Food, Wine, Travel Magazine, Summer 2019

Page 46

Abruzzo

Italy’s Best Well-Kept Secret By Christine Cutler

Stretching from the Apennines to the Adriatic, Italy’s Abruzzo region is rich in history, culture, art, cuisine, natural beauty, and traditions that surprise and charm visitors.

estled between the Apennine Mountains and Adriatic Sea, Italy’s Abruzzo region is a mere 50 miles due east of Rome and unspoiled by the hordes of tourists that invade it. Abruzzo is the region where north meets south; where sandy beaches turn into rolling hills and rocky mountains; where national parks cover one-third of the region; where 43-plus miles of the coast comprise a UNESCO WorldHeritage site. And we cannot, of course, forget the food.

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Seeing Green

This page from top: Pettorano Sul Gizio; field on the Adriatic Coast; the Riserva Naturale Regionale Monte Genzana e Alto Gizio from Pettorano

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A beautiful but less-visited area of Italy, Abruzzo, is a pleasant surprise… ~Rob McCoy

Th e p r e p o n d e r a n c e o f n a t u r a l surroundings provides a wealth of yearround activities. The mountains on the western border are perfect for walking, hiking, and cycling most of the year. There are more than 30 walking routes that wind through Abruzzo, and you can spend anywhere from two-to-ten hours wandering. If you are interested, you can easily find books about the walks on Amazon. There are also more than 35 hiking trails in the region, and you can get information on them from All Trails. In the winter, Abruzzo gets snow—a lot of snow. There are 18 ski resorts in the region, and among them, they have 91 ski lifts and about 151 miles of slopes. If you ski, snowboard, check out Ski Abruzzo.

Dubbed the “Greenest Region in Europe,” Abruzzo boasts three national parks, one regional park, and more than 35 protected reserves. The reserves are I am Abruzzese home to the rarest living The blood of Abruzzo runs through my species in Europe—among veins; my grandparents grew up in them the golden eagle, and M a r s i c a n b r o w n b e a r, Pettorano Sul Gizio (photo above), a small Abruzzo chamois, and town in the center of a protected reserve. Apennine wolf, and the When I recently obtained my Italian protected reserves guarantee citizenship, I established my residency in the survival of a whopping 75 Carunchio, another small town in Abruzzo, percent of all of Europe’s to maintain the connection. living species.


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