Origins of the name “Abruzzo”

It seems that under the Lombard denomination our people began to call themselves Abruzzesi. The name Abruzzo appears for the first time in a letter by St Gregory the Great, the great Pope to whom Catholicism owes much. The letter is addressed to someone as “Oportunus de Aprutio”. Under the Swabian influence, and in fact at the time of Frederic II, it was called Apruzzo all the region between the Tronto & Trigno Rivers.

On the etimology (the science of origin & meaning of words) on the name of Abruzzo the controversies are secular, and who knows for how long it will continue!

The Foundation of the City

To the Etruscans one could ascribe the foundation of the City of Vasto, if one wished to take into consideration the many archaeological finds of their origins found between the ruins of old buildings. They stayed for some time, because they found could make  pleasant and dear in the area, large plains, fruitful fields, perennial water, the air always pleasant and a sky always serene & tranquil. (1)

Due to the hard work of its inhabitants the growing city  there soon emerged a flourishing trade in skins & stock with the nearby people, which lead to a prosperous woollen industry inside her walls, from which it seems that also its name derived, since the Greek word histon, means a weaving factory. Truthfully one cannot negate, that the trade of producing textiles was as common then as in more recent times. The abundance of water, and the needs of its inhabitants, to whom shepherding (2) & agriculture were the best sources of national wealth, created the industry.

Whatever may have been its origins, it is certain that it figured amongst the most important Frentane cities. (3)


1. Vasto’s historian, Viti, refers that in his time there was found a bronze arm, in whose hand there were some unknown characters. It was the custom of the Etruscans make similar inscriptions on the members of statues.

2. Grassy places where sheep graze.

3. The territory of the Frentani according to the historian Plinio was a large area, so that many geographers assert that Histonio was in the region of the Frentani, but from where this information has come from we do not have any source.

Renata D’Ardes