Despite the fact that it holds lots of allures, Abruzzo has historically been one of the fewer touristed locations of Italy. This may well be a blessing simply because it continues to be one of the greenest, most genuine, and continue to unspoiled locations of the country—one with exceptional appeals for food stuff and wine fans.
Genny Nevoso is the Government Director of the Italy-The usa Chamber of Commerce West (IACCW), a non-earnings business centered in Los Angeles that encourages trade concerning the U.S. and Italy. Beneath her leadership, 1 of the Chamber’s most formidable projects has been to function hand-in-hand with the Italian government to spread the term about “True Italian Flavor,” the unique, regional foodstuff and wine merchandise that have manufactured Italian delicacies a favored around the entire world.
Born and bred in Tortoreto Lido, Abruzzo (and obtaining lived in the States for 18 decades), Nevoso not long ago experienced the enjoyment of showcasing the specialty meals and wine of her delivery location to a U.S. viewers.
Forbes.com asked Genny to share her insights about Abruzzese gastronomy based mostly on her intimate practical experience and professional knowledge.
What are some of the not-to-be-skipped regional specialty food items/dishes associated with Abruzzo?
Genny Nevoso: Abruzzo’s delicacies mirrors the various landscapes of the area: from the coastal fish-dependent dishes to the heartier fare of the mountain cities. The common recipes inform the tale of resilient people who have managed to secure mother nature when leveraging its bountiful items for survival.
Some specialty foods are Navelli Saffron PDO, Pecorino d’Abruzzo cheese, Campotosto Mortadella, Farindola Pecorino cheese, Pork Sausages preserved in oil, Ventricina to title a handful of.
Spaghetti alla chitarra is potentially the region’s most effective-recognised pasta. It is historically handmade making use of a instrument resembling a string instrument, generally regarded as a carratur in the nearby dialect.
In the Teramo province, this pasta is commonly served with a tomato sauce topped with miniature meatballs. As a boy or girl this was the ever-existing celebratory dish my loved ones cherished and nonetheless make to this day!
Of study course, a trip to Abruzzo is not comprehensive devoid of a flavor of timballo, brodetto di pesce, tacchino alla Canzanese, pallotte cace e ove and previously mentioned all mutton skewers regarded as arrosticini, a recipe which taps into the region’s deeply rooted sheep farming custom.
Throughout the transumanza, shepherds utilised to guide their flocks all the way to neighboring regions this kind of as Puglia. Their flocks had been their safety, furnishing them with meat, milk, and wool.
Developing up in a household-operate cafe in the beach front city of Tortoreto Lido, regional cuisine was always served with terrific pride. I however daydream about the intoxicating aroma flowing up from a grill total of arrosticini!
What kinds of wines are created in Abruzzo?
GN: Abruzzo’s main appellations are Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, which, by itself, signifies roughly 80% of the region’s wine, adopted by Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Pecorino and Cerasuolo, Abruzzo’s rosé.
In addition, there are little productions of indigenous white grape varietals this sort of as Cococciola, Passerina and Montonico in just the Abruzzo DOC spot, and the glowing Villamagna, a relatively new DOC.
Although Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is effortlessly identified in the States, wines by tiny producers are likely very best tasted at the source.
The Chamber recently manufactured a sequence of events to teach purchasers and individuals about the “rebirth of the Pecorino grape.” Is it a new wide range?
GN: Really, I only figured out about this grape varietal recently, myself, thanks to a partnership with the Consorzio di Tutela dei Vini d’Abruzzo and its manager, Davide Acerra.
Pecorino is a white grape of ancient origin, indigenous to the Middle Adriatic in foothill places. The grape dates back to the 2nd century B.C. when it was introduced to southern Italy in the course of the Greek migrations.
It is a pretty sugary grape, resulting in wines with a higher liquor information, good composition and marked acidity.
Even so, due to its precocious ripening and its scarce generation, it all but disappeared in the 1950s, overtaken by grapes like Trebbiano. Then, it was rediscovered in the ‘80s and ‘90s and is now manufactured in the course of Abruzzo.
For foodstuff or wine fans arranging to visit Abruzzo, what are the important not-to-be-missed cities and towns?
GN: Below are some of my favorites:
Santo Stefano di Sessanio
Very best recognised for Sextantio, the fashionable albergo diffuso—a scattered resort with rooms positioned in person homes in just the village—Santo Stefano di Sessanio ranks as one particular of Italy’s most lovely Medieval hamlets. It is located in the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga Countrywide Park, about an hour and a 50 % generate from Rome. Community lentils are a person of 18 Slow Food Presidia in the location.
