Life in Abruzzo Food & Travel Guide

All about Abruzzo food & travel in a cherry-picked fashion

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers with Fried Cheese, Capers and Mint

Taking up the cookery challenge from Nonna next-door of my favourite summer dish, deep fried stuffed zucchini flowers

Act Now to Save Abruzzo’s Bears

Only 1.3k people of Abruzzo’s 1.3 million population have endorsed its local bear charity: help build awareness where locals are failing Abruzzo’s bears

Homage to Estella Canziani’s Abruzzi & Free Book Giveaway

Un Viaggio nel tempo Abruzzo, an engaging photographic companion to Estella Canziani’s elusive 1st edition Through the Apennines and the lands of the Abruzzi

Magical Nocino – Italian Green Walnut Liqueur

Ciao ciao Nocino, the Italian green walnut liqueur whose dark magical blend runs deep into folklore and Christian rites & traditions

One Fab Lady Cook at Castel di Ieri’s Bar Ristorante da Lisa

Bar Ristorante da Lisa sits at the bottom of the fabulously named medieval town Castel di Ieri that overlooks sweeping meadows and vistas of Monte Sirente

Maria’s Stuffed Mussels

Maria’s Stuffed Mussels are delicious & deny Italian purists the ability to disdainfully say “ma no no no we don’t eat fish and cheese together”

A Humorous Abruzzo Life in Miniature

Bravo Bellante’s Dino Di Silvestre for his hand carved and whittled take on rural life

1 Stoic Ox, Ribbons & Legend Mash-up @ Festa di San Zopito

Festa di San Zopito got me interested in the stories behind the monumental white ox with his carefully trimmed & polished hooves, multi-coloured ribbons & bells

The Place to Eat Ham in Abruzzo – Ristorante Belvedere

We’ve eaten a lot of ham over the last decade in Abruzzo, incl a Michelin-starred restaurant but none beat Nonna’s at Ristorante Belvedere, Loreto Aprutino

4 O’Clock Shadow with Corno Grande Styling

Abruzzo’s highest mountain may be famous for the dark matter but at 4.00 pm every day in early May there is a huge particle rush that drives a gigantic daily storm

More than Lamborghini Tractors – Teramo Agriculture Fair

Outside petting corners and bunnies destined for the pot, Teramo Agricultural Fair was a foodie heaven, with 3/5 of the 200 exhibitors, farmers selling produce

Ristorante zi Nicola & The Man that Doesn’t Like Fish

A fish restaurant run by a man that doesn’t like fish in Abruzzo? An excellent insight into how loyalty to family still holds strong in Italy

Pork Chops & Blackbirds: Abruzzo’s Winter Weather Tales

If you had the fortune to be born in Abruzzo and be raised by your grandmother, you probably already know all the winter tales

Full Circle in Salle

When I was a young girl, I loved visiting Salle, it was probably the only place on Earth where I could walk down the street without my mom’s firm grip on my hand

Careful Bears on the Road, Road Safety for Abruzzo’s Bears

Abruzzo’s bears new fighting chance with the Careful Bears on the Road Campaign by their new champion Salviamo l’Orso (Save the Bears) assocation

A Few of my Favourite Abruzzo Things – Alessia Odoardi

Foodie and travel blogger Alessia Odoardi from Castelnuovo Vomano in the Teramo Province tells us a few of her favourite Abruzzo things

Saffron & Baccalà Fritters with Pepper Ricotta

Saffron batter – a decadent, glorious way to celebrate Epiphany or something a little flashy to take your mind off your bank balance

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Mostaccioli Cookies

Mostaccioli… delicious Italian Christmas cookies that can use up half drunk bottles of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo left over from the night before

Armchair Advocacy for L’Aquila – The Instagram Walk

Abruzzo’s Instagram community organised a walk in L’Aquila on 15 December capturing the city’s stagnancy or restoration since the 2009 earthquake, take your pick!

Free Kids Ski-Pass for Roccaraso’s Uncrowded Slopes

Kids ski-free? Time to try Roccaraso’s ski slopes famously uncrowded even at weekends when they get a little bit more traffic with Romans & Neapolitans

Terra Vergine London – the Best Arrosticini I’ve Eaten?

