Home » The Badlands of Atri in Beautiful Abruzzo

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Atri, located in the Teramo province of Abruzzo, holds one of the most unique natural wonders in Italy. Coined “Dantesque pits of hell”, the Badlands of Atri are a surreal experience!


World Wildlife Fund Oasis

Officially established in 1995, the Regional Nature Reserve WWF’s Oasis “the Badlands of Atri” (Calanchi di Atri) is a result of land erosion. 98% of the land is made up of clay which, especially in the winter months, is soaked with water and subsequently landslides due to the earth’s shifting. This phenomenon, difficult to explain technically, has left natural sculptures and an open and visible treasure for all- a true miracle of nature.

The reserve covers an area of ​​about 380 hectares with a “depth” ranging from 106 meters to 468 meters: an impressive gradient that leaves onlookers breathless.

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The Habitat

In the collective imagination, this place could certainly appear dry, almost desert-like, but this is not the case. In fact, Atri’s badlands are home to extremely diverse animal and plant life. Various plant species are native to the reserve from wild artichokes to capers and licorice (an ancient practice). As for animal life, you’ll find diurnal and nocturnal birds of prey such as owls, but also mammals such as wild boar, badger, and hare. Common reptiles such as snakes and lizards have also made their homes in this eroded soil.


If you’re traveling through Abruzzo, don’t miss this amazing stop among the many beautiful places to see in the region! Read more about the Teramo province.

Photo Credits: Mariaelena Di Giovanni (foto 1);  Giuseppe Spitilli (foto 2)

Article by Anna Falasca

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