provinces kingdom ulteriore country
ABRUZZO, originally one of the four provinces of the continental part of the kingdom of the two Sicilies, afterward subdivided into Abruzzo Ulteriore I., Abruzzo Ulteriore II., and Abruzzo Citeriore, which were so named from their position relative to Naples, and now form three of the provinces of the kingdom of Italy. The district, which was the most northerly part of the kingdom of the two Sicilies, is bounded by the Adriatic on the E., and by the provinces of Ascoli Piceno on the N., Umbria and Rome on the W., and Terra di Lavoro, Molise, and Capitanata °tithe S. The Abruzzi provinces have an area of nearly 4900 English square miles, and extend from N. lat. 41°40' to 42°55'. Though presenting to the Adriatic a coast of about 80 miles in length, they have not a single good port This territory is mostly rugged, mountainous, and covered with extensive forests, but contains also many fertile and well-watered valleys. The Apennines traverse its whole extent, running generally from N.W. to S.E., and here attaining their greatest elevation. Near Aquila is Monte Corno, the loftiest peak of that chain, called 1-1 gran Sasso ditalia, or the great rock of Italy, which rises to the height of 9813 feet. Monte Majella and Monte Velino attain the height of 9500 and 8792 feet respectively. From the main range of the Apennines a number of smaller branches run off towards the west. The country is watered by numerous small rivers, most of which fall into the Adriatic. They are often suddenly swollen by the rains, especially in the spring, and thus cause considerable damage to the lands through which they pass. The principal rivers are the Tronto, Trentino, Pescara, and Sangro. In Abruzzo Ulteriore II. is lake Celano or Lago di Fucino, the Lacus Fucinus of the Romans, now reduced to about one-third of its former extent. The climate varies with the elevation, but, generally speaking, is temperate and healthy. Agriculture is but little understood or attended to, although in many of the lower parts of the country the land is fertile. The rivers are not embanked, nor is irrigation practised; so that the best of the land is frequently flooded during the rainy season, and parched in the heat of summer. The principal productions are corn, hemp, flax, almonds, olives, figs, grapes, and chestnuts. In the neighbourhood of Aquila saffron is extensively cultivated, although not to such an extent as formerly. The rearing and tending of sheep is the chief occupation of the inhabitants of the highlands; and the wool, which is of a superior quality, is an important article of commerce, while the skins are sent in large quantities to the Levant. Bears, wolves, and wild boars inhabit the moun tain fastnesses ; and in the extensive oak forests numerous herds of swine are fed, the hams of which are in high repute. The manufactures are very inconsiderable, being chiefly woollen, linen, and silk stuffs, and earthen and wood wares. Abruzzo was of great importance to the kingdom of Naples, being its chief defence to the north, and presenting almost insurmountable difficulties to the advance of an enemy. The country is now free of the daring brigands by whom it was long infested. The inhabitants are a stout, well-built, brave, and industrious race. Their houses are generally miserable huts ; their food principally maize, and their drink had wine. The railway from Ancona to Brindisi passes through Abruzzo Ulteriore I. and Abruzzo Citeriore, skirting the coast; and a line has been projected from Pescara, by Popoli, the Lago di Fucino, and the valley of the Liris, to join the railway from Rome to Naples, and thus open up the interior of the country. The line is open for traffic between Pescara and Popoli.