Have you ever been to Abruzzo? My memories of this incredible region are very much food related. This is the place where I had the best tomato bruschetta ever: I still remember going to this small village on a lunch break from work in a very down to earth trattoria. The bruschetta was made with rustic homemade bread and was dripping with gorgeous olive oil (produced locally) and the sun ripen tomatoes were bursting with flavour… basically to die for!
Abruzzo, which capital city is l’Aquila, is known for being the greenest of the Italian regions: with its wild and steep mountains, green valleys, stunning landscapes, monasteries and castles, it looks just like a nativity scene. So pretty! The mountains have very good facilities for winter sports, especially for skiing.
There are natural reserves like the national park of “Gran Sasso” which shows the typical features of the Dolomites, with high peaks, steep slopes and several high-altitude routes.
These parks have an interesting wildlife: you can find many different species like the golden eagle, the Apennine wolf, the peregrine falcons and eagle owls and over 2000 species of plants. There is a strong human presence but it is perfectly integrated with nature with many Middle Age villages which have preserved their original appearance.
Part of Abruzzo is on the Adriatic coast which is characterized by long, golden sandy beaches in the north and pebbly beaches in the south.
There is very interesting food in the region. Very well known are the Maccheroni alla chitarra which is an egg pasta made with a chitarra, a rectangular beech-wood frame, over which fine metal strings, like those on a guitar, are stretched. The pasta dough is laid over the strings and pushed through with a rolling pin which will cut the dough into fine, long strands.
The Scapece dish is fried fish marinated in vinegar which is very popular especially around the coast. Another dish worth trying is the Scrippelle or deep fried crepes made from a light and airy dough, often with riced potatoes.
There are also many interesting types of spicy sausages and very good cheese, like pecorino; this region has really lots to offer!
When I visited it I loved the wines too. If you have not tried them yet I would definitely recommend the Montepulciano d’Abruzzzo and the Trebbiano d’Abruzzo.
These wonderful photos of the green hills of Abruzzo have kindly been supplied by Mr. Stephen P. Lewis who is a talented photographer.