One thing about eating in Abruzzo is that you will be surprised and even embarrassed at the bill when it arrives at your table. Eating out in Abruzzo is cheap – cheap as in you probably couldn’t eat cheaper if you made it yourself – not compromised ingredients. Flavours are fresh, vibrant and delicious!!
Last Friday night I ate at a Pizzeria in Bominaco for the princely sum of €13.50, for which I received; 1 woodfired pizza, a large mixed salad, 1 litre of sparkling water, 1 non-alcoholic beer and 1 espresso! On paying I was rewarded further with complimentary chocolate liquor.
Saturday afternoon I hesitantly stopped at a touristy looking bar in Sulmona called Bar Centrale di Agostino Pierluigi in Piazza Annunziata for a quick bite to eat. I chose a bottle of water, bottle of Coke Zero and their Caprese: a generous plate of fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella (not the industrial variety) and chargrilled bruschetta drizzled with quality olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Total price €11!!
Ristorante Il Castello in Fagnano Alto, Abruzzo
A last minute invitation to dinner had me at this wonderful out of the way yet ‘close by’ restaurant in a town largely uninhabited since the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake. The restaurant is run by 2 husbands who were our hosts and their wives who do all the cooking according to methods handed down through their families.
We received 4 dishes comprising of the following:
Plate of charcuteries
Truffle salad: rocket, shaved truffle & shaved grana padano
Fritto misto: zucchini, aubergine, zucchini flowers, sage & cherry tomatoes fried in a light batter
Mozarella and bocconcini with grated black and white truffle!
I think there were 5 types to choose from and we were able to have half portions in order to try 2 types – we had no idea the portions would be so huge!
Ravioli – truffle & funghi
Spaghetti – sundried & pomodoro fresca
Gnocchi – saffron & local chickpeas
We struggled at the thought of eating any more but agreed we just had to TRY one!!
Chicken breast – almonds and saffron
Porchetta – calvados and roasted apple
Veal – vino bianco
Reaching the outer limits of what is possible for any person to eat in one evening we persisted scared of missing out on something wonderful!
Chocolate mousse with raspberries and mint
Peach torte with meringue and pistachio
Yoghurt semi-freddo and peach
I nearly exploded!! Generous portions, fantastic simple flavours and at a ridiculous price!! Including water and wine our meal came to €30 per head! I could not believe it – just 2 weeks earlier I paid €75 in France for a very nice but certainly of a similar quality meal of 3 courses, wine and water!
After reliving this meal I feel the need to rest and eat no more! Happy and content!
The Guitar - La Chitarra
La Chitarra or ‘the guitar’ is used to form a traditional Abruzzese pasta which is probably best described to you as a ‘square’ spaghetti. Pasta dough is rolled through the strings of the Chitarra to produce the unique shaped pasta. Traditionally this pasta is served with a ragu usually with a meat base.
An Old Washstand & Basin - Un lavabo Vecchio e del bacino
On my last visit to Abruzzo my neighbour informed me that during strong winds the unsecured window shutters on my house would bang loudly keeping her awake at night or during her siesta. In order to rectify the situation with what little means I had I went around the house securing the window shutters as best I could. This included going into my ‘bathroom’ which has been filled with rubble from the terrace which fell in on it due to water damage and 40 years of neglect. I used the old terracotta bricks to stack behind the shutters on the window ledge to keep then closed as I had no other means of securing them. In the process I noticed some ironwork underneath my feet and decided to investigate further. The result was that I excavated the wrought iron washstand and enamel basin. A few days later I was introduced to some more neighbours and they have a very similar washstand but one that is more ornate and has a jug with it that sits in the bottom ring. I was impressed with theirs and my neighbour has offered to restore mine as a housewarming gift!
Old Bottles: Different Shapes & Colours - Vecchie Bottiglie – Forme e Colori Diversi
I found quite a collection of old bottles – not on my last visit but I thought I would share these with you. I found traditional wine casks in wicker (bottom shelf), old soft drink bottles, glasses a jug and storage bottles with stoppers on them. Some are clear, some blue, some green and some brown. I am not so sure of what I might do with these – maybe I will clean them up and display them somewhere as they are really quite pretty and they were part of my home before I arrived.
Old Keys – Vecchie Chiavi
I found some old keys around the house also – but what they unlocked no longer appears to be held within the house at all.
