Abruzzo The Green Region Of Europe

Day 1 Civitella del Tronto 

Civitella del Tronto, in province of Teramo, is a place with incomparable beauty, settled in the circuit of the most beautiful Italian villages. Dominated by one of the biggest European Fortresses, it dominates the country almost in all its length. It’s one of the most important works of the military engineering ever achieved on Italian soil, with its length of almost 1600 feet medium wide of 147 feet and a surface of nearly one square mile.

Day 2 Il Gran Sasso – Campo Imperatore – San Stefano di Sessanio – Civitaretenga 
We will traverse Campo Imperatore the most extended and imposing plateau of the Apennines, more than 16 miles long and 6 miles wide, and 1 mile  above the sea level, a place considered magical by the Emperor Federico II (who named it) and which was made world famous by the western movies of Sergio Leone and the series The Call Me Trinity( Trinità), which were filmed there. Until reaching to one of the most characteristic villages of the Abbruzo’s inland Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a small, fortified village inside the National Park of Gran Sasso, a completely preserved architectonical gem of the medieval age. The village became famous by the initiative of Daniel Kihkgren, a young Swedish entrepreneur who after the acquisition of part of the abandoned residential buildings in the historic center he restructured them respecting the architectonical characteristics, the history and the local culture. A lunch in a restaurant created in the structures of an old convent. Continuing to Civitaretenga and a visit of the Cooperaive “Altopiano di Navelli” which cultivates the saffron for decades, a product precious as the gold which derives from extensive crops in which for three weeks a year the inhabitants wake up in the middle of the night to pick up the flowers.

Day 3 Lanciano – San Giovanni in Venere 
Lanciano, a town of art is one of the most beautiful in the region, famous since the Roman age for its fairs which were retrieving merchants from all over the Mediterranean. The town is above all a cradle of art for the presence of numerous monuments: la Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Ponte, arising on a bridge built by the Emperor Diocleziano; the antique district of Lanciano which urban layout remained unaltered from XIII century, with churches with splendid stone portals, medieval shops and all brick buildings;  the antique church of Santa Maria Maggiore which portal is probably the most beautiful example of the Abruzzi sculpture of the XIV century, la Chiesa di S. Francesco which is notorious thanks to the oldest recognized Eucharistic Miracles in the Catholicism.

The Testimony of the Eucharistic Miracle: 
around the year 700, in the antique church of San Legonziano, a Brazilian monk expressed his doubts about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. During the mass, the consecrated host and wine transformed themselves in real flesh and blood. These relics are being preserved in a monstrance that is admired by thousands of faithful. We continue to the Abbey of S. Giovanni in Venere, at the outskirts of the village Fossacesia on a promontory dominating the surrounding cultivated fields and a vast stretch of sea, known as Costa dei Trabocchi.  The attribute “in Venere” might derives from the presence of an antique pagan temple dedicated to the Goddess of love. A tasting over a Trabucco. It’s an ancient architectural typology that has survived in a few places of the Mediterranean, so much so that this stretch of coast is declared protected by UNESCO. It’s one of the symbols of Abruzzo, as beautiful, as well not very famous outside the region. The”colossal spiders”, as defined by D’Annunzio, they are stilts on the sea with a rudimentary appearance, “fishing machines” that turn into atmospheric restaurants, they are the “trabocchi-restaurants” of Abruzzo.

Day 4 Atri 
Atri, among the most beautiful and most important renaissance towns of Teramano, stands on a hill of 1456 feet high. It has pre-roman origin and, in this village, the past and the present mix together without creating a contrast. The historic center is perfectly preserved, with its small medieval streets, some of whose are so small that allow the passage of one person at a time. One of the best examples of the Abruzzo architecture is the Atri Cathedral with a pictorial cycle inside, a true Renaissance masterpiece. The Acquaviva Palace, The Municipal Theatre, The Church of the Augustinians and with a splendid view from which the gaze sweeps from the sea to the peaks of the Gran Sasso. Digestive at the Theatre Bar in front of the Atri Cathedral. Ratafià liqueur: it is the typical liqueur of the Atrian area. It is produced from: ripe black cherries, red Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine, natural flavors, sugar, and a small amount of alcohol. It has a red color and an intense aroma of black cherries and berries. There are two versions about the Latin origin of the name: “Ut rata fiat”, is an expression that was used when an agreement was signed, meaning “ratified”; the other is “Pax rata fiat” (peace is made). Either way, a good reason to taste it.

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