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                         Campo PG 78

My guide to visiting:

Sulmona, Italy

(All information and prices are as at June 2003)

Sulmona, the Town    
From the airport to Rome city centre and on to Sulmona
Accommodation        
The Library, Stefano Camilli and the barber

Sulmona, the Town

Sulmona is located 160 km/100 miles east of Rome and just 74km/46 miles west of Pescara (on the east coast) high up in the Apennine mountains in the Abruzzo region of Italy. Various no-frills airlines fly to both these cities which are linked by motorway and a railway line, both serving Sulmona. 

The town dates back to Roman times and is famous as the birthplace of the Roman love poet, Ovid. Its other claim to fame is the manufacture of "confetti": not the paper thrown at weddings but sugared almonds, often fashioned into flowers and other decorative shapes.

The town has half a dozen hotels all of 3-stars category or lower. All are pretty small with some on the main road well out of town. So this is something to bear in mind if you don't have a car there.

Hotel_Italia.JPG (22953 bytes)    Sulmona_Sta_Chiara_church.JPG (17583 bytes)    Sulmona_Sta_Chiara_convent.JPG (21305 bytes)    Sulmona_SS_Annunziata.JPG (22542 bytes)   

Hotel Italia                       Sta Chiara church...        and convent                     SS Annunziata church

Sulmona_Piazza_Plebiscito.JPG (22544 bytes)    Sulmona_Sta_Maria_della_Tomba.JPG (18915 bytes)    Sulmona_main_street_1.JPG (20683 bytes)    Sulmona_house_1.JPG (22849 bytes)

Piazza Plebicito              Sta Maria della Tomba        Corso Ovidio                    Typical house

Sulmona_Piazza_Garibaldi.JPG (16228 bytes)    Ovid_Statue_1.JPG (17889 bytes)    Sulmona_Municipal_Museum_1.JPG (20439 bytes)    Sulmona_aqueduct_1.JPG (21222 bytes)

Piazza Garibaldi               Piazza XX Settembre       Municipal museum          Medieval aqueduct
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From the airport to Rome city centre and on to Sulmona

My Ryanair flight went into the military airport at Ciampino south of Rome rather than the "normal" one at Fiumicino to the west of the city. Yet Ciampino is actually closer to the centre. You can catch a bus to the end of the Rome underground "Line A" at Anagnina (1 purchased from behind the bar in the airport), or a different bus to Ciampino train station. Both Metro and train will get you to Termini, the main railway station in Rome. The train cost me 2 and took about 30 minutes; the Metro only cost 77 cents the standard fare for any Metro journey at the time. There is also a dedicated bus service meeting all Ryanair flights direct to the centre of Rome (12 at the time). I don't know if this applies to EasyJet flights but I would guess so.

The Trenitalia website http://trenitalia.com/en/index.html gives times of trains to Sulmona about 4 trains a day (to Pescara on the Adriatic coast) stopping at Sulmona. The journey is about 2 hours 45 minutes and was a bargain at 9 single. NB this service leaves from Tiburtina station, four stops northeast from Termini central station on the "Line B" Metro.

Alternatively Autolinee Schiappa run a fast bus service (six per day on weekdays) also from Tiburtina (right outside the train station) to Scanno, stopping at Sulmona. This only takes 2 hours but I am not sure of the price. The timetable (but not fares!) are available at their website http://www.autolineeschiappa.it . NB some services are shared with and operated by another bus company called ARPA. Also NB only one service on a Sunday at about 9pm.

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Accommodation

I stayed at the 18-room Armando's. A single room without air-conditioning (not necessary in June in the mountains) was 37 per night with breakfast. For me it turned out to be the right choice. Clean, friendly, helpful, excellent continental breakfast, quiet location and only about 600 metres/660 yards easy walk to/from the town centre.
Address: Via Montenero, 15.
Tel: (international) +39 0864.210783
Fax +39 0864.210787
Website: www.hotelarmandos.it
E-mail infoarmandos@libero.it

Armandos_Hotel_1.JPG (26193 bytes)    Armandos_Hotel_2.JPG (27481 bytes)   Hotel  Armando's
          

Unless you have a car there, the only other hotel which makes sense for this trip is the Italia (1-star according to the web but the hotel claims 2-star) in the very centre of town in a characterful historic building. It has better, modern bathrooms than Armando's but the staff did not speak English, they had no email and did not offer breakfast. 32 single, 52 double, on room-only basis.

 

Hotel_Italia.JPG (22953 bytes)   Hotel Italia


Naturally, if you rent a car you can take your choice of the bigger out-of-town hotels. A good source of general information on the town with a full list of hotels (with email addresses) and restaurants is the local council's own site: http://www.comune.sulmona.aq.it/web/index.html

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The Library, Stefano Camilli and the barber

You can find a little more information about the camp including some photographs if you ask at the library. This is situated in Lgo Tommasini, just off the main central square, Piazza XX Settembre (the one with the statue of Ovid).

Ovid_Statue_1.JPG (146372 bytes)   The library is in the street overlooked by the tower

When I visited, one of the library staff called in a friend who turned out to be a remarkable young man. Stefano Camilli is an expert on WWII, speaks excellent English and once arranged a visit inside the camp for a group of former PoW who arrived totally unannounced! I won't publish his contact details here but it may be worth asking at the library if he is still around and able to give further assistance.

Another person in the town who is passionate about its WWII history is the local barber whose shop is in the main street, Corso Ovidio, near the central squares. He will proudly show you his little collection of wartime memorabilia. He has a professor friend who is also very interested in the subject but who was unfortunately not available during my visit.

Sulmona_Barbers_Shop.JPG (153803 bytes)   The barber's shop in the main street

So speak to the people. They are proud of their partisan past and the assistance they provided to many Allied escapees. They will welcome you and make your visit all the more worthwhile and memorable.

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For a detailed description of the camp, use the "Campo PG 78" navigation button in the left margin or click here.

 (Last updated 23 August 2009)

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