You’ve been to Florence. You’ve been to Rome. You’ve been to Venice, and Milan too. Now what? How about Abruzzo to satisfy your Italian appetite?
But where or what is Abruzzo? Answer – Abruzzo is one of Italy’s least know regions; it’s not even mentioned in some of the guidebooks. It’s only a couple of hours northeast of Rome, reachable by the auto-strada, bus or train.
Because my wife’s stepfather’s family lives there and because Abruzzo is one of Italy’s most diverse, beautiful and interesting parts, we decided to concentrate our visit there early this past summer. It was to be the best part of the best trip we ever made to Italy.
We stayed in Silvi Alta, a medieval village overlooking the Adriatic Coast about 30 minutes northwest of Pescara, Abruzzo’s principle seaport. The views of the coast with its tiled roofs and rolling hills were stunning and the beaches were only 3 miles down the hill.
On our first evening in Silvi Alta, I found a wonderful outdoor restaurant, Taverna Ferretti, overlooking the Adriatic Coast, a mere 100-yard stroll from our rental apartment. There were no menus, nothing written on a chalkboard, only an amazingly knowledgeable server named Alex who was there to guide the diners through several memorable meals. The cold and hot seafood “antipasti”(appetizers) were fantastic.
In the evening a couple of days later when we had just emerged from the passageway to the main piazza of Silvi Alta when I heard a voice call Mike, Mike. My first thought was that no one knows me here, it must be another Mike. I was wrong it was Marta and Toni, our grand niece and nephew by way of my wife’s stepfather. Toni and Marta visited us in Arizona several years ago. They knew we were staying in Silvi Alta, but not where. This was the beginning of a couple of weeks of intense feasting, touring and socializing.
Marta and Toni gave us personalized tours of the area. We saw a World War II Canadian cemetery (Moro River War Cemetery) and learned of our allies’ role in taking the Italian Peninsula back from the Germans. We also took a ride up to the Majella National Park with its forests and ski runs. The Majella is one of tallest peaks south of the Alps complete with wolves, otters and chamois.
In almost three weeks with family and friends, we barely scratched the surface of Abruzzo. I’m sure we’ll be back.