Castel del Monte
One more amazing medieval mountain hamlet is Castel del Monte. Nestled in the centre of the Gran Sasso Nationwide Park, it gives spectacular views of the Gran Sasso, Majella and Sirente-Velino massifs as effectively as the storybook castle of Rocca di Calascio.
This place is brimming comprehensive of regular bites: consider the calcioni, the culatello di maiale nero, the Pecorino Canestrato di Castel del Monte (a area cheese built from raw sheep’s milk which is also a Gradual Meals Presidio). Arrosticini (here recognized as “rustell”) taste even a lot more mouth watering with a check out of the heavenly Campo Imperatore plateau regarded as Abruzzo’s Little Tibet.
Castel di Sangro
For a three Michelin star culinary knowledge and impeccable hospitality, Chef Niko Romito’s Restaurant Reale is a should-take a look at. The ever-evolving self-taught chef explores the crossroad concerning haute cuisine and regional items.
A micro-area regarded for great wines and EVOO. Test out Cantina Ciavolich and Masseria Ciavolich for an immersive hospitality encounter.
From Tortoreto Lido to Torano Nuovo
I might be biased as I was born and elevated right here but I most unquestionably suggest paying out a working day chilling in Tortoreto Lido. Love the good sand golden seashores, the miles-prolonged palm tree flanked bicycle lanes and the tranquil Adriatic waters.
Inside a shorter push is Torano Nuovo, a little hilltop city where by Agriturismo Emidio Pepe is found. The moment the birthplace of the famous winemaker, it features an incredible, environmentally-welcoming escape for food items and wine enthusiasts full with lodging, wine tastings and a farm-to-fork restaurant.
Costa dei Trabocchi
Heading South alongside the fabled Adriatic coast, expect to be mesmerized by the gorgeous stretch of shoreline amongst San Salvo and Ortona. It provides an remarkable prospect to learn the Trabocchi, wooden constructions after utilised by fishermen.
Soak in the views from the Punta Aderci Character Reserve and the Punta Penna Lighthouse. System to dine at a person of the places to eat on the Trabocchi Coastline, lulled by the sea even though savoring the cotton sweet sky.
Why is Abruzzo continue to “undiscovered” by most holidaymakers?
As a indigenous who promotes Italy for a dwelling, I have normally requested myself this exact same dilemma. The response is intricate.
Primarily based on April 2022 data from the Italian Ministry of Tourism and the Italian Vacationer Board, Abruzzo was the tenth most searched Italian area on Google, also ranking 3rd most searched in the resort and lodging class. So we are optimistic.
But Abruzzo’s world wide fame and tourism growth has been hindered by historical and geographical factors. International trade and an enriching historic period of time, this sort of as the Renaissance, for occasion, have had a transformative result on places like Florence.
These on the lookout to knowledge Italy by way of an off-the-beaten path journey, ought to seem no even further. Recognized as Europe’s “green heart” for its three nationwide parks, Abruzzo is excellent. It is a lesser regarded, still stunning location in which very simple traditions in harmony with character develop into incredible.
From parks and safeguarded areas to the environment-class ski resorts and a 130 km shoreline dotted with great sandy beach locations, Abruzzo will get you around and compel you to return.
Abruzzo provides a prosperity of evocative trekking, biking and horseback driving itineraries tracking back again the life of historical and spiritual figures these types of as pope Celestine V and San Francis. For people fascinated by the shoreline, the Costa dei Trabocchi is a need to-stop by with breathtaking views over the Adriatic and interesting culinary encounters for seafood aficionados.
When is the very best time of calendar year to check out? How do I get there?
GN: For me, the finest times to go to are involving April and June or involving September (to capture the grape harvest) or early October.
Abruzzo is uncomplicated to get to from global airports like Rome’s Fiumicino or Bologna’s Guglielmo Marconi. A number of connections are also made available via the Pescara airport, specifically in the summertime.
For those people who want to just take the coach, the Adriatic coastline is effectively linked by way of the large-pace railway expert services the excursion from Bologna Centrale to Pescara Central in Abruzzo takes just above 3 several hours.
To get all-around and take a look at freely, lease a auto and travel (or retain the services of a person who does it for you!). System your excursion properly in advance. The regional tourism web page is a excellent starting off stage to study about the location, its hidden treasures and acquiring itineraries that match your interests.
Note: This dialogue has been frivolously edited and condensed for clarity.