An Old Quilt - Una Vecchia Coperta
You will have to wait for a picture of this I am afraid. I was looking at the mess on top of the iron bed in the room that will be my master bedroom and I had previously thought the old bedding was completely ruined. At one stage there had been a small fire on the mattress, however I was surprised to find a hand made quilt in a very pretty red colour and as I pulled it out from underneath the other covers I realized that perhaps it would be possible to have it cleaned and given life once more. I will keep you wondering about this one as I need a few days to be able to give the quilt the attention it needs and to take photos.
I must apologise for jumping the gun on telling you about the architectural plans before finishing telling you about the rest of my trip to Abruzzo in March! It seems apologies are ‘de rigueur’ at present so I will try to resist my compulsion!
My last Sunday was of course quite hectic with the architect in the morning then a catch up and meeting with an expat in nearby Capestrano where we showed each other our houses. We then had an unscheduled visit to another expat couple who were suddenly setting the table for dinner with us and so it was much later than expected return to the house for a good night’s sleep!
Monday morning the weather turned quite cold and wintery, so with little I could do at the house and no pressing appointments I jumped in the car and went off for an exploration of nearby Santo Stefano di Sessanio a partially restored mountain village. At times it was attempting to snow but managed to avoid any contribution to the piles of snow littering the streets from the month of February.
Here are a few pictures of the town.
On my way back to the B&B I drove via Rocca Calascio and took a few pics there also.
After lunch with Jimmy & Francesca I headed to the Pasta Factory near Rocca Casale called Pastificio Masciarelli. Abruzzo has some of the very best pasta in Italy due to the fresh mountain water which is a key ingredient in all pasta production. I bought a 2 packets for myself to take home and a gift pack for my lovely friends and hosts at Abruzzo Segretto.
Tuesday was another busy day as I first went on a quick excursion to a nearby chocolate factory then headed to Ortona to meet with a friend for lunch. We had a superb 3 course meal and some very nice local wine to accompany it. Lunch consisted of some amazing home baked bread and olive oil, an array of antipasto dishes including mussels & calamari followed by a seafood pasta starring the famous chitarra pasta I spoke of in an earlier post and for dessert a tasting plate of no less than 4 treats each!
Feeling very relaxed and mellow after the leisurely 2 hour lunch I said my goodbye’s and headed north to Pescara to meet with the Architect. Maurizio had decided to rush through the paperwork for me so I could sign the planning permission requests before leaving. On arrival I met his wife and son, his 15 year old son had been called in as translator although surprisingly between google translate and my small understanding of Italian we managed to complete the necessary paperwork in about an hour. I was advised the planning permission for the commune (village) was a simple process but following the L’Aquila earthquakes there was another office that also required consultation and would take up to 8 weeks to complete.
I am so grateful for finding Maurizio to undertake the project – he renovated my neighbour’s house and I was looking to find him originally to complete the restoration but was searching for his details in L’Aquila where he was not. Sometimes things just fall into place – and somehow it seems that my landing in Abruzzo was more than serendipitous!
Wednesday morning I fare-welled my friends and picked up an expat also heading to Fiumincino for a flight. It was nice to have company on the just over 2 hour drive as it made the time go much quicker.
I returned to Beaulieu sur Mer looking forward to the next phase of the renovation process.
WOW – my very good friend and fellow writer/blogger has nominated me for the Kreativ Blogger Award! Talk about honoured!
In accordance with the rules I must thank the person that nominated me, tell you 7 interesting things you may not know about me and nominate 7 bloggers and their links also.
7 things about me:
- I have a degree in Psychology
- I work as a chef for multi-millionaires but I am not culinary trained
- I am currently on my 3rd career and working on starting my 4th
- I hope to be semi-retired this time next year in order to spend more time writing
- I speak a little French, Greek, Italian, Japanese and Turkish while English is the language I can most easily be understood in!!
- My first ever full-time job was in a factory in Christchurch, New Zealand making suit jackets for men. I worked in the clothing/fashion industry for 8 years.
- My second career was in Workers Compensation specialising in rehabilitation and Injury Management – this I managed to do for 7 years!
I guess I am a long way from where I started!
Fellow bloggers I would like to nominate for the Kreativ Blogger award are;
- http://www.renovatingitaly.com/ Lisa is a fellow renovator in Italy she is inspiring and knowledgeable
- http://www.anitalophile.com/ Cathy is a fellow self-confessed lover of Italy, she is also a book lover and reviewer
- http://foodloversodyssey.typepad.com/ Kathy is a fellow foodie and shares a wealth of food info from France and Italy
- http://ars-opulenta.com/category/news/ Eugene is a wealth of information, has a wicked sense of humour and is your ‘go to’ man about Florence!
