From the Costa dei trabocchi towards the massifs of the interior, traveling endlessly up and down the valleys, between walled villages, natural parks and medieval churches. Discovering those who know how to make tradition in a superlative way: dairy products from rustic sheep breeds, wines from ancient vine stocks, liqueurs from mountain herbs
In Abruzzo the best way to get to know the landscape and gastronomic habits is not from north to south, but from east to west. In fact, a certain constancy of customs along the coast corresponds to the great variety that is encountered in the many small capitals in the mountains, each with its own castle or mansion.
The Costa dei trabocchi: between Ortona and Vasto
From the stretch of sea between Ortona And Vast, known as Coast of the trabocchi, the "fishing machines" anchored to the coast by means of long and narrow walkways, you can easily reach the hinterland thanks to the communication routes that run parallel to the rivers. Ortona hosts theRegional wine shop thanks to the agricultural basin behind it. Its Aragonese Castle overlooking the sea is a belvedere on the coast that can be the starting point for the journey. A few minutes inwards too Crecchio, with a medieval appearance, it boasts its own castle, home to the Byzantine and Early Middle Ages Museum of Abruzzo.
Those who like to stroll through medieval-looking streets can still choose the nearby one Villamagna, which can be reached by traveling endlessly up and down the valleys with combed vineyards and olive groves. Not far from the village Fattoria Licia, led by Enzo De Luca, is the ideal place to learn about Abruzzo viticulture, which has the colors of the pruinoso I Montepulciano, golden of Trebbiano, and of those exclusive black cherry tones of Cerasuolo, fresh and vibrant. Above all it is the right stop for those who want to discover wines produced with ancient strains of Montepulciano And Trebbiano from Abruzzo, taken in the 1950s and stored in replants that are still productive today.
Between religious art, medieval architecture
Religious art is another central aspect of Abruzzo's tourist offer. Thus the itinerary can slide towards the church of the abbey of Santa Maria Arabona, which for 800 years has been a place of meditation and prayer. But it also attracts fans of medieval ingenuity, attracted by the impressive rose window and the elegant candelabra for the Easter candle.
But we know that Abruzzo rhymes with nature: for this you continue for about ten minutes on the Tiburtina road (SS 5) inwards. In Scafa there is the Park of the sulphurous springs of the Lavino river, at the entrance to the Majella National Park. In the 40 hectares of the green lung there are lakes of sulphurous water, forests of poplars and white willows very popular with hedgehogs and foxes, yellow dancers and kingfisher. Still next to the SS5, the ambo and the ciborium of the basilica of San Clemente a Casauria exert a certain fascination for anyone who crosses the historiated portal, which in itself is worth the trip before slipping into the alleys of Tocco da Casauria, which inspired the D'Annunzio Iorio's daughter.
Between a glass of sparkling wine and a visit to the distillery
You can participate in a much more material treasure hunt, in search of the caverns where Fausto Zazzara refines the classic method sparkling wines from native grapes, inaugurating a new chapter of Abruzzo viticulture with exciting results. Try the Cococciola grape sparkling wine. If you were looking for stronger emotions… the Toro distillery comes to the rescue with its Centerbe, elaborated with the aromatic essences collected in the Morrone Mountains, around 2000 meters.
Art and nature, a timeless combination
Those interested in the combination of art and nature don't go much further. TO Peoples in fact he will be struck by the might of the Cantelmo castle and by the exuberance of the natural reserve of Sources of Pescara. From here you can quickly reach Sulmona. It is difficult to remain indifferent in front of the delicate embroideries carved in the stone of Palazzo dell’Annunziata and the aqueduct built in the thirteenth century with 21 arches. And it is inevitable to be tempted by the age-old gluttony of Sulmona, i confetti. The right address to pamper yourself is that of William Di Carlo jr. This is ensured by the experience of six generations spent among the bassine, the large copper pots where the almonds are rolled and wrapped in sugar syrup. The result is an explosion of colors that compose bouquets of flowers, traditional Sulmona compositions and others reserved for different occasions.
Between nature and sheep cheeses
If you have more time, it is worth moving a few kilometers towards the hermitage of Sant’Onofrio al Morrone, perched on an immense rocky wall. Archeology enthusiasts head to the nearby sanctuary dedicated to Hercules Curino. The mosaic on the floor of the temple depicting vine shoots, dolphins, towers and waves is the highlight. The road runs among the highest mountains of the central Apennines before reaching Anversa degli Abruzzi, which dominates the mouth of the gorges carved by the river Sagittario.
Here the ASCA Cooperative pioneered the concept of recovery of the extensive pastoralism with a modern approach, based on the rediscovery of local rustic breeds and enhancing natural resources. As a consequence, since 1987, smoked ricotta is the motto "Adopt a sheep" they have become a model of pastoral skill applied to the 21st century. In the thirties these places struck the imagination of Maurits Escher, which portrayed the hamlet of Castrovalva. To get an idea of its wild grace you have to walk a 6-kilometer path through untouched woods and from there cross the Sagittario Gorges to the nearby village of Scanno, a stone jewel with steep streets.
La Piana del Fucino: land of IGP carrots
The itinerary can continue from Anversa degli Abruzzi between ups and downs and hairpin bends, forests and villages perched on rock spurs. Suddenly the Piana del Fucino, with the fields traced according to a rigorous geometry of colored tiles on the bottom of what was a lake until the nineteenth century. Very fertile land that gives the carrot from the Fucino Plateau IGP and an endless list of vegetables. Here the mountains are far away, but to feel close to the sky you can visit the Fucino Space Center Museum, the most important civil telecommunication center in the world.
In Abruzzo there is space for trekking enthusiasts and for lovers of spirits
If time is running out, follow the directions for Celano, at the foot of its grandiose castle and gate of the Sirente Velino Regional Park.
To the delight of climbers and enthusiasts of trekking there are 35 peaks that exceed an altitude of two thousand where the views have the shape of plateaus, canyons and prairies of karst origin. Steep hairpin bends rise to Ovindoli. Nature offers mountain bike lovers paths that zigzag between cultivated fields, woods and fountains and gluttons the raw material to obtain infusions with aromatic herbs. They thought about it Liquorificio d’Abruzzo to obtain fragrant elixirs from gentian, fennel and savory. Alchemies that belong to the gastronomic history of this part of Italy, ideal for a good rest after exploring the valleys and mountains with a backpack.
top photo of
of Sale & Pepe
Contrata val di Foro, 64
Via Giuseppe Mazzini Vico I
Touch from Casauria (PE)
Enrico Toro Distillery
Via Tiburtina, 18
Touch from Casauria (PE)
Asca Agritourism Cooperative
Source of Curzio
Antwerp of Abruzzi (AQ)
Domenica Mancini farm
Via Vicenna, 16
Via Arano, 16
La Stozza restaurant
Via Del Ceraso, 3
Overflow Punta Cavalluccio
Contrada Piane Favaro, 267
Rocca San Giovanni (CH)
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