L'Aquila is a city and comune in Southern Italy, both the capital city of the Abruzzo region and of the Province of L'Aquila. As of 2013, it has a population of 70,967 inhabitants. Laid out within medieval walls on a hill in the wide valley of the Aterno river, it is surrounded by the Apennine Mountains, with the Gran Sasso d'Italia to the north-east.
L'Aquila sits upon a hillside in the middle of a narrow valley; tall snow-capped mountains of the Gran Sasso massif flank the town. A maze of narrow streets, lined with Baroque and Renaissance buildings and churches, open onto elegant piazzas. Home to the University of L'Aquila, it is a lively college town and, as such, has many cultural institutions: a repertory theatre, a symphony orchestra, a fine-arts academy, a state conservatory, a film institute. There are several ski resorts in the surrounding province: (Campo Imperatore, Ovindoli, Pescasseroli, Roccaraso, Scanno).