Is Abruzzo still a place for holidays after the earthquake is a question on the lips of many people booking a holiday to Italy in 2009? We’d like to share a letter we received from an Israeli couple who we recently guided where to stay for their holiday in Abruzzo. For all those thinking twice, have a little read…
“Well, what can I (we say)….? We totally fell in love with Abruzzo. I had a ‘hunch’ that this would be special, but I had no idea how much so… Sammy, the time we spent in Abruzzo (and in the Gargano Promontorio – HIGHLY recommended for nature lovers) was probably the best time of my life abroad. I am not exaggerating… We came back deeply touched by these two wonderful areas. Ever since (well, for the past few days…) I feel like an ambassador to Abruzzo.
It is such a… genuine place… so true… so deep… for someone who loves Nature (capital N), the mountains, flowers, snow, green, simplicity, deliciousness, human warmth and generosity, people’s smiles, the smell of the earth, the sight of the dawn in the morning, serenity, tradition, quiet, water, wonderful food….. LIFE …. this is the place. Here we were, in this hidden gem, this unspoilt terrain, this a-commercial soil… alone/almost alone almost everywhere.
We were amazed by the beauty of nature and people… really taken and deeply affected by the people we met… by the old man we saw us sitting on some stairs in almost-deserted Castelli who invited us to have coffee with him. We spent a good 1.5 hours chatting with him in our broken Italian… tasting his self-made honey… admiring the ceramic works of his daughter, the paintings of his son and the cozy feeling of his home… we could only sympathise to hear about him sleeping in his car for the past 3-4 weeks… it is only one example of these human encounters that just linger… that just stay with you for years and years… or that 3-generation “Pizzeria Roma” in Torano Nuovo, in which I ate ‘torta della casa” which was a symphony of tastes and simplicity, with the whole family trying to give me the recipe with warm smiles… yet another ‘vignette’ or Emidio Pepe, who can probably retire in the Caribbean, yet chooses to work his land every morning, busy around a single olive tree, under the Teramo blue ski, with the majestic Gran Sasso massif behind his shoulders… we could just go on and on…
Oh, of course I remember you wanted to hear how staying at Emidio Pepe’s was. Well – it was wonderful. We were the only ones staying at the Agriturismo… can you believe it? Rosa took care of us – she is very nice, and so is Emidio, who has a very wonderful ‘sparkle’ in his eyes… makes me recall my own grandfather… the room was wonderful – simple, yet very cozy – felt very good… completely renovated, yet warm and inviting, with a most wonderful view to the Gran Sasso massif, which welcomed us blue-skied at the first morning of our stay there… Emidio was anxious to give us a tour at the cantine, which we loved very much. Regretfully, we did not have the time/the right time to taste the wines, but of course purchased some to bring back home and we are now awaiting some festive occasion to open them… we had breakfast at the living room of Rosa and Emidio, as we were the only guests… it gave such a homey feeling… We did not meet Daniela but Alesandra – which was a wonderful person and was interested to see that we are happy and also took great interest in… us – where we come from etc. (“Tell me how life is in Israel”, she asked…. 🙂 ).
We took about 1500 photos in 9 days… we still haven’t finished sorting them etc. I almost cannot believe we discovered Abruzzo… how it ‘lies’ there, 2 hours from Roma… untouched… so beautiful. We envy you for living there. Ofer does not stop telling me we should do the same…I hope it was not too much to read… Thank you SO MUCH, again, for your kindness, for your recommendation and everything.”