An Abruzzo restaurant in London, what a novelty! And what a place to spend a lunchtime or evening if you’re having withdrawal symptoms from arrosticini & chitarra

A Few of My Favourite Abruzzo Things – Mike Durham

Somewhere beautiful & tranquil to recover from illness initially bought journalist Mike Durham to Abruzzo, now it’s olive trees, wines, walking & new friends

Zucchini Polenta Cakes

If cooking la pizza di mais without a fireplace and it’s modern day stove variant doesn’t have the same resonance you could try Zucchini Polenta Cakes

Collelongo & the Werewolves that Washed in its Fountain

My grandfather, Luigi Carmine Guanciale left Collelongo the province of L’Aquila Italy when he was 17, and arrived in the US on March 13, 1905 my birthday. My grandfather’s stories were amazing, and we were so lucky to have him and my grandmother living with us. We had a two-family house and they lived upstairs. Our favourite were probably the werewolf stories. He said he’d seen them many times. Once he and his brothers were walking home from a party through the woods, and they saw two werewolves ahead of them. They hid behind trees so they could spy on the werewolves, who were wearing men’s clothing and talking to each other. The werewolves had to go to the village fountain too to wash their faces before going out for the night! Another story was how to keep the witches away, to do this you needed to hang a rabbit pelt on your front door. If a witch came by one night, she had to

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Fuori dai sentieri battuti, Off the Beaten Track in Abruzzo

Do the names Macdonell, Atkinson and Canziani mean anything? These foreign pioneers are familiar and revered for those that crave material about their beloved Abruzzo

The Olive Leaf Tea that Keeps Giving

As a self-confessed olive fiend, I was delighted to hear that my favourite gnarled tree was also now gifting us Organic Olive Leaf Tea courtesy of Abruzzo groves

Guardiagrele Torrone – A Storyteller’s Sweetmeat

Not many Abruzzo sweets can boast being the favourite of Ignazio Silone, the region’s most famous author acclaimed for his Abruzzo Trilogy.

Real Men Blowdry – An Arrosticini Classic

Skewer me down or should that be spiedini, my summer was spent in finding the perfect arrosticini from Abruzzo to London juicy succulent tender mouthfuls of grilled castrato

Sod the Geraniums Colour Me Peperoncini & Dulce

No matter how much I appreciate the blast of soft colour that geraniums force into a harsh Abruzzo summer white light, I love even more the swags of wizened peperoncini

Dry Shrivelled & Bewildered

Dry, Shrivelled and Bewildered hmm that’s the finale to the tomato crop this year, as sung in my head by our neighbours anyway.

Hermitage of San Bartolomeo – On the Beatified Track to Sanity

Abruzzo’s most famous rock face hermitage, dedicated to San Bartolomeo in Legio and just outside the town of Roccamorice, is a wonder!

Blackberry & Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Granita

Blackberries, arhhh such an easy catapult back to childhood, those fat juicy blackberries being such easy low-level pickings for any age at any time

Sfogliatelle – The Pastry Beyond Time

How do you describe sfogliatelle beyond perhaps as one of Abruzzo’s and Southern Italy’s favourite indulgences?

PAESI, PASTORI e VIANDANTI – Uffizi Art Exhibition SS di Sessanio

This second exhibition of paintings and ancient sculpture from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to be held in Santo Stefano di Sessanio is both a delight and enlightening.

10% off Let’s Blog Abruzzo

Oh there are so many reasons to attend Hands on L’Aquila, the food and travel blogging workshop at the old Medici town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio

A few of My Favourite Abruzzo Things – Janet Bianchini

The best of Abruzzo from Janet who lives in Civitaquana with her husband & furkids consisting of 6 chickens, 5 cats, 3 dogs and 1 resident kestrel, called Kevin

Aglio Styling by Maestro Luigi

Hung out to dry, one of those verbs and idioms that means so much more to farmers and foodies and the drying season has begun in earnest in Abruzzo

Brodetto Vastese – The Winding Barter Fish Soup

Brodetto Vastese the winding barter fish soup that like James Bond’s martini you shake not stir

Abruzzo from Afar

Perhaps more than any other region we have studied so far, Abruzzo for me is all about the images

If you’re Fond of Sand Dunes & Salty Air,
Quaint Little Vineyards that Really Care

don’t you love it when visiting a place evokes a half-forgotten tune from memory’s depths to perfectly suit the ambiance of where you’re at…?