- http://becomingitalianwordbyword.typepad.com/becomingitalian/ Dianne provides a wonderful weekly introduction to the Italian Language and I look forward to her informative updates each week
- http://www.dimackey.com/blog/ Di is a fellow Kiwi living and working in Europe she has a great blog and is a fantastic photographer
- http://inspiredinitaly.blogspot.fr/ Emily has moved countries for love her blog shares her exploration of her new life inside the Italian Culture
I could go on but the rules are 7 bloggers so I apologise to those I have missed there are so many who inspire me. Thank you again Kim @ http://kimtalksbooks.com/
Grazie a tutti
On my return to France I found that there had been little progress onboard the yacht and it remained inaccessible to all crew and would remain so for at least another week! As there was not really much that I could do work-wise I checked whether I could get to Abruzzo again to ensure momentum on the house was not lost. When one has opportunity one must seize it!!
So I booked flights to Rome and car hire for the 9th returning on the 14th and advised the architect I would be available to open the house for them to complete the measurements they needed to get the ball rolling.
As always I stayed with my lovely friends at Abruzzo Segreto in Navelli and as I was arriving late we decided to meet at a local restaurant called The Crocus where they were meeting other expat friends. I arrived at the restaurant close to 9:30pm after a few glitches with picking up the car and heading out of Rome in peak traffic. It was nearly 10pm by the time we were seated in the restaurant and we ate very well on a selection of local products – everyone having something they enjoyed mixed bruschettas, pizza, mixed grill, veal escalope and pasta with cinghiale the local wild boar. The two new faces I met were professional photographers from Ireland – one has a house in a town called Carapelle and another in Capo d’acqua to be restored and the other was experiencing Abruzzo for the very first time! We talked late into the evening and I was more than shocked as I glanced at my watch to see it was nearly 2am as I headed to bed!!
The next morning Maurizio called and advised he was still in Rome on business but would head to the house Sunday morning and start measuring and taking photos. I was quite happy to have a quiet day after the late night out and spent the morning reading. In the afternoon our expat friends arrived and we had a few coffees then headed to the house to be restored in Capo d’Acqua. I looked through the property eagerly as it also needs quite a lot of work done to it and as yet there are no immediate plans for the restoration except for an idea of what will be where.
As we surveyed the outside of the building and were surrounded by many Italian hounds with the longest ears I have ever seen on a dog in my life we were waved over by a neighbour. The neighbour Toni or Antonio insisted we come inside and sample his wine. We were overwhelmed by his and his wife Angela’s hospitality and enjoyed homemade orange cake and espresso as well as a very nice vino rosso. It was a little hard to leave as they enjoyed the company as we did their’s.
We headed up to my village and I showed them my ruin. Both photographers armed with their professional cameras immediately took to the house photographing different aspects which caught their artistic eyes! As the light was slowly waning we headed up to the Bar Aufinium for a quick drink before returning to Navelli and then another meal at The Crocus which we proclaimed would be pizza night! There we bumped into another expat living in the nearby town of Capestrano and invited them to share our table for some further conversation. Another late but interesting night, I was grateful for a good night’s sleep and a not too late start.
Arriving at the house I was met by Maurizio’s lovely wife and assistant as she sketched the outside of the house and I found Maurizio next door on top of the winery taking photos of the house. I unlocked the house and set to tidying the garden further and removing rubbish from the garden. Then I sorted through the beautiful collection of old bottles left in the house and put them neatly away in a cupboard so as not to be damaged should renovating commence in my absence!
As I fossicked (kiwi for rummaging) under the stairwell for any other ‘treasures’ I found an old sack and was surprised I had not noticed it before. Inside I found a traditional Chitarra for making a traditional pasta a square shaped ‘spaghetti’ for lack of a better description. I showed the architect and his wife and they were very excited by my find and suggested I keep it and rewire it for future use!
We stayed at the house together until around 12:30 before parting ways happy to have completed the measurements to be able to complete the next stage of the process the planning permissions. We agreed to speak before I returned to France and I offered to meet them in Pescara.
Stay tuned for updates and photos tomorrow!
