Discover Chieti Italy - podcast episode cover

Discovering Chieti, Italy: Is This Abruzzo’s Hidden Gem?

When it comes to seeing Italy, there are two types of travellers—those wanting to see all the major attractions, towns, and places and those who search for hidden gems. There is no right or wrong way of going about it, as both approaches offer a chance to see all the amazing attractions Italy has to offer. 

Whether you’re coming to Italy for the first time or the tenth and are looking for new places to explore, we have a great town that you’ll love. In this episode, we’re talking about the fascinating town of Chieti, Italy.

Where is Chieti, Italy?

Chieti is nestled within the picturesque Abruzzo region of Italy. It’s a city often overlooked by tourists but brimming with historical charm and natural beauty. Chieti predates the Romans, a fact that the locals are very proud of, and you can find traces of ancient ruins all around. We knew this was our kind of place from the moment we arrived here.

Chieti Abruzzo skyline with mountains in the back

Many will tell you that the Abruzzo region is not that widely known to tourists and definitely not as widely visited as other places in Italy. We have started to look into different areas of Italy that we would like to move to, and Abruzzo was the one place that kept coming up. Depending on who you talk to, Abruzzo is either a hidden gem overlooked by most or is where everyone is moving to. From ex-pats to Italians, Abruzzo and Chieti, in particular, is the place to be.

Curious and cautious, we decided to check out Chieti to see if it lives up to the hype and whether it’s a place we want to live in. Spoiler alert – we fell in love with it, and in this episode, we share what makes Chieti, Italy, a place that’s perfect for us.

Brief history of Chieti

As we were told, Chieti is older than the Roman Empire. According to a legend, the Homeric Greek hero Achilles founded the city in 1181 BC and named it in honour of his mother, Thetis. Eventually known as Teate, it was an important center of the Marrucini tribe. It later flourished under Roman rule, leaving a legacy of ancient ruins.

Roman bath complex chieti

Chieti was the birthplace of the Latin poet Ovid. The city also played a significant role in the Middle Ages, with its majestic Cathedral, adorned with a Gothic bell tower, standing as a testament to its artistic heritage. During WWII, it was a free city, meaning that both sides of the conflict agreed not to bomb it. This is why Chieti wasn’t damaged in the war, and today, it offers an experience for the senses for anyone who loves architecture.

Why we love Chieti, Italy

While we love many places in Italy, not every city is where we would consider living. We’ve been looking at other regions like Puglia and Sicily. Even though we love both regions, there were a lot of positives and negatives that factored in why we weren’t jumping at those prospects.


Abruzzo is more centrally located as it’s more in the middle of the country than, let’s say, Puglia. The proximity to airports is also an important factor. There is an airport in Pescara, about 20 minutes from Chieti. In addition, what we loved about Chieti:

  • Very pretty – The city looks lovely, with loads of architecture from Renaissance churches to Baroque palaces and porticos reminiscent of Bologna.
  • Ancient ruins – As we moved to Italy for history, living close to ancient sites definitely appeals to us. While Campania has a lot of iconic Roman sites, we don’t live within walking distance of them.
  • Chieti has a great vibe – We found the locals very friendly and didn’t feel like outsiders. In fact, we felt very welcomed, and the people we talked to seemed very excited at the prospect of us moving there. 
  • Proximity to outdoor adventures – We love that Chieti is about 20 minutes from the coast, and we can enjoy the sandy beaches along the Adriatic Sea any time we want. Chieti is also close to three national parks with epic mountains and plenty of outdoor activities. 

Exploring Chieti

Beyond its historical significance, Chieti offers a treasure trove of experiences. Wander through the charming Corso Marrucino, the city’s beating heart, lined with elegant shops and bustling cafes. Art enthusiasts will delight in the National Museum of Archaeology, showcasing Abruzzo’s rich artistic heritage.

old town chieti

For a glimpse into the city’s soul, delve into the intricate alleyways of the historical center, stumbling upon hidden piazzas and baroque churches. A short trip outside the city walls unlocks the breathtaking beauty of the Abruzzo National Park, a haven for nature lovers with its dramatic peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and quaint medieval villages.

Getting There and Around

Chieti is easily accessible by both air and rail. The nearest airport is Abruzzo International Airport, located just a short distance from the city. The Chieti railway station is well-connected, with frequent trains running to and from major cities like Rome and Pescara. Once in Chieti, the town is very walkable and has public transit. 

square in chieti

We took a road trip from our home in Campania. It took us through the lovely region of Molise, which is also not on many tourists’ radar. We’ll delve more into Molise and what it has to offer at another time. If you’re looking for a place to explore by car, driving through Molise and Abruzzo is a fantastic option. 

Where to stay

Accommodations in Chieti cater to a range of preferences, from boutique hotels in the historical center to agriturismos in the surrounding countryside. If you’re looking for a truly immersive experience, consider staying in one of the many charming bed-and-breakfasts that dot the landscape, where personal attention and an authentic ambiance are assured.

In conclusion

Chieti is a treasure trove awaiting discovery. It’s a town that offers an escape from the beaten path, a chance to immerse oneself in the authentic spirit of Italy without the trappings of mass tourism. Chieti promises an adventure filled with history, culture, and the enchanting beauty of the Abruzzese countryside. 

We can’t wait to return to Chieti and explore more of the city and region. Stay tuned for future episodes, in which we’ll explore both Abruzzo and Chieti.

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