Abruzzo’s Sulmona: Bus, Eat, Sleep

Here’s how to bus, eat, and sleep in Abruzzo’s spectacular Sulmona…

Where is Sulmona?

Have you heard of Italy’s Sulmona?

Before the invitation to spend a few days in this stunning city, I’d never heard of Sulmona.

Meeting a friend from the volunteering days in Thailand and his family in Sulmona for a few days. It’s Easter, so hoping that the travel there won’t present too many glitches.

Sulmona map, Abruzzo, Italy, Europe

Getting there

If you don’t have a car, then this isn’t an easy journey to organise when travelling to Sulmona from southern Italy, and especially Cosenza, in southern Italy’s Calabria region.

So, I’m including loads of details as there are several ways of arriving:

  • Train or bus to Rome, then an onward train or bus to Sulmona.
  • Bus to Naples (or Salerno) then another bus to Sulmona.

Today, I’m catching the bus to Naples and then another to Sulmona. The reason? The train from Cosenza Centrale starts too late to connect to the Paola train and on to Naples.

Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, Europe

Cosenza to Naples

It’s Easter week so everything is booking up fast and so are buses.

Booking the Flix Bus from Cosenza to Naples at the office costs €15. Returning a couple of hours later to book the return journey, the price increases to €31 as “only a couple of seats left“. This is around a 4-hour journey.

Cosenza to Naples, Calabria, Abruzzo, Italy, Europe

The bus arrives early and leaves on time at 06:55 am. It’s not the flashy green Flix bus, but an IAS Srl bus with a Flix sticker slapped on the side.

Part 1 of the journey

Settling into the ever-changing panorama, we veer off the highway and arrive at a bus depot in an industrial area of Firmo – around 50 minutes north of Cosenza. Swapping buses at this depot with our luggage, we finally continue to Naples.

A glass of water and a small packet of snacks are provided on the bus. Take your own food for the journey.

The highway cuts through surrounding towering hills providing wonderful Italian countryside on which to ponder, while the hours slip away.

Metropark Centrale

Arriving at the busy Metropark Centrale in Naples, it’s a 3.5-hour wait until the bus to Sulmona. There isn’t much at this Metropark, No toilets, just a ticket office and a takeaway bar.

Wander the 300-metres through the car park to Stazione di Napoli Centrale (train station) where you’ll find many shops, bars, and public toilets to help you wallow away the waiting hours.


You need €1 to use the station’s toilets as none of the bars have a toilet any more, which is quite strange for Italy.

Shops and food

If you’re spending loads of time between the Metropark and the train station, then these couple of suggestions may help.

La Strega

Check out La Strega at the train station for amazing chocolate products, sweet delights, and local liqueurs.

Terminal Coffee SRL

A stand-up coffee at this tiny bar in the Metropark costs €1+ and it’s convenient if you don’t want to walk the 300-metres to the train station.

Naples to Sulmona

Unable to book the return SATAM bus trip from Naples to Sulmona online using a foreign credit card, I phone the Biglietteria Vecchione office (+39 081 5630320) in Naples.

Naples to Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy, Europe

The super helpful and efficient Marco messages the payment link and tickets (€34 return) via WhatsApp.

Part 2 of the Journey

Driving out of sultry and bustling Naples – always warm in Naples – the highway pushes you northwest to Abruzzo’s coolness and tranquillity.

The last hour of the trip travels through lush-green farmland whilst absorbing the majestic Apennine mountains as a spectacular backdrop. The bus arrives at Via Mazzini Ospedale in Sulmona’s outskirts, ten minutes later.

Naples to Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy, Europe
The bus ride

An easy stroll of only 1.5 kilometres sees you confronted with the imposing medieval Porta Napoli. This gate marks the entrance into the old city.

Port Napoli, Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy, Europe
Porta Napoli

Pass through Porta Napoli to experience an ancient Medieval world. Read about this gate in my Abruzzo: Spectacular Sulmona, Part 1 post.

Where to eat

With all the suggestions, you must be thinking that all I do when in Sulmona is eat. Well, that’s not far from the truth. After all, this is Italy and it is the Easter break, so there’s loads of scrumptious food around.

Panetieria Audreotti Pasticceria

Just near the Porta Napoli, this busy small local bakery serves traditional Abruzzese fresh bread, pastries, and cakes. All at local non-inflated prices.

