Sam is a very lucky midlife mama to A who is 6 and she works as a self-employed freelance travel and food web content manager and copywriter. She is currently writing the book 'Abruzzo: Folk and Food.
She is the co-founder of the social enterprises: The Abruzzo Blogger Community and Let's Blog Abruzzo.
The characteristics historically used to define the Abruzzesi are ‘forte e gentile’ (strong & kind), a description first penned by the C19th Italian journalist Primo Levi. But this defining blend
Put simply, truffle hunting in Abruzzo is an enchanting adventure that has you gently treading across a drop dead gorgeous central Italian landscape, bedazzled by the seeing power of a doggie’s nose and eating like a king at the end of it!
We called him Pop-Pop, not the traditional Nonno. His kind nature endeared him to the Main Line ladies and staff in an era when Italians were looked down upon as second-class citizens.
Who doesn’t adore a special holiday offer, even more so when it is an Abruzzo holiday deal! I’ll keep adding to the offers here as they pop up over the year, check back regularly
Listen to a TV or Radio show with an Italian in it and you’d almost be surprised if he wasn’t called Tony, but do you know why or about Saint Anthony Abbot
An inspiring list of the top 15 books about Abruzzo compiled with the help of 3 Abruzzophile book-loving friends; these titles encompass art, food & drink, travel, history, fiction
Such is the strong tradition of arts & crafts in Abruzzo it hosted 1/3 of Etsy’s Xmas fairs… we dip in to find some #MadeInAbruzzo Christmas Ideas
It’s always lovely to receive a little press, esp. when it’s a whole article on LifeinAbruzzo in the Christmas special of the magazine Abruzzo Economia
Christmas markets in Abruzzo (Mercatini di Natale) are beautiful, short and sweet experiences that celebrate the Immaculate Conception which is a national holiday in Italy
Lily Lapenna MBE, founder of the youth social enterprise MyBnk recounts her Nonni (grandparents) and explores just what is ‘forte e gentile’
Ignore the Alps & head south to Aremogna, the preferred ski-destination for Romans & Neapolitans, where a budget family ski holiday doesn’t mean slumming it
Why eat pie when you can indulge and have these delectable pumpkin, rosemary & raisin fritters rolled in crunchy cinnamon sugar
Bistrot 900 is the chance to meander Abruzzo, Italy and the world of modern cuisine where delectable ingredients are colourfully served that burst with surprising flavours
An Abruzzese light and tasty must-try dish that rivals the region’s beloved arrosticini for fame are Pizzelle, Cancellate, Neole or Ferratelle depending on which of the provinces you are in
The landscape photographer Michael Kenna tells us about the region he discovered whilst photographing his book ‘Abruzzo’
On the rare occasions of a heatwave in Abruzzo, who best manages to capture the feeling of inescapable heat when the temperatures nudge 40 C in the shade
Why wine lovers & Italophiles should jump at the chance for a break at the Abruzzo agriturismo and home of Emidio Pepe, one of Italy’s foremost purveyors of organic wine
Your chance to win tickets to see Michael Kenna’s ‘Abruzzo’ in Loreto Aprutino
The end of May sees 2 fantastic events for those wanting to explore deeper into the incredible wines that Abruzzo is now famous for across the globe.
A moist and light ricotta and chocolate lattice tart all the way from Manoppelo Abruzzo, home to Veronica’s Veil and Casale Centurione Country House
Tenacious & hardy can be used to describe the ladies from Prezza but also to their legendary artichokes that grow just 1 side on the balcony of Abruzzo
Alongside noted Italian journalists & Japanese bloggers it was humbling to receive a ‘Words of Wine’ award as European Blogger for promoting Abruzzo wines
On a white wine mission in Teramo’s foothills which are better known for their Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, where do you find a complex Trebbiano d’Abruzzo?
Bear spotting provides one of the most entrancing ways to explore Italy’s landscape, here are 3 easy ways to see them amble in Abruzzo
If you’re looking for an affordable light & airy Abruzzo villa for your family to stay at whilst you hit the beach and explore Abruzzo’s famous mountain towns try Villa Adriatica
The Abruzzesi adore their baked fish,(Pesce al Cartoccio), and it varies in each of the 3 provinces that nudge its Adriatic coast
Stuck with dreary tomatoes instead of a jar of sun-drenched pera d’Abruzzo tomatoes, here’s Annamaria’s aromatic pasta sauce recipe to give them life
An Italian cooking holiday that creates a narrative of Abruzzo that embraces mountains and sea, and provides some authentic cooking experiences to take home from the 4 provinces
B&B Scacciapensieri is a luxury eco Abruzzo B&B in Teramo’s foothills whose stunning rooms don’t fail to impress alongside incredible organic breakfasts and some of the most magical panoramas of the northern ridge of the of the Gran Sasso mountains
Scrabbling about for sweeties thrown by a feisty witch, walking around the village behind a big bass drum, dancing to polka, eating sausage pizza accompanied by soft fruity wines is just part of the experience of celebrating La Befana in our village in Abruzzo
Mimina’s tasty Christmas pastries ceci ripeni are a little different to those we eat up in the province of Teramo and called caggionetti. They team chickpeas, almonds and dark chocolate and coat them in the town of Prezza’s famous mosto cotto, encasing them in a soft egg based fried pastry
Danilo Cortellini’s cookbook 4 Grosvenor Square offers a superb gastro-trail through culinary heritage and deliciously clever dishes featuring beautiful ingredients that will appeal to all Abruzzese & Italian food lovers
Taking elements from both Abruzzo & Le Marche this dish is a fried heaven of lamb, battered vegetables, sweet custard fritters and olive all’Ascolana; these amazing olives are stuffed with meat, breaded and deep fried to crispy perfection
Help Save Otto and the Aventino River in exchange for dinner, rafting and holiday in Abruzzo Italy
Great cheese especially Abruzzo pecorino has a richness that allows for all manner of bitter, sweet and fruity pairings which bolster it from a simple piece of superb cheese to something magical that lingers
Tears that prick your eyes for the victims of an un-just earthquake are always harder when you’ve visited their hometown or village. What can you do to help
The secret treats that an Abruzzese shepherd keeps in his bag
A history lesson in slow food, abbey building & mountain spiritual hots spots courtesy of the Via Benedicti
The tale of a small ancient Egyptian grain: hard & glassy like amber, nicknamed the ‘Pharaoh’s Wheat’ that flourished in Abruzzo post migration and genocide
Castelli’s pentacromia sounds more a term that should be in The Exorcist script than Italy’s most important ceramic town describing their hot baked palette
Easter in Abruzzo in a simple snapshot: exploring its ceremonies and processions over the revered holy weekend and recipes eaten locally to welcome spring and take on the first picnic
“Chi si fa pecorella, i lupi la mangiano”. Make yourself a sheep and the wolves will eat you. People have been sheltering and living ‘at the top’ in
Bocconotti Montoriesi are seductive rustic pastries that celebrate Abruzzo’s most acclaimed harvests around the former Roman small town of Montorio Val Vomano in Teramo.
Abruzzo’s aromatic liqueurs, namely its digestifs or amari, enjoy a fabled reputation for their complex, aged flavours…
One Italian Christmas market that stands out as more festival than its traditional market rivals is that hosted by Candelara, a stunning fortified town in northern Le Marche
The post Candelara’s Light & Christmas Cheer – Italy’s Unusual Christmas Market appeared first on Travel, food and folklore blogging adventures of a MidLifeMum.
Bostrengo is a winter rice cake from Le Marche that is scrumptious served as a sweet pick-me-up when you wake to a cold damp squib of a day
The post Bostrengo – No Ordinary Little Rice Cake from Le Marche appeared first on Travel, food and folklore blogging adventures of a MidLifeMum.
Cachi is Italy’s most aesthetically beautiful Autumn fruit. Its soul-stirring shades of spotted pinks, reds & orange leaves counter setting the clocks back
Here in Abruzzo, Italy it’s the 1st & 2nd November that celebrates the magic of Autumn & reflects on the past and present familial bond which keeps Italy going
Yummy pumpkin fritters from Italy’s Aeolian Islands’ green pearl Salina are aromatic and plump with fresh chopped rosemary, raisins and rolled in cinnamon spiced sugar
The post Rosemary & Raisin Pumpkin Fritters – Aeolian Roof Raisers appeared first on Travel, food and folklore blogging adventures of a MidLifeMum.
Sicily’s tale of Nicola di Messina nicknamed Colapesce boasts at least 18 officially recognised re-versions or reboots featuring the brave marine boy who rescued the island
The post Colapesce’s Tale of Love & Heroism appeared first on Travel, food and folklore blogging adventures of a MidLifeMum.
A delicious roasted aubergine cake with a lick of fresh tomato sauce and buffalo mozzarella that is served as antipasti in Piglio
For a Tuscan extended family holiday that doesn’t end in tears, try the Contessa’s airy apartments in the romantic medieval hamlet, Borgo Lucignanello Bandini
How to work and make the most from Italy’s extraordinary cheeses courtesy of a Tuscan cheese tasting at Montisi’s Vitis Vinifera, a hop across from Chiantishire
Who needs a bouquet of flowers when a sprig from an elderly neighbour, a single daisy or RaRa flower from your toddler can say something more
Fara Filiorum Petri’s combustible victory re-enactment is breathtaking and loud, imagine 15 x 7 m high reed farchie interlaced with bangers being lit!
Sweetness reigns when you do the walk, your morning lap, giro, passeggiata around the village as a toddler in a sleepy rural village in Abruzzo Italy
How do you lasso the moon? A great vocab builder from one of the mural facades on the houses in Azzinano in Abruzzo in a collection devoted to games of the past
Who doesn’t love traditional great tasting pasta that cradles its sauce instead of it splatting onto the plate? Apparently the key is semolina!
Taking up the cookery challenge from Nonna next-door of my favourite summer dish, deep fried stuffed zucchini flowers
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
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
Nocino is an Italian liqueur made with green walnuts whose dark magical blend uncovers just how emersed Christian traditions are in their folklore past
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 are delicious & deny Italian purists the ability to disdainfully say “ma no no no we don’t eat fish and cheese together”
Bravo Bellante’s Dino Di Silvestre for his hand carved and whittled take on rural life
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
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
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
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
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
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
Saffron batter – a decadent, glorious way to celebrate Epiphany or something a little flashy to take your mind off your bank balance
Mostaccioli… delicious Italian Christmas cookies that can use up half drunk bottles of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo left over from the night before
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!
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
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
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
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
Not many Abruzzo sweets can boast being the favourite of Ignazio Silone, the region’s most famous author acclaimed for his Abruzzo Trilogy.
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
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 and Bewildered hmm that’s the finale to the tomato crop this year, as sung in my head by our neighbours anyway.
Abruzzo’s most famous rock face hermitage, dedicated to San Bartolomeo in Legio and just outside the town of Roccamorice, is a wonder!
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
How do you describe sfogliatelle beyond perhaps as one of Abruzzo’s and Southern Italy’s favourite indulgences?
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.
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
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 that like James Bond’s martini you shake not stir
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…?
Succulent sweet squid in a thick tomato sauce served on a bed of creamy grilled polenta – juxtaposed textures make for unlikely but perfect bedfellows
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
The most stylish food and travel philanthropic experience for 2012 is the Hands on L’Aquila bloggers conference set in Santo Stefano di Sessanio
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.
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, 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
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
Whilst Abruzzo can be infuriating for getting information it can be a joy delving & finding historical documents that dazzle & paint a picture
Abruzzo’s last unharnessed river, the Aventino faces being reduced to a trickle through new hydo-electric plans
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
More than just a scrumptious Abruzzo ‘pie’, Timballo Teramana is a cook’s panoramic photograph of the fertile Teramo landscape
A delicious squishy salami by the name of Ventricina Teramana lightly spread onto smoky bruschetta is perfect for stamping on Jack Frost’s party plans
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
Viewing Gessopalena’s shattered homes & memorial looking out at the fresh faced motherly Majella, you simultaneously view horror whilst seeing the beauty of freedom
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 is an autobiography & travel book deliciously intertwined which crosses Australia and Italy’s Abruzzo namely to Fossa in L’Aquila
Autumn in Abruzzo begins in earnest in mid-October, down on its wine-growing hills, valleys and Adriatic beaches it’s still a temperate 24C mid-October
Navelli in L’Aquila is famous for two autumn crops, saffron & chickpeas, combined with rainbow chard they make the perfect one-pot dish
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
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
Uncovering ‘A Few of My Favourite Abruzzo Things’ by Sergio Pomante who lives just outside Teramo at La Grande Quercia B&B
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!
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 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
It exceeded our expectations & comments of well thumbed already abound … enter our Walking in Abruzzo guidebook competition to win a copy
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
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!
An Italian cookery course specialising in piquant & healthy Abruzzo cooking with tours of local producers & Chef-led cookery sessions in an Abruzzo C18th palazzo
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
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
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’
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
Daily sightings of glorious swallowtail butterflies may mean their caterpillars beat our neighbours exemplary debugging of their ortos in the heatwave
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’…
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
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
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
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
Lago Campotosto could be the perfect place to spread your picnic blanket, shade, incredible scenery & its own unique ‘belle of the picnic blanket’ salami
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
Ancient Rome celebrated the Fors Fortuna on the 24th June that later morphed into John the Baptist’s birthday and a night of fire and nuts in Barisciano
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
There is nothing quite like being out in Abruzzo in the summer and being served beans with the addition of some curly bitter greens
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!
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
Trattoria Luciana is probably the best fish restaurant to visit if you’re enjoying Roseto degli Abruzzi’s blue flag beach
Ekk’s new restaurant in the former Città Sant’Angelo co-operative cantina could soon be making the term Ekko-Gourmet more prolific regionally
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 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
Getting lost Majella cloudwatching from Roccascalegna; those puffy, fluffy, wispy racy bringers of rain held high in the sky with temperatures of 32 C
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
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
What do I love most about Italy’s Giro? The vivid colours that sweep past & almost catch you off balance as you swivel to stay with the leaders but[t] end
The marbled pattern of snowpacks from the 2150 masl at the Campo Imperatore Observatory on May’s Middle Sunday that sits just behind the Corno Grande peak
An Aladdin’s Cave of multicoloured delights & weekly changing cornucopia of beans & dried things to stumble into which show local can compete with the big boys
The Blue Flag Programme published its list of 14 Abruzzo beaches that received its 2011 recommended Blue Flag Status, here’s a map where they all are
Cerqueto reveals its unexpectedly abundant technicolour orchid trail, with sublime views of Abruzzo’s “Sleeping Giant” the Corno Piccolo
It’s a short display, some 14 days, but the long & slender Locust Trees lining roads under Abruzzo’s Corno Grande create the ultimate blossom-lined road trip
Be prepared to carry a surplus of cash whilst in Abruzzo there does seem to be an issue at the moment with the Link network which causes ATMs to go down
Villa Valsi, beautiful self-catering holiday apartments set in a converted L’Aquila villa on the road that winds around the medieval hilltop town of Santo Stefano di Sessanio