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L'Aquila

L'Aquila or L'Aquila degli Abruzzi (läˈkwēlä dāˈlyē äbrōtˈtsē) [key], city (1991 pop. 66,813), capital of L'Aquila prov. and of Abruzzi, central Italy, on the Pescara River. It is an agricultural and industrial center, and a summer resort. Manufactures include construction equipment, furniture, copper goods, glass, apparel, and pasta. L'Aquila is situated at the foot of the Gran Sasso d'Italia mountain group and is a popular base for mountain climbing.

Built around a castle (13th–16th cent.), it rose to importance in the 13th cent. and later became the second city of the kingdom of Naples. However, the city's influence declined during the wars of the 16th cent. Despite several devastating earthquakes and destructive air raids during World War II, L'Aquila has retained its medieval fortifications and a number of impressive old buildings, including St. Bernardino's Basilica (15th–16th cent.). The city again suffered significant widespread damage during the Apr., 2009, earthquake. There is a university in the city.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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