The warm aromas arresting your senses force you to detour and beckon you to enter this patisserie.

Trattoria Don Ciccio

The lady in the Panetieria Audreotti Pasticceria recommended trying Don Ciccio on Corso Ovidio 79/81, as one of the more authentic in Sulmona.

Despite stopping by this cosy restaurant a couple of times, rammed with locals and fully booked, decide to venture further as the hunger pangs are too great. Will definitely give this place a sample next time as I’m sure it’s great.

Buonvento Vino e Cucina

On Piazza Plebiscito 21/22, this is by far my favourite restaurant. The ambience is wonderful within funky surroundings. Paraphernalia adorns walls, window sills and also the restroom, in this very busy restaurant.

The food is amazing (€8+ Primi, €10+ Secondi, €1pp cover charge), wine is good (€4/glass), and at affordable prices.


For expensive drinks, check out this bar on Piazza Annunziata 4. Expect to pay €7 for a straight Gin & Tonic, which is considered a cocktail’s price in Italy.

Bar Piazza Maggiore

Check Piazza Garibaldi NR. 37, for your breakfast coffee (€1.30) and pastry (€1+). Sit back and enjoy the mountain views, while soaking up everyday life in the piazza.

Morsi Di Gusto

On Piazza Annunziata 9, this gourmet panini shop is excellent. At €5 for a massive panini with your choice of delicious filling, it’s well worth a stop.

Bella ‘Mbriana Pizzeria

Excellent service and good food on Via Ciofano 39. The menu is in English so geared for tourists.

Caffe’ Di Marzio

On Corso Ovidio N. 166, you’ll enjoy a well-earned Aperitivo (€3.50) after your long walk. The Aperitivo is served with loads of nibbles.

Caffe' Di Marzio, Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy, Europe

This cafe serves excellent coffee as confirmed by several awards gracing the walls. Why not indulge at home with some freshly ground coffee from this cafe?

Eat Confetti

Sulmona is world-famous for the very-addictive Confetti – sugar-coated almonds. Streets and alleyways are bursting with colourful Confetti.

These days Confetti also contain chocolate, of course, and includes many types of delectable berry and gourmet flavours. Works of art.

Check out Abruzzo: Spectacular Sulmona, Part 2, for more information on the luscious Confetti.

Where to sleep

As it’s Easter weekend, accommodation is filling up fast. Especially, as Sulmona hosts many great activities that attract locals from neighbouring villages and towns.

B&B Del Teatro

Tucked away along via Angeloni 44, the homely B&B Del Teatro provides everything you need in a self-contained apartment in a medieval building. Enjoy climbing the ancient stone steps to your room each night.

B&B Del Teatro, Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy, Europe
Self-contained kitchen

Check Booking.com and other reviews before booking any accommodation. I find these reviews more genuine than TripAdvisor reviews.

B&B Del Teatro, Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy, Europe
Comfy bedroom

In a quiet location yet close enough that all the major sights and activities are within walking distance, the B&B Del Teatro is a great choice. Lovely accommodating hosts, one of which wrote a book on Sulmona: Sirente.

For more information on Sulmona, including a walking guide through this marvellous city with fabulous photos, see my Part 1 and Part 2 of Abruzzo: Spectacular Sulmona.

Visit the Sulmona Tourist Office for extra information on alluring Sulmona. Why not pick up a copy of Migrazioni, which recounts the story of why people left Abruzzo decades ago.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more global images. More posts at Image Earth Travel.

Sulmona, Abruzzo, Italy Europe
Apennine Mountains

More Sulmona chapters

Check out more of my Abruzzo posts for great free travel tips and fabulous photos!

51 responses to “Abruzzo’s Sulmona: Bus, Eat, Sleep”

  1. gillmorris Avatar

    Another place for the travel list. It looks really lovely there, even the journey there seems to be exciting with all that wonderful countryside.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It is Gill and I would love to return to Sulmona.
      Hope you’re still OK?

      1. gillmorris Avatar

        I’m good thanks Nilla. Have moved into a new place and have had no internet for over 2 weeks. Hope you are well too x

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Good to hear and hope that moving wasn’t too stressful.
        Having no internet is a pain and know what that’s like but these days, I have a backup dongle that I can interchange any SIM for the country I’m in, just in case. Internet cafes are a thing of the past now.

