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Situated amid a traditional farming community on the edge of a small village, the self-contained apartment is ideally positioned in the heart of Abruzzo, within easy reach of the mountains, beaches, nature reserves and Rome. Local shops, bars, restaurants, pool & health farm are within walking distance. Region in the Centre of Italy on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. The land is home to some of the highest peaks in the country (Gran Sasso and Majella) as well as delightful marine and hillside scenery.
A kind of time machine capable of catapulting “guests” first into the prehistoric period, then to ancient Roman times and lastly to the unique hermitage of a saint. Here you will find yourself in the San Venanzio Gorge Nature Reserve, not far from Sulmona, where, between rivers, waterfalls and paths, some of them steep, it is possible to spot traces of prehistoric graffiti imprinted on the calcareous stone of Rava Tagliata. There is also a charming grotto overhanging the River Aterno, with a chapel, altars and small cells, where San Venanzio found shelter from persecution. A place full of spirituality and imprints left in the stone by this holy man. And, between one stop off point and another, a visit to the Roman aqueduct, dug out of the rock, dating back to Imperial times.
Abruzzo has low, sandy coastlines, though, when you start to head south become higher and more rugged, creating a landscape where Mediterranean brush alternates with vines and a peaceful coastline suddenly starts to move through beautiful coves. Even its visitors are varied: the coastline is suitable for families, thanks to well run services, while also being popular with youngsters who love the sport and entertainment. Silvi Marina, Francavilla al Mare, Vasto and Ortona, are the most popular beach resorts.
In Abruzzo you can ski at high altitude on the Gran Sasso or the Majella, between unpolluted peaks and breath-taking scenery or you can spot rare examples of the Marsicano bear and the golden eagle in the Abruzzo National Park. A vast protected area whose protagonists include the black pine tree of Villetta Barrea, the birch and Venus’ shoe, one of the largest, most beautiful and rarest orchids in circulation. Other parks that stand out in the region, include the Gran Sasso and the Monti della Laga ,the Majella and the Sirente Velino. Perfect for explorers in search of alternative destinations is the Cavallone Grotto (Majella), also known as the Daughter of Iorio, since the time when the painter Francesco Paolo Michetti was inspired by the scenery of d’Annunzio’s tragedy of the same name. Stalactites and stalagmites with strange shapes even in the Stiffe Grottos (Aterno Valley), that during Christmas time host a delightful “lived in” crib with life sized shepherds.
Some of Abruzzo’s jewels include, Sulmona: homeland to the poet Ovid and sugared almonds of a thousand shapes, where you can admire Celestino V’s hermitage and the church of Santa Maria della Tomba with its gothic façade and baroque interiors. Not to be missed in Aquila is the Fountain with 99 pipes, adorned with just as many stone masks. The Abruzzo coastline, on the other hand is something that more than visiting should be lived to its full with its wealth of fine sandy beaches and coves immersed in vineyards and broom.
Abruzzo, land of poets, saints and writers. Some of the natives of here include Gabriele d’Annunzio, born in Pescara in 1863. The same town was birth place to Ennio Flaiano, scriptwriter, cinematographic critic and narrator. Ignazio Silone was originally from Pescina, while Pascal D’Angelo re-named by the Americans as the “poet of the pickaxe and shovel” lived until he was 16 at Introdacqua. One of the most important Latin poets of ancient times was born here: Publio Ovid Nasone was born in Sulmona in 43 BC.
The Abruzzo of flavours, like the one of dialects, boasts and infinity of declensions. There are four basic cuisines (one for each province) and numerous variations. Maccheroni alla chitarra (guitar string macaroni) reigns at table: homemade paste, obviously, that takes its name from the wooden frame fitted with thin steel threads (the guitar), used to cut the sheet of pasta. Aquila’s cuisine shows off its complete range of local specialities during the unending “panarda” lunch. A sumptuous banquet that, in the past, included between twenty and thirty dishes and the banqueter could not leave the table until he had finished everything. Typicaly found in the area of Teramo are scripelle, an Abruzzo version of crêpes, served either dry or in consommé, while fish dominates the table along the Adriatic coast.
An ancient traditional recipe from Chieti is scapece, fried fish preserved in vinegar, after being sprinkled with saffron from Navelli. Everywhere, there is an abundance of menus based on ovine meat (lamb, kid, mutton) served in various ways and overflowing chopping boards with “lu capelomme” (pork loin) and vetricina (sausages for spreading on bread), possibly washed down with a selection of the best regional wines (Montepulciano, Sangiovese e Trebbiano). Desserts are often willingly made using almonds and nuts, in particular nougat, sugared almonds (a speciality of Sulmona), figs marinated with almonds and bay leaf, as well as the circerchiata (tiny balls of fried paste covered in honey and candy fruits), mostaccioli, calgionetti (filled with grape marmalade) and the sise delle monache from Guardiagrele (small balls of pointed sponge, with a tasty cream filling).
In protected areas, you can mainly stay in retreats. One interesting retreat is on the Gran Sasso in the Pericolo Camp area at the Garibaldi Retreat built in 1886 by the C.A.I. in Rome, that can be accessed through a trapdoor located on the roof, if the snow makes it impossible to open the main door.