Sweet Bedfellows Squid in Tomato Sauce with Polenta

Succulent sweet squid in a thick tomato sauce served on a bed of creamy grilled polenta – juxtaposed textures make for unlikely but perfect bedfellows

Fun with Fish: an Italian Fish Cookery Course Aboard a Trabocco

Could a fish cookery course aboard a trabocco be Abruzzo’s most delicious alfresco experience? It’s certainly one of Italy’s most unique cooking courses

Hands on L’Aquila Blogger Conference

The most stylish food and travel philanthropic experience for 2012 is the Hands on L’Aquila bloggers conference set in Santo Stefano di Sessanio

From the Juggernaut Comes Let’s Blog Abruzzo

Hand-tied is a good way to describe the after effects of an earthquake. Although you feel incredibly lucky that your house is still standing, you can never be too far removed from someone who physically suffered.

RIP Domenico: Friend, Good Neighbour and the Best Tomato Grower!

Terribly sad news that our Bascianella neighbour Domenico passed away yesterday, regular readers of this blog will know him through our posts and that the blog is dedicated to him and his wife…

Plutonic Love – Italia’s Mint Pancakes

If you’re looking for an alternative to the typical Shrove, Fat, Martedi Grasso waist extenders you could try Italia’s sublime mint pancakes

Finding Valentino by Angela Di Sciascio

Finding Valentino, four seasons in my father’s Italy by Angela Di Sciascio is the perfect read for those planning to take a trip & rediscover their Abruzzo roots

Orange & Pistachio Lady Marmalade

When facing down a caustic winter wind and shovelfuls of snow it’s time to make marmalade with its warming bitter sweet aroma that permeates each room in the house

Abruzzo and a Transumanza Spot the Difference 1817, 1823, 2012

Whilst Abruzzo can be infuriating for getting information it can be a joy delving & finding historical documents that dazzle & paint a picture

Save the Aventino River

Abruzzo’s last unharnessed river, the Aventino faces being reduced to a trickle through new hydo-electric plans

Icy Chill on Italian Residents – Two new Italian Taxes are Born

Two new Italian taxes that will be like an icy wind down the back of anyone with Italian Residency that owns a property or has a nest egg in their native lands

Timballo alla teramana – A Cook’s Landscape

More than just a scrumptious Abruzzo ‘pie’, Timballo Teramana is a cook’s panoramic photograph of the fertile Teramo landscape

A Few of My Favourite Abruzzo Things – Joshua Lawrence

Joshua Lawrence’s ‘Favourite Abruzzo Things’, a US State Dept Economic Specialist & author of Carbonara, who lived in L’Aquila until displaced to Pescara

The Pot Bellied Big One – Ventricina Teramana

A delicious squishy creamy salami by the name of Ventricina Teramana lightly grilled onto smoky bruschetta is perfect for stamping on Jack Frost’s party plans

Italian Austerity – The Monti Impact on Ex-pats & Holidaymakers

Prime Minister Monti ‘s cabinet approved austerity package began the first of its debtates today, how will it affect ex-pats, holidaymakers & Italians?

A Few of My Favourite Abruzzo Things – Jacqui Dixon

A Few of My Favourite Abruzzo Things by Jacqui Dixon co-founder of the new small campsite, ‘Kokopelli Camping’ set in Serramonacesca in the province of Pescara

What to expect from the 2011 Abruzzo Wine Harvest

Missed the fresh fruity notes of San Martino’s vino novello on 11th November? our friends Talamonti provided pictures of their harvest to rekindle summer warmth

The Peace of Gessopalena on Armistice Day

Viewing Gessopalena’s shattered homes & memorial looking out at the fresh faced motherly Majella, you simultaneously view horror whilst seeing the beauty of freedom

Warm Pumpkin & Hazelnut Autumn Panzanella

What would panzanella or its seasonal variants be without gorgeous olive oil, the key that unlocks and lets a dish’s ingredients bask and us to lap them up

Mezza Italiana – Australia & Abruzzo Intertwined

Mezza Italiana is an autobiography & travel book deliciously intertwined which crosses Australia and Italy’s Abruzzo namely to Fossa in L’Aquila