I must apologise for this late post – but it is for a good reason. As you are aware I cannot afford the luxury of renovating full-time and as such I have a day job. Last Monday I dropped my captain off at the airport and due to the slow progress of painting the yacht we work on he advised I could ‘do a course this week’ if I wanted. It was rather short notice to say the least but I managed to arrange flights, classes and to stay with a very dear friend in Paris.
As a Yacht Chef it is often difficult to take the time to find suitable professional courses that are convenient to the yacht schedule. I was fortunate enough to find a Paris based school aptly named ‘Cook’n with Class’ run by professionally trained Chefs: http://www.cooknwithclass.com/
So Tuesday morning I was up frightfully early (5:30am) to fly to Paris, arriving just in time to grab some lunch and head to a French Dessert Class at Cook’n with Class with Pastry Chef and Tutor Briony Laberttoniére. Despite participants being a mixture of cooking abilities the class was fun, interesting and informative. We made classics such as Créme Brulée, Financiers & a Strawberry Tarte. Briony also teaches other classes at the school and has her own business if you are ready to dream why not take a look at her website: http://pretarever.fr/
Wednesday Evening was spent on an introduction to Molecular Gastronomy by Chef Alex Dreyer who was found to be a very talented and energetic teacher. We learnt to froth, foam and ‘caviar’ a range of ingredients in the very popular and fashionable Molecular Cuisine. The menu included a Sidecar cocktail with Picon Foam, Carrot Ravioli with a pea puree, Eggwhite Foam with Mushroom Velouté, Herb crusted Tenderloin with Apple Foam and Chocolate Mousse with Mint Caviar.
Thursday was a free day enabling me to spend time with a very dear friend in the city as well as catch up on some retail therapy!
Friday was extremely busy with an Advanced French Desserts class from 9am to 1:30pm with delicious desserts including a Chocolate Sphere with Mousse Gianduja, Paris Brest, Raspberry Mille Feuille Napoleon, and a Charlotte aux Poires. This I followed with a Bread Class from 2pm – 6pm spent making traditional Baguettes, Brioche, Fougasse with the knowledgeable and fun Chef Pino Ficara and while being experienced in breadmaking techniques I certainly learnt a lot from Pino.
Saturday was spent with Chef Alex taking a Market to Table Class where we toured local specialty shops Fromagerie/Cheeese, Boucherie/Butcher & Poisonniere/Fishmonger before returning via Boulangerie/Bakery and Fresh Produce stall to Cook’n with Class. On arrival we donned aprons and had a quick espresso while sampling a local olive bread before launching into a very busy period as we prepared our lunch. Our lunch included Monkfish with Scampi and Seafood Bisque, Pork Chops with Smashed New Potatoes, Garden Fresh Peas and a delicious reduction, Cheese Board (a selection of 7 cheeses to acclimatize the taste buds to the wonders of French Cheese) and ending with a perfect Tarte Tartin! All courses were accompanied by some very good French Wines.
Whatever brings you to Cook’n with Class you are most certain to learn something no matter how knowledgeable you think you are about cooking and/or French Cuisine. Others who took a class with me and shared their experiences from other classes attended at the school all spoke highly of their experiences. Class sizes are kept small to ensure you get a hands-on experience and a chance to ask questions. Next time you are in Paris and have a little time on your hands why not book a class or two?
Apologies for not updating you over this past week as I had an unexpected trip to Paris and returned only yesterday. Be assured there will be an update tomorrow afternoon and another on Friday.
Have a wonderful week whatever you are doing – life is too short not to!
Arriving back in Navelli after a day out Francesca called the alternative engineer. He understood the project was a restoration and that he was available and was to come and view the house on Saturday at 9am. A sense of relief flooded over me – checking emails I had not heard back from any other potential project managers for the house.
The next morning I headed off to the house armed with my newly purchased pruning shears and arrived about 10:30am. My neighbour was impressed with me as she spotted the large roll of garden mesh for utilizing for the fence and brought out a bottle of water for me. I spent some time removing the old wire netting that had all but disintegrated around the garden and snipping off the old metal ties to make room for the new improved fence. The roll of new mesh was quite weighty and I must admit I struggled somewhat unraveling it and placing it on the concrete edging, but once up and tied it looked markedly better than its predecessor!
