Abruzzo, Or The Abruzzi, the northernmost division of the former kingdom of the Two Sicilies, now forming part of the kingdom of Italy, embracing the highest and wildest portion of the Apennines. The mountains are the home of a race of shepherds, who are clothed primitively in untanned sheepskins, and the valleys and lowlands are very fertile. The inhabitants live in dirty huts, shared by the donkey and the pig; their chief food is Indian meal, boiled in water and milk; wheaten bread is a luxury. They are musical, hospitable, superstitious, and revengeful. Physically they are a line race of men, and make excellent soldiers, like their predecessors in Roman times, the Samnites. Fierce brigandage has long found an almost impregnable foothold in this wild region. It is divided into the following three provinces: I. Abruzzo Citeriore, bounded X. E. by the Adriatic; area, 1,105 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 339,961. The mountains of La Majella are the roughest part of the province. The chief productions are grain, oil, and rice. The greatest abundance of wine is furnished by Ortona; the best by Chieti and Vasto. Fruit and kitchen vegetables are chiefly grown at Chieti; swine are reared in the oak forests, and the sea on the coast is rich in fish.

The culture of silkworms and of mulberry trees has of late made great progress. The province is divided into the districts of Chieti, Lanciano, and Vasto. Capital, Chieti.

II. Abruzzo Ulteriore I, bounded S. by the preceding, and also lying on the Adriatic; area, 1,283 sq. m.; pop. 245,617. The Pizzo di Sevo, 7,860 feet high, is the chief summit. The province grows and exports a large quantity of grain. There are numerous plantations of olives, but the product is of an inferior quality. The culture of wine is rapidly increasing. The province is divided into the districts of Teramo and Penne. Capital, Teramo.

III. Abruzzo Ulteriore II., bounded X. E. by the two preceding, X. by Umbria, and S. W. partly by the former Papal States; area, 2,126 sq. m.; pop. 833,791. Three fourths of the area consists of sterile rocks and mountains. The number of large mountain peaks is no less than 176. In the middle of the northern frontier is the highest mount of the peninsula, the Gran Sasso d'Italia, 9,392 feet high. Among the productions are grain, rice, wine, saffron, olives, and many kinds of fruits. The mountains are covered with extensive forests of oaks, beeches, and elms, which harbor bears, wolves, and boars. On the Gran Sasso chamois are still said to be found. Madder grows wild on the Alpine heights, and is cultivated in sandy places. Hams, salted beef, and sausages are exported. The province is divided into the districts of Aquila degli Abruzzi, Avezzano, Cittaducale, and Solmona. Capital, Aquila.