On the way back to Rome from the gorgeous off-the-beaten track area of Abruzzo, we stopped at the Castello Piccolomini in Celano. Like in Pacentro the mountain view overlooking the valley was spectacular, and the old fort made for an especially magical feel. The castle dates back to the 14th centruy, built by a count who later joined the order of the Piccolomini family. Inside the castle you’ll find the Museum of Sacred Art of the Marsica with some historical artifacts. When we were visiting we were the only people in the whole complex, so it’s not an overcrowded tourist attraction and you can really enjoy the whole place to yourself.
A lovely area, and the castle is well worth your stopover, if only for the views. A bit more to explore in the area with a hidden lake and the nearby old town, so look into that if you have extra time.