I then set to cutting my prunings into shorter lengths to tidy up a little. My neighbour Ida came out in the afternoon with a small axe to help me strip off the leaves from some of the prunings to make a neater pile. I also planted a little bit of colour and following advice from Virginia to protect it from cats and to put it where she could water it for me we put up a little fence around that too. By the time I finished it was late afternoon and I was getting more than a little hungry. I packed in my tools and headed off to the supermarket in San Pio. I bought some cherry tomatoes, bocconcini and prosciutto crudo to prepare a small anti pasti platter for a late lunch/early dinner.
Jimmy and Francesca arrived at their home around 8:30pm with news that the engineer had cancelled the meeting in the morning but that they had some other news for me. An architect had been in touch and would meet us at the house with an engineer at 11am the next day – all was not lost.
Saturday finally arrived and I headed off to the house via the hardware store to pick up some lengths of chain and padlocks. When we arrived in the village the architect Maurizio was already waiting for us and was conversing with my neighbour Virginia – as it turned out he was the same architect that had restored her property following damage from the April 2009 earthquake (terremoto). I was thrilled the work they had done was excellent and I walked nervously down to the house wondering what his assessment would be.
Maurizio was positive regarding the house – there were some aspects of safety he was concerned about due to the property being neglected and affected by water damage via nearly 40 years without habitation. The presence of the vaulted ceilings was a positive aspect – it seems these are much stronger than regular flat ceiling/roof construction. The window on the first floor had been pushed out further following the harsh winter conditions – the extremes of temperature in the area causing larger cracks and fissures in the construction and I was also surprised to find water had collected in a bowl under the stairs. With Maurzio’s favourable murmurs we headed up to the Bar Aufinium for an espresso while we waited a half hour for the arrival of the engineer. Bar Aufinium was buzzing with locals as always friendly and welcoming.
Paolo the Engineer was waiting for us on our return to the casa (house) and he and Maurizio reviewed the house again and discussed the various potential aspects of the project. The engineer believes the house can be restored independently of the houses at the side and rear of the property including the strengthening work which will be required. We exchanged our full contact details and I was advised they would return the following week to measure the house and prepare a quotation for the work.
I felt somewhat relieved with the positive assessment of my casa – there was no possibility that I would ever consider pulling it down and I knew in my heart the property was sound. I wondered when I would be able to return to initiate next steps.
Sunday I drove nearly 3 hours to friends in Umbria for a lunch and wine pairing with a group of some 18 expats whom I had meet via Facebook. We had a wonderful lunch and conversation and found many of us were somehow connected by 6 degrees of separation! A few of us continued on to have dinner together cooked by our lovely hostess Giselle, we were plied with further delicious wines by our host Mark and entertained by their delightful dog Stella – what a fantastic day to remember!
Monday I awoke wondering whether the protests blocking off the ring road in Rome would be cleared. Thankfully it was and I had a smooth drive to Rome’s Fiumincino (Leonardo Da Vinci) Airport for my flight to Nice, France. As always I left a little more of me behind in Italy – each journey makes it a little harder to leave as I make a home for myself there.
Serendipity would have me back for the weekend!
I arrived in Abruzzo on the 27th February full of the excitement of finally making inroads on my restoration after a few days of rest and relaxation. First I picked up the completed paperwork that was awaiting me at the notaio, and then heading to my friends Jimmy & Francesca at Abruzzo Segreto in Navelli! It had been a long wait with so many obstacles thrown in my path preventing me coming in January; Work, Flu, Strikes & Snow/Weather! The meeting with the engineer was reconfirmed and all was well!
I arose early on the 28th to meet with my Engineer at my village at 8:30, I felt encouraged when I received a message advising he would be 10 minutes late – he was conscientious I thought. A quick espresso at the local bar and then down to the casa. He looked, said next to nothing took photos, took a phone call. Told me that he would have a plan the next day or an alternative, he shook his head advising restoration would be difficult with the house being uninhabited for 40 years, but the words impossible were not mentioned.
I spoke to my neighbour (we speak in French) and she advised me her son worked in the Uffico Technico (the Planning Office) of the commune. I was offered cake and espresso which I accepted and I was also given some of my prized figs which she had frozen. I was also instructed to fence off my garden so no-one could enter and introduced to another of my neighbours.
On finishing my espresso I headed up to the planning office and asked a few basic questions – a little English was spoken. For restoration work with a Project Manager appointed no problem – for a new building it would take a long time to receive the planning permission. I was happy I could see everything coming together – at least I thought I did!
I then headed for the hills and took photos of the local area including the very picturesque Rocca Calascio. I was amazed at the contrast between two valleys – the one where I stay and the one where my house is – lots of snow versus very little except on the highest peaks.