      3. gillmorris Avatar

        It wasn’t that bad, although I seem to be out of my good habits of walking every day and getting out of bed early! 😉 x

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha, it’s easy to get out of good habits and hard to get back into them… 😉 x

      5. gillmorris Avatar

        It sure is 😉

  2. LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia Avatar

    Lots of great info, Nilla! It’s always a bit more of a challenge trying to figure out the best way to get somewhere from Cosenza.

    I wouldn’t be able to resist those confetti treats – they are so cute. It would almost be a shame to eat them!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thanks Lulu for your feedback and yes, it can be difficult getting anywhere from Cosenza without your own car.
      Yes, the Confetti are definitely morsels of art and scrumptiousness – I’m addicted!

  3. Nanchi.blog Avatar

    Never heard of Sulmona! Looks like an amazing place. Thank you for the detailed write-up! 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for the great feedback!
      You may like to read Part 1 and Part 2 of Sulmona.

  4. novecentomilaepiu Avatar

    so beautiful and interesting photos!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for your lovely comment! 🙂
      You may like the photos in Part 1 of my Sulmona posts?

  5. Patty Avatar

    Hi dear Nilla,
    Still ‘stuck’ in Australia I assume? Hope you’re enjoying yourself.
    Sending another big hug! XxX

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hey Patty, great to hear from you and yes, still ‘stuck’. 😉
      Hugs back and hope you’re going OK. xx

  6. Abirbhav Avatar

    Perhaps I missed something from your posts or it wasn’t mentioned?
    I noticed the cover picture you have posted in this article and suddenly it struck me: Where is the skiing or trekking place near Sulmona? And then the Apennine Mountains are geo-tectonically active, so there must be some volcanoes, fumaroles, calderas or geysers nearby.
    Anyways, this is another great post from you describing all the practical information one can need while in Sulmona. I shall have it printed when visiting Sulmona.. 😊😊
    Thank you Nilla for sharing.. 😊😊

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      You’re absolutely correct. These additional activities weren’t mentioned as only spending a few days with friends in Sulmona, I didn’t have time to explore more…perhaps on the next visit? 😉
      Would love to read your experience on Sulmona when you visit. I really need to return as there is so much more to explore yet…

      1. Abirbhav Avatar

        Well, each region of Italy needs a dedicated plan of action. Will try hard to get a comprehensive experience of Sulmona when I visit there.. 😊😊
        I am sure that you can do wonders when you return to your beautiful Italy.. 😊😊 There is indeed lots left to explore.. 😊😊

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha, it does indeed but don’t plan too rigorously. 😉
        Hope so as there is so much more to explore…

      3. Abirbhav Avatar

        Noted your point Nilla.. 😊😊
        Yes, too much of a rigorous planning serves no purpose. I would rather prefer strolling aimlessly through the streets of Italy and eating to my heart’s content than visiting the biggies..

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Correct. I like to go with the flow when travelling and not have too much booked in advance…you just never know what disruption happens.

        Take for instance 2020 as an excellent example. I had flights from Italy>Australia>UK>Italy booked and all connecting buses booked. The first time in my life that I had so much planned and booked ahead 6 months before travelling. Look what’s happened to 2020?
        For me, I won’t book so far in advance or so much ever again.

      5. Abirbhav Avatar

        Oh..!! It’s shocking to know that you had to cancel your bookings. It’s terrible.
        You are right, Nilla. Planning so much in advance is of little help. I like to plan rigorously, but I don’t plan 6 months in advance. Maybe 1-2 months advance planning does the trick. Had to plan in great detail for Russia though for obvious reasons.. 😉
        Hope the next time you won’t book so much in advance. I know the prices rise if you book closer to your date of journey, but that can be minimized to some extent by booking 1-2 months in advance..

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        You’re right, 1 to 2 months in advance is more than enough and if it’s not as cheap as 6 months in advance, then so be it… 🙂

      7. Abirbhav Avatar

        Well, even a booking made 1-2 months in advance are cheap enough.. at the maximum you can expect the prices to be 10-15% higher than the bookings done 6 months in advance.. 😊 But yes, for a long trip, that can make a huge difference.

      8. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        So true Abir and thank you for your invaluable advice. 🙂

      9. Abirbhav Avatar

        You are most welcome Nilla.. 😊😊
        Hope that helps.. 😊😊
        (There is something called Google Pay as well, in case you want to familiarize yourself with it, to de-risk yourself a bit .. 😉 )

      10. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thank you!

