The eighth-century Benedictine church of San Pietro (which encloses a Roman temple) and the ruins at Alba Fucens are open daily, 9 a.m. until one hour before sunset. Tickets can be purchased at the cafe by the entry gate. To see mosaics and statuary from Alba Fucens, including a large statue of Heracles (see photo of statue of Heracles in the main article), visit the National Archaeological Museum at Chieti (tel. 0871/941392), open daily from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Getting There: From Rome, take superhighway A24, and you’ll be there in an hour and a half.

Restaurants: Avezzano, once flattened by an earthquake, is an overgrown farm town filled with dull buildings. But the hearty Abruzzese fare more than makes up for the town’s appearance. Reservations are not usually necessary but are always advised.

The old-fashioned, reliable Ristorante Aquila in Avezzano (tel. 0863/413152) offers homemade soups, pasta with bacon and tomato (alla chitarra), ricotta-stuffed ravioli and lasagna, fresh trout, roasted lamb and baby goat. Also try an Abruzzi specialty: a small globe of tasty scamorza cheese, halved and then grilled. A three-course meal will cost under 50,000 lira ($30) per person, including beverage and service.

At lovely Sulmona, 57 kilometers further east on superhighway A25, try the family-run Ristorante Clemente (tel. 0864/52284), in the heart of the city center. The country-style menu includes linguine d’Ovidio (Ovid was born here), a pasta with a sauce highlighted with bacon and truffles. A meal will cost under 40,000 lira ($25) per person.

Hotels: Sulmona is your best bet. The unpretentious 105-room Europa Park Hotel (tel. 0864/34641) offers a double room with bath and breakfast for 100,000 lira ($60) per night.