On the 29th I headed to my local hardware store and was relieved to find my English speaking sales assistant was available and I organized purchase of wire netting to fence off my garden, some wire to tie it to the posts, pliers to cut lengths and some gardening gloves. The pruning equipment I had borrowed from my friends. From 10:30am – 2:30pm I worked solidly in warm temperatures sawing and pruning stumps and branches and although it all looked a bit of a shemozzle I felt a true sense of achievement. My neighbours murmured their approval and we were all happy, except me when I found I had broken the pruning shears I had borrowed! I returned to Abruzzo Segreto in the afternoon with a little trepidation – I felt terrible for breaking the shears I’d been entrusted with – to make matters worse Jimmy advised he had given me the wrong ones – they were not his but his brother-in-laws!
The 1st March I was set to head back to the house but elected to go to the local market in Popoli with Jimmy & Francesca and also to buy replacement pruning shears! Before heading off however I contacted the engineer and asked if he had considered my options. He advised it would be better to consider a new structure for the property and could I meet him in the afternoon? I reluctantly agreed and spun into a panic! I discussed his assessment with my friends and we made a few other enquiries – it appeared the engineer had more than enough work to keep him busy and a builder who had some familiarity with my property advised he was surprised of the recommendation to pull it down and start again. I sent off an email to another Project Manager/Engineer and as yet have heard nothing from this one. We headed off to Popoli and had a quick look around the market, then headed into the tourist office where I picked up an English publication on Abruzzo and a few other brochures on the region. Francesca entered into the conversation with the Tourism advisor that I was seeking an Engineer to restore my house – a few phone calls were made and we left with a couple of names and phone numbers who were recommended to contact.
The day disappeared relatively quickly thereafter! We headed to a few stores to find the pruning shears I needed to replace and I decided to buy a set for the house – at €12.99 I felt I could splash out – I would need to prune my trees again anyway! Suddenly it was after 1pm and our stomachs were telling us it was time to eat! We elected to dine at a restaurant called Gaetanos & it turned out the steak came highly recommended and I decided to give it a go. Mixed bruschettas (tomato, truffle, artichoke & cauliflower) and antipasti platter to share was very good! Next a very juicy mouthwateringly tender steak with radicchio was a pleasure and naughtily finishing with the Tiramisu! About 20 children aged around 8 years of age drove us mildly insane during the meal as their table was next to ours – but at times proved to be a humourous distraction!
Barely able to move following the meal we took ourselves for a stroll at a nearby reserve with hot springs before heading back to Navelli. I cancelled my afternoon appointment with my engineer as we were running too late to make it and I wanted a second opinion before considering a new build.
Today the 2nd March was spent with another heavy duty labour intensive burst more pruning, tidying, planting and fencing!
Stay tuned for more news of my progress, photos from my days and the 2nd opinion!!
What is it about Abruzzo?
Is it the fact that one third of the land is mass dedicated to National Parks or the amazing wildlife?
- Abruzzo National Park
- Gran Sasso e Monti Della Laga National Park
- Serenti Velino National Park
- Lago di Barrea
- Brown Bear
Is it the kilometers of coastline it shares with the Adriatic Sea or the unique fishing structures along it called Trabocchi?
Is it because you can be hiking in the mountains in the morning and swimming in the sea in the afternoon heat?
Is it the rich colours of red and gold in the Autumn or the delicate whites and pinks of Spring?
Is it the rich history the landscape littered with Castles & Ancient Villages or the Churches & Monasteries?
Is it the traditions and cuisine or the amazing feste and sagre unique to each town or village?
So much to enjoy and take pleasure from in this region of breathtaking beauty and wonderfully friendly and approachable people!
THE DARK SIDE
Unfortunately there is a move at the moment to destroy one of the Natural and Beautiful areas of Abruzzo the habitat and area connected to the AVENTINO RIVER. The local Commune is seeking to utilize this amazing river for the production of hydro-electric power which will be a disaster for locals as well as eco-tourism in the area. To learn more about this join the Facebook Group:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/347471051931105/ Amici Dell’Aventino (Friends of the Aventino)
Abruzzo continues to be one of the worst hit regions of Italy with the recent arrival of Strong Winds, Persistent Snowfalls which may continue for another 10 days or more – looking forward to returning soon when I no longer have to worry about driving in snow or blizzard conditions. Hoping all my friends in Italy are able to stay warm and well fed until this weather passes.