Despite the fact that it retains many allures, Abruzzo has traditionally been just one of the less touristed regions of Italy. This might be a blessing because it stays one particular of the greenest, most genuine, and continue to unspoiled locations of the country—one with unique appeals for foodstuff and wine fans.
Genny Nevoso is the Executive Director of the Italy-The us Chamber of Commerce West (IACCW), a non-income corporation dependent in Los Angeles that promotes trade concerning the U.S. and Italy. Beneath her leadership, just one of the Chamber’s most ambitious projects has been to do the job hand-in-hand with the Italian authorities to distribute the phrase about “True Italian Flavor,” the exclusive, regional food and wine goods that have produced Italian cuisine a beloved around the planet.
Born and bred in Tortoreto Lido, Abruzzo (and obtaining lived in the States for 18 years), Nevoso just lately had the satisfaction of showcasing the specialty food items and wine of her beginning region to a U.S. audience.
Forbes.com asked Genny to share her insights about Abruzzese gastronomy centered on her intimate encounter and qualified experience.
What are some of the not-to-be-skipped regional specialty foods/dishes related with Abruzzo?
Genny Nevoso: Abruzzo’s cuisine mirrors the varied landscapes of the region: from the coastal fish-based dishes to the heartier fare of the mountain cities. The classic recipes explain to the story of resilient folks who have managed to defend mother nature though leveraging its bountiful presents 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 possibly the region’s most effective-recognized pasta. It is customarily handmade using a tool resembling a string instrument, normally identified as a carratur in the neighborhood dialect.
In the Teramo province, this pasta is typically served with a tomato sauce topped with miniature meatballs. As a baby this was the at any time-existing celebratory dish my relatives cherished and however make to this working day!
Of training course, a journey to Abruzzo is not complete with no a flavor of timballo, brodetto di pesce, tacchino alla Canzanese, pallotte cace e ove and higher than all mutton skewers known as arrosticini, a recipe which faucets into the region’s deeply rooted sheep farming tradition.
In the course of the transumanza, shepherds utilized to direct their flocks all the way to neighboring regions these as Puglia. Their flocks were being their security, giving them with meat, milk, and wool.
Expanding up in a family members-operate cafe in the seaside city of Tortoreto Lido, regional cuisine was constantly served with fantastic satisfaction. I however daydream about the intoxicating aroma flowing up from a grill full of arrosticini!
What varieties of wines are generated in Abruzzo?
GN: Abruzzo’s principal appellations are Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, which, by yourself, signifies somewhere around 80% of the region’s wine, followed by Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Pecorino and Cerasuolo, Abruzzo’s rosé.
In addition, there are small productions of indigenous white grape varietals this kind of as Cococciola, Passerina and Montonico in just the Abruzzo DOC space, and the glowing Villamagna, a reasonably new DOC.
While Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is quickly identified in the States, wines by compact producers are in all probability best tasted at the source.
The Chamber just lately developed a sequence of occasions to teach consumers and shoppers about the “rebirth of the Pecorino grape.” Is it a new wide range?
GN: Really, I only figured out about this grape varietal not too long ago, myself, many 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 Center Adriatic in foothill locations. The grape dates back to the 2nd century B.C. when it was brought to southern Italy during the Greek migrations.
It is a really sugary grape, resulting in wines with a high alcohol articles, excellent composition and marked acidity.
Nonetheless, owing 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 developed in the course of Abruzzo.
For food stuff or wine fans arranging to take a look at Abruzzo, what are the important not-to-be-missed cities and towns?
GN: In this article are some of my favorites:
Santo Stefano di Sessanio
Very best known for Sextantio, the fashionable albergo diffuso—a scattered resort with rooms situated in individual residences inside the village—Santo Stefano di Sessanio ranks as one of Italy’s most beautiful Medieval hamlets. It is found inside the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga Countrywide Park, about an hour and a 50 percent drive from Rome. Area lentils are one of 18 Sluggish Food Presidia in the area.
Castel del Monte
An additional exceptional medieval mountain hamlet is Castel del Monte. Nestled in the centre of the Gran Sasso Nationwide Park, it offers spectacular views of the Gran Sasso, Majella and Sirente-Velino massifs as effectively as the storybook castle of Rocca di Calascio.
This spot is brimming full of standard bites: attempt the calcioni, the culatello di maiale nero, the Pecorino Canestrato di Castel del Monte (a nearby cheese created from uncooked sheep’s milk which is also a Sluggish Meals Presidio). Arrosticini (below recognized as “rustell”) style even more mouth watering with a view of the heavenly Campo Imperatore plateau regarded as Abruzzo’s Minimal Tibet.
Castel di Sangro
For a a few Michelin star culinary working experience and impeccable hospitality, Chef Niko Romito’s Cafe Reale is a have to-take a look at. The at any time-evolving self-taught chef explores the crossroad involving haute delicacies and community solutions.
A micro-place recognized for great wines and EVOO. Test out Cantina Ciavolich and Masseria Ciavolich for an immersive hospitality practical experience.
From Tortoreto Lido to Torano Nuovo
I could possibly be biased as I was born and raised in this article but I most certainly recommend expending a day chilling in Tortoreto Lido. Appreciate the fantastic sand golden seashores, the miles-lengthy palm tree flanked bike lanes and the tranquil Adriatic waters.
Inside of a small generate is Torano Nuovo, a modest hilltop city wherever Agriturismo Emidio Pepe is found. When the birthplace of the famous winemaker, it presents an incredible, environmentally-welcoming escape for food and wine lovers complete with lodging, wine tastings and a farm-to-fork restaurant.
Costa dei Trabocchