A two hour drive east/northeast of Rome, the National Park of Abruzzo is one of the most popular nature getaways in the country for Italians; this is despite a lack of snow-peaked mountains or pristine stretches of beach. What Abruzzo does have is is a large, accessible area of beech forest and rolling hills in the dead center of the country, where environmental initiatives have saved populations of chamois, Italian Wolf, and Marsican Brown Bear.
Within the park, which spills over into the Lazio and Molise regions, are a handful of quaint towns where you'll be able to enjoy local foods, authentic people, and a place to stay the night if necessary. Pescasseroli is where you'll locate the central park office and is also a fine spot for a half day of touring that could potentially include the ancient Mancino Castle and the 14th century cathedral of San Pietro at Pesculum. The many trails that can be accessed from Pescasseroli can be done on foot or from the back of a rented horse, while you'll find that some of the best camping and lodging can be found on Lake Barrea in the Valle del Sangro, no matter the season. Then again, entrance through Picinisco may provide the most attractive hiking and skiing circumstances. Prati di Mezzo is known for the region's best powder, while nearby Monte Meta is a salve for your elevation-climbing soul.
Browse the official park site for much more information.