Set like precious jewels, the tiny villages glimmer invitingly in the hills and mountains all the way to the coast, making Abruzzo a treasure chest full of unique marvels, just waiting to be opened and explored.
The acclaimed French photographer Henry Cartier Bresson was captivated by Abruzzo and came here several times on photography projects. He was entranced by the elaborate gold buttons adorning the clothing of the women of Scanno, dressed in their traditional costumes for the Medieval reproduction of the wedding parade Je Catenacce, which fills the streets of this little borgo every summer.
Abruzzo is the peace that emanates from the landscapes of virgin wilderness, protected by the many national parks, full of foxes, deer and mountain porcupines. Nestled in the rocky heights, ancient borghi are clustered on the hilltops, magical places where time has stood still, and where it is not rare to come across authentic reenactments of Medieval events in full costume, complete with knights in armor, competing in jousting competitions on their noble steeds.
Breathtaking panoramas of lakes and narrow valleys spread out below the ancient houses. Every village has its own particular identity, proudly proclaimed by the traditions and details of their daily life: along the stone streets of Pestacostanza, under the decorated archways, the women sit on their stoops weaving lace, or along the coast between Vasto and Ortona, where the fishermen have constructed the “trabocchi”: the traditional wooden fishing docks, built to be resistant to the elements and durable over time, as fiercely proud as the people who made them.
But the most pleasurable way to discover Abruzzo is through its cuisine, where the local products have become symbols of ancient cultural traditions through which every town shares who they truly are, and where they have come from: “mostaccioli con il pecorino”, the “scurpelle” and the “confetti” of Sulmona, and of course homemade Fragolino wine, strawberry wine made with forest strawberries and an ancient recipe handed down from father to son. Every household has their own version, and when you are invited to try it, they will surely tell you that it is the best in town!