  7. karenincalabria Avatar

    Interesting to know about the Flix bus. I’ve wondered about them but haven’t yet tried one out. The price seemed quite reasonable and I see the positive of not having to carry a suitcase – even if it’s a small one – up and down the steps of a train station. Nice trip.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thanks Karen. It seems that Flix has bought out loads of lines and instead of the big flashy green buses, you end up with a local bus, sometimes good, sometimes, not great. Of course when you buy the ticket, you’re not advised of this, but I now know to ask.
      If it’s a short jaunt then I only carry a daypack not my big backpack. 😉

      1. karenincalabria Avatar

        Good to know, thanks.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        You’re very welcome.
        Are you returning to Calabria this or next year?

      3. karenincalabria Avatar

        Yes, with the travel restrictions, don’t know when.

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Same Karen. We can only wait.
        Hope you’re safe in the US with everything that’s occurring right now.

      5. karenincalabria Avatar

        Thanks, I’m only going out for essentials and avoiding congregations of people. I haven’t left the house for a week…

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Hope it improves over there, fingers crossed for you!

  8. the eternal traveller Avatar

    Another beautiful place to visit!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for the great comment Carol and hope that you’re still keeping well. 🙂

      1. the eternal traveller Avatar

        All well here. You too I hope!

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Yes, all OK here at the moment, thank you!

  9. Krishna Chaitanya Avatar

    Your blogs are amazing ma’am. Are u currently venturing Italy? Pls do check out my blog?

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for the wonderful feedback Krishna!
      I was in Italy for several years and returned to Australia for a month in February and now marooned here for a while, but not a problem. 😉
      Will pop over to your blog site again…

  10. Poorwa Vishwakarma Avatar

    After reading, this post became one of my favorite posts on Image Earth Travel.
    I love the pictures!!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Poowa for the wonderful feedback!
      I’m happy to have introduced you to Sulmona. I would love to return…

  11. Kelly MacKay Avatar

    This is great.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Kelly, thanks for your feedback and glad you enjoyed the read.
      Hope you and your family are OK.

      1. Kelly MacKay Avatar

        I am well, I was fortunate my siste came to visit me March 9th just before the shit hit the fan, pardon mu language. she is Nova Scotia and I am next province over in New Brunswick. 5 hours away. Our borders have been closed now for close to 3 months. No time line on when we will see each other but we talk and text and skype often, It will nice when we can get together gain take are

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Wow, didn’t realise your borders were closed for 3 months, ours have ben for a couple of months and there’s noise of slowly opening. Have you had many cases over there?
        It seems like we’ve entered a new ‘normality’ for the future, one which is very controlled, restricted, and so different to our past life. But, I’m positive things will improve.

      3. Kelly MacKay Avatar

        New Brunswick had 121 cases and we were covid free almost all month, Until of all things, a DR from Campbellton NB ( northern NB) crossing in to Quebec. The worst zone in Canada with the most cases. Over 30,000. and said DR came back, didn’t self isolate and went to work,treating patients and He is now linked to an outbreak in northern NB around Campbellton and that is area is now locked down with 8 new cases and contact tracing of up to 150 people. Said Dr has been suspended. But his foolish actions have threatened our reopening plan, Grrr. NS had over 950 cases but most have been resolved and no cases as of this week. PEI is covid free and NFLD is also covid free. Quebec and Ontario continue to have new daily cases in the hundreds . Could be a long summer.

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        What incredibly stupid and selfish thing for someone to do, especially, a Dr – crazy!
        Here in Australia – isolated from the rest of the world by its sheer location – we’ve had 103 deaths and 7,193 confirmed cases for a population of almost 25.5 million, they’re not crazy figures. However, one death is too many.
        I think it’s going to be a long 2020 and will run into 2021. 🙁

      5. Kelly MacKay Avatar

        I agree, the Dr name was not released, to protect his safety. We are a docile friend bunch here in NB but his action make me want to throttled him..glad you are safe and your covid 19 numbers low. Hope they stay down..let’s look forward to 2021.

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        That’s crazy but not surprising – always seems as though some people of society are “untouchable”.
        Yes, really hope it stays that way also and very much looking forward to 2021 – we shouldn’t be wishing our lives away though… 😉

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