Eating the Arcobaleno – Navelli’s Rainbow Pot

Navelli in L’Aquila is famous for two autumn crops, saffron & chickpeas, combined with rainbow chard they make the perfect one-pot dish

A Few of My Favourite Abruzzo Things – Noel McCarthy

Time to learn ‘A Few of My Favourite Abruzzo Things’ by Noel McCarthy, the Irish author of the blog AboutAbruzzo, whose holiday home is in Loreto Aprutino

Basta the Pasta at Stuzzicheria Momenti di Gusto

No matter how much we all adore pasta sometimes a night out without a noodle in sight can be a welcome change like at Canzano’s Stuzzicheria Momenti di Gusto

A Few of My Favourite Abruzzo Things – Sergio Pomante

Uncovering ‘A Few of My Favourite Abruzzo Things’ by Sergio Pomante who lives just outside Teramo at La Grande Quercia B&B

Abruzzo Blackberry Ratafià – The Foragers’ Liqueur

Brambles appear on every continent this Abruzzo Blackberry Ratafià recipe ensures that where ever in the world you’re based you can toast Italy’s rocky heart!

Ticking Oil Bomb over Bomba

Bomba is still threatened by Forest Oil Corporation’s ticking oil time-bomb wielded by the silent and still undecided Italian National & Abruzzo Regional govts

Fontecchio –Abruzzo’s Living Breathing Medieval Gem

Fontecchio has a scrummy host of adjectives that can be associated with it which is why it’s high in my Top 5 of un-missable medieval Abruzzo towns to visit

Talamonti – Wine & Design Combine Divine in Abruzzo

Set within the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Abruzzo Azienda Vinicola Talamonti provides the visitor with an excellent opportunity to see a small-scale Abruzzo wine producer in operation

Win the Fab Walking in Abruzzo Guidebook!

It exceeded our expectations & comments of well thumbed already abound … enter our Walking in Abruzzo guidebook competition to win a copy

Navelli – Il Palio degli Ass’

Navelli has a new found growing fame as host to an alternative Palio; the colourful Palio degli Asini –yep a unmissable Donkey Race like no other in the world

Where in the World of ‘Abruzzo’…

One of our NY based readers, bought this painting titled ‘Abruzzo’ but no one has yet been able to identify where it is, can you help? Reward on offer!

Reliving Romance 100 Years Later in Santo Stefano di Sessanio

An unexpected & romantic surprise on our Abruzzo holiday was renewing our marriage vows: 100 years after my grandparents first got married here in Santo Stefano

An Abruzzo Cookery Course Exploring a Flavoursome Heritage

An Italian cookery course specialising in piquant & healthy Abruzzo cooking with tours of local producers & Chef-led cookery sessions in an Abruzzo C18th palazzo

Abruzzo Ferragosto Dessert – Ricotta with Marinated Peaches

With Ferragosto’s multi-course feast arrival, it’s time to find an Abruzzo peach of a dessert that’s delicious & will slip down after the previous excess

Abruzzo Motorway Mouse Talk

It’s not often that you can rave about a motorway with a view, but Abruzzo’s autostrada A24 that leads from Teramo to Rome is a special road with enchanting views

Get Stuffing – Cornetto Stuffed Peppers (Peperoni Ripieni)

Stuffing – one of the most universally loved comfort foods with an ability to transform a base ingredient into a show stealer like in ‘Stuffed Peppers’

Piano Roseto Crognaleto – Hot Camp Spot

Camping in Abruzzo can mean pitching on a campsite or finding an area of parkland where the view is wild; Piano Roseto Crognaleto is one such pitch with a view

Swallowtails Amazing

Daily sightings of glorious swallowtail butterflies may mean their caterpillars beat our neighbours exemplary debugging of their ortos in the heatwave

Figs Glorious Figs – Chieti Fig Orange & Fennel Seed Tart

A traditional Chieti fresh fig tart that’s perfect for summer and a great way to entice that very rare breed of ‘not fond of figs’…

Roasted Ombrina at La Sirenella Fossacesia Marina

Although there is plenty of coastline in Abruzzo, if you want to sit to eat your fish on the sea it’s a little difficult but there is Ristorante La Sirenella

