I contemplated doing this too a little while back too. (You know, one of those great ideas you have in mind, and then you start to research into it.) A lot of people are already bought into the Tuscany region, as you know it's great for olives, vineyards and all the rest.
I'm not familiar with Abruzzo without looking on a map.
By the way, if you want to make it a viable touristy business, it is best to be near a location with an airport. It depends on when you want to do this as well. It is best to be near areas which has the potential to become more touristy and open up itself, than to go straight out into an unknown area. Unless, of course that region is seriously famous for something. Otherwise, nobody would know where it is, or how to get there.
There's a few books out in the market which tells you what is required to buy a property in Italy. I don't think it's that easy... Also, it's best to get an English speaking agent or middlemen to do the transaction work for you. I can't remember off the top of my head how the process works. Even if you can't make it as a business, you can always see it as a holiday home. Sometimes tv prog like Grand Design does feature properties abroad. It's not impossible to use local materials and rebuild it again, you just need to know who to approach and ask, I suppose.
Sounds like an exciting project !
Btw, what is available in Abruzzo ? Also, have u watched the Jamie Oliver's programme recently about his journey through Italy ? I'm not sure if Abruzzo was mentioned, it kind of rings a bell. If it is famous for something, then you can maybe sell it as a tourist spot.