Between the western and central ranges are the plain of Rieti, the valley of the Salto (Himella), and the Lago Fucino; while between the central and eastern ranges are the valleys of Aquila and Sulmona.
The central Apennines are crossed by the railway from Rome to Castelammare Adriatico via Avezzano and Sulmona: the railway from Orte to Terni (and thence to Foligno) follows the Nera valley; while from Terni a line ascends to the plain of Rieti, and thence crosses the central chain to Aquila, whence it follows the valley of the Aterno to Sulmona.
From this at Pescara and running via Sulmona (whence there are branches via Aquila and Rieti to Terni, and via Carpinone to (a) Isernia and Caianello, on the line from Rome to Naples, and (b) Campobasso and Benevento), and Avezzano (whence there is a branch to Roccasecca) to Rome.
The latter, commanded by General Pepe (q.v.), who made no attempt to defend the difficult defiles of the Abruzzi, were defeated, after a half-hearted struggle at Rieti (March 7th, 1821), and the Austrians entered Naples.
He attacked them at Rieti (March 7, 1821), but his raw levies were repulsed.