Turn to the Sun

Can you love an Italian flower name for its meaning more than its English counterpart? Sunflower in Italian becomes ‘Girasole’ its meaning twist or turn

Meltdown – An Ice-Cream Meditation Moment

When the going gets sticky and the temperature nudges 40°C you know it’s time to hit the ice-cream parlour, especially one like Copa De Dora where it’s home-made

Civita D’Antino’s Scandinavian Art Connection

Picturesque Civita D’Antino – commanding views of the Simbruini & Ernici mountains, cool temperatures, great wine & once home to a Scandinavian painting school

Talli d’aglio – Most Delicate Waste Not Want Not Seasoning

Fresh talli d’aglio resemble a long skinny spring onion with woody multi-kneed joints no wonder I didn’t recognise them from the jars of preserved ‘Zolla’ I’d had

Picnic Alert Time at Lago Campotosto

Lago Campotosto could be the perfect place to spread your picnic blanket, shade, incredible scenery & its own unique ‘belle of the picnic blanket’ salami

The Pull of Wild Marjoram

Mmmmm sweet marjoram, I grow it on my terrace and the old ladies in the their orto but its pull is outdone by that of the scrubby wild patch of wild marjoram

Barisciano, San Giovanni & Great Nuts of Fire

June 24 is when Ancient Rome celebrated the solstice & St John the Baptist’s birthday, it’s also the night for nuts, in more ways than one… esp in Barisciano

Restaurant Plistia –Where to Splash out on a Meal in Abruzzo

Everyone deserves fine dining and a bit of a splash out sometimes, Pescasseroli’s Plistia provides that & a perfect place to eat after visiting Abruzzo’s bears

St.Tommaso & the Morizio’s Inspirational Beans & Bitter Greens

There is nothing quite like being out in Abruzzo in the summer and being served beans with the addition of some curly bitter greens

Ratify Summer with Cherry & Ricotta Ice-Cream

There’s nothing in the world like sweet juicy cherries & their loud welcome to the start of the summer – but cherry ice-cream is the best way to ratify summer!

SOB – Abruzzo’s Stark Bear Necessity

The Marsican bears endemic to Italy’s Abruzzo region are in dire need of champions to persuade their human neighbours on the value of altruistic bare necessity living

Guide Books to Abruzzo: Bradt or A-Tour

Guidebooks to Abruzzo are notorious in their absence, especially in English, Abruzzo instead making at best a slim appearance in general guides to Italy

Fine Fish at Trattoria Luciana – Roseto degli Abruzzi

Trattoria Luciana is probably the best fish restaurant to visit if you’re enjoying Roseto degli Abruzzi’s blue flag beach

Ekk – Abruzzo’s Eco Gourmet Experience in Città Sant’Angelo

Ekk’s new restaurant in the former Città Sant’Angelo co-operative cantina could soon be making the term Ekko-Gourmet more prolific regionally

Walking Abruzzo – New Strides in Your 60s

As frustrating as the day was, that 1st little hike was enough to wet our appetite for further exploration of Abruzzo on foot & arrange a hiking holiday

The Bells Toll & Firefly Bokeh

Our neighbour’s Nonna died today aged 92. An alternative condolence is tonight’s dancing fireflies whose colourful light always bring an eternal smile. RIP

Roccascalegna – Abruzzo’s Castle in the Sky

Roccascalegna from a distance looks like a giant witch’s cloak rising up from the lush surrounding floor trying to break free of the Majella fencing it in

Liquorice: All Sorts in Abruzzo

Abruzzo liquorice may not have as intriguingly edible a mascot as Bassetts’ Bertie, but it has a pedigree of greater antiquity perhaps than even Britain’s

Majella Cloudwatching

Getting lost Majella cloudwatching from Roccascalegna; those puffy, fluffy, wispy racy bringers of rain held high in the sky with temperatures of 32 C

Shepherd’s Steak – Abruzzo’s Pastoral Cheese on Toast ko

A traditional Abruzzo cheese recipe that combines 2 of my favourite ingredients: cheese & mint as well as being a canny roadmap to its socio-economic history

Orlandi Contucci Ponno’s Meditation on Abruzzo Wines

With a description of Rioja-esque Montepulciano d’Abruzzo & friends-of-friends buying 300+ bottles to privately ship back to the UK it was time for tasting

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