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Agritourism in the Province of Pescara

Welcome spring with the pearls of Pescara
 
Agritourism in the Province of Pescara
Just mention the name Abruzzo and images come to mind of ancient villages perched on mountains, pasturing flocks, limitless expanses of green, and curious mountain goats glimpsed on the heights of the National Park. Abruzzo is all this, but also much more.

Spending a few days in one of the many agritourisms in the province of Pescara is a chance to discover an area of great interest with a wide range of things to do that will satisfy any of your holiday wishes.

The province of Pescara is the ideal combination of countryside and sea; it is studded with rare gems of art and made special by the warmth of local hospitality. Pescara is a popular seaside resort with tourist facilities and a lively social life, yet just a few kilometres away from this provincial capital you'll find yourself appreciating the unspoilt charm of Abruzzo's picturesque villages.

One of these bewitching small towns is Abbateggio, which is worth a visit just to see the beautiful church of the Madonna dell'Elcina. According to legend, in about the fifteenth century the Virgin Mary appeared to two mute shepherds and gave them the gift of speech. She appeared in an ilex tree whose trunk is now conserved in the church the Virgin asked to have built in return for her gift.
Another village, another atmosphere: Città Sant'Angelo houses a collegiate church built before the year 1000 and dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel. Its main entrance is decorated with figures from 1326. Nearby you can also see the "Great Cistern", a fine example of a public water cistern from the nineteenth century.

If you want to experience the atmosphere of D'Annunzio's poetry first hand, then Cugnoli is the place to go. The area is criss-crossed by sheep-tracks "tratturo", the paths travelled by the shepherds and their flocks during the transhumance (the move to summer pastures). Worth seeing in the abbey church is the pulpit from 1166 and a prized group of 15-16th century wooden figures depicting the Annunciation.

Now for something really unusual: in Roccamorice you'll find the so-called "tholos" – ancient stone buildings built as shelters by shepherds and farmers. Their structure resembles the trulli of Puglia and the Sardinian nuraghe. The peculiarity of these huts is the absence of cement and the way they're constructed in overlapping concentric circles, an ingenious method used in continuation from the earliest times until the 1950s.
Other pearls of the province of Pescara are Rosciano, where you can visit the 15th-century church of S. Nicola with its splendid Renaissance frescoes; Corvara, a wonderful village with a breathtaking view; Manoppello, a small town famous for the Shrine of the Holy Face, an object of public devotion which draws pilgrims from all over Italy.

Finally, for a moment of total relaxation, don't forget to stop at Caramanico Terme, whose sulphur and mineral springs are a great aid to psychological and physical wellbeing.
But staying at an agritourism also means tasting the delicious local cuisine, such as DOP extra virgin olive oil, quality wines, fresh fish dishes like the famous "brodetto" (fish broth) punctuated by ancient flavours from further inland – especially Abruzzo spelt and pecorino (ewe's milk cheese). All of this helps to restore a quality of life that has almost disappeared.

A holiday in the province of Pescara offers a unique experience, merging the remote echoes of stories told in front of crackling fires, the slow journeys of the shepherds and, in the distance, the Adriatic Sea that spreads before the eyes in an expanse of dazzling blue.


Did you know that:
Back in vogue for some time now at Penne in the province of Pescara is the custom of "Cummara a fiure", a tradition designed to renew friendship and promote good neighbourliness. The "Cummara a fiure" – or the 'godmother' of flowers – is a pact of friendship made explicit through the exchange of flowers. A wreath or a bouquet is given to the next-door neighbour as a gesture of good feelings and intentions, perpetuating an ancient tradition passed down from one generation to the next.


Michela Bilotta


 

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