Abruzzo is a very mountainous region about 3 hours drive from Rome. There were many small towns and villages along the way. It was refreshing to be in the peace and quiet of the small mountainous town of Pacentro on the first day. Compared to Rome where you hear sirens and cars and a bunch of other sounds, it was almost like a ghost town here. Also it was surprisingly clean, almost no graffiti and no littered trash on the streets. There was much less cars, motorcycles, and people around at the time we were there. The locals were observing us with great interest as were were in awe of their beautiful town with an amazing mountain top view. We explored a castle in the small town before lunch at a local restaurant with very tasty lamb skewers.
Next, we went to the hotel in Sulmona, another city in the Abruzzo region and prepared for our activities of the day which were either canoeing, horseback riding, mountain biking, or candy making. I went canoeing in the Torino river, which is one of the cleanest rivers in Italy. It was so clear you can see the plant life under water. The scenery was beautiful and the water was freezing cold. After the day’s activities, we went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner at a nearby restaurant. We had some very good gnocchi pasta that tastes similar to Mac and cheese.
The next day we went to the beach and relaxed by the Trabocchi coast until lunch at a restaurant on a dock. They caught and prepared fresh seafood that consisted of mussels, shrimp, and some type of fish with pasta. I do not like seafood that much but I am glad i tried it and enjoyed the meal, my advice is if you are the same with seafood make sure to have plenty of lemons to squeeze juice on it because it makes it 10 times better every time! For dinner we went back to the hotel and enjoyed a variety of pizzas by the pool and prepared for our long hike the next day.
Lastly, we went to an ancient castle with an adjacent church on top of the Apennine mountains, nearly 5,000 feet high. We walked around and enjoyed the mesmerizing view before hiking down 1,000 feet and about a mile or so to the nearby town for lunch, accompanied by some friendly donkeys. Dinner consisted of a broccoli and Alfredo type of pasta as the first course, followed by marinated beef, and then tiramisu and coffee for dessert.
This SAI excursion was a memorable experience and I am glad to have partaken in it. The food was my favorite part, followed by the awesome views.
Warheal is a fall 2019 Rome student from Suffolk University.