzo. The best skiing in the Apennines can be found on what is known as the Cinquemiglia, a five-mile long, 1,200m-high plain with top stations at 2000 metres.
For some culture and history, also an hour away, head for Sulmona rebuilt almost entirely in Baroque style after an 18th c. earthquake destroyed much of the town; or continue on to Scanno, the little borgo frequented by artists Edward Lear, and later Henri Cartier Bresson.
And if you are really ambitious, even Rome, with all it has to offer, is within a reasonable distance drive at about two hours from Decontra. To find out more about what there is to see in Abruzzo within comfortable driving distance of Decontra, have a look at some of the posts under 'Further Reading' just below at the bottom of this page.