Life in Abruzzo Food & Travel Guide

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

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Events & Sagre

Witches, Polka, Pizza – La Befana Closes Christmas

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

Halloween, All Saints & Remembering the Dead in Abruzzo

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

Farchie Fara Filiorum Petri: a 7m High of Banging Folklore

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!

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

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

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

Barisciano, San Giovanni & Great Nuts of Fire

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

Technicolor Il Giro Termoli-Teramo Stage 10

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

Hope Springs Maternal – Sulmona’s La Madonna che Scappa

It’s difficult not to feel that Sulmona’s Easter re-enactment of ‘La Madonna che Scappa’ symbolises Spring throwing off the dark winter months

Good Friday Chieti Abruzzo – La processione del Venerdì Santo

I felt compelled to visit Chieti’s La processione del Venerdì Santo after a friend said how it’d make the hairs on my neck stand up – a new Fri night experience

Counting Gappy Smiles at Carnevale d’Abruzzo

Francavilla al Mare’s Carnevale d’Abruzzo had but 5 tractor-pulled floats but for sheer numbers of gappy smiles it shone like there is no tomorrow

Tongue-Tired Huskies & 6km Sled Dog Races Come to L’Aquila

Dog-sled is not something I’d imagine I’d be a spectator to, but then Abruzzo throws up all sorts of unexpected surprises as ‘alternative’ days out

Firestarter Tossicia Firestarter

The Wicker Man & Montezuma’s sacrificial Aztec fires popped into mind at first glance of Tossicia’s vast log pyramid ready to be lit in praise of San Antonio

Everyone’s An a Tony – The Story of St Anthony Abbot

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

Win Tickets to Get Down with the Girls at Abruzzo’s Donne in Jazz

Abruzzo’s perennial flowering as host of a leading Jazz festival grows ever stronger with its 13th annual celebration of female jazz legends this year

Christmas Pleasure, Pain & Portare

For those that wonder how Abruzzo girlies stay so slim, outside there being plenty of hills and mountains to walk up & down, welcome to the skill of portare

A Sanctified House Celebrated in Poggio Umbricchio

Our visit up to Poggio Umbricchio, for their fuoco on the 9 December to celebrate Loreto’s Santa Casa di Loreto, came about from reading On the Spine of Italy

Olive Fatigue Banished by San Vincenzo VR Spicy Olive Oil

It was almost a case of “olived-out” courtesy of the omnipresent olive-based conversations, that is until an olive sagra down in San Vincenzo Valle Roveto!

Polenta Picnic at 1450 masl – Waiting for the Snow Festa

The ‘Waiting for the Snow’ festival up at the Abruzzo ski resort of Prati di Tivo, 1450 masl in the Gran Sasso Mountains, is held by Italy’s 2nd oldest ski club

Chasing the Chestnut at Senarica

Needin’ the nuts? We recommend the chestnut (castagne) festa in Senarica di Crognaleto, Abruzzo on the 3rd or 4th weekend of October depending on harvesting

Yo-Yo Cheese Rolling at Gessopalena

Cheese rolling or, to give its Italian name, Gara di Ruzzola, is not the first thing that comes to mind when one talks about Gessopalena

Cherries & Dressing Up at Raiano

Somebody described cherries as beautiful butterflies, you blink and they’re gone, hence Raiano’s seasonal sagra being utterly unique in Abruzzo’s sagre calendar

My Big Fat Ferragosto

My big fat Ferragosto isn’t probably what I should be calling this most pleasurable of Italian feast days

Scenting the Truffle at Campovalano’s Sagra

Visiting Abruzzo’s Campovalano Tartufo Sagra is a time to indulge in some olfactory summer truffle loving

The Longest Giro Ride -The Lucera-L’Aquila Tappa

Abruzzesi bicyclists, Giro lovers and admirers of spandex-clad men were out in force to cheer the competitors of Il Giro 2010

Getting Slippy at the Cocullo Snake Festival

Cocullo’s snake festival must win awards for being not just one of Italy’s strangest festivals, but also for being the most multi-cultural

La Befana – One Cool Crone

Thanks to global warming La Befana is going to have to navigate through some strange old weather as she visits the children in Abruzzo to celebrate Epiphany

The Living Nativity of Cerqueto

Cerqueto provided us with an outstanding opportunity to briefly access the true festive spirit, thanks to its awe-inspiring “living nativity”

In love with Tripe – The Villa Maggiore Trippa Fest

Villa Maggiore’s Tripe Festival entails 3 days of eating tripe whilst villagers get jiggy to traditional music that seems to have been mixed by Berlusconi

Abruzzo Festival with Medieval Sausages & Beans!

To celebrate the historic event of Lucrezia Borgia’s Abruzzo elopment to Castiglione della Valle (aka Castrum Leonis Vallis) an annual August festival is held

An Abruzzo Christmas in Bascianella

For those that do not go to church at home but are planning an Abruzzo Christmas, do try and go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve (Vigilia di Natale) in Italy

Groundhog Christmas Eve Warning

Christmas Eve Menus in Abruzzo do uphold the religious aspect of Christmas with the focus on fish & more fish! Italian culture upholds ‘fare bella figura’