Cute town and a reasonable place to stop for lunch on the way from Rome. I wouldn’t make a huge effort to go here, but if you’re in the vicinity it has some charming features. The large town square is home to Sulmona’s extensive Wednesday and Saturday morning market: you’ll find fresh fish, veg, fruit and flowers, as well as the ubiquitous porchetta van, selling pork in a roll. Along Corso Ovidio is a striking series of arches, all that remains of a 13th-century aqueduct. In the centre of the piazza, the Renaissance Fontana del Vecchio (Fountain of the Old One) is said by some to depict Solimo, the founder of Sulmona. 

Just outside Sulmona is **Eremo di Sant’Onofrio al Morrone: This cliff-clinging hermitage with its 15th-century ceiling, 13th-century frescoes, narrow oratory and arched porticoes cowers under a massive rock face in the Morrone Mountains. It was here in a grotto beneath the present church that Pietro da Morrone was apparently told he was to become pope in 1294. It’s a steep 20-minute walk from a car park just outside Badia to reach the hermitage. The views of Sulmona and the Valle Peligna below are superb. 

(note: we enjoyed this. It’s a serious uphill climb on a 95 degree day, and the views were limited due to forest fires and smoke, but it’s still a magical place. Not worth a really long drive, but if you’re nearby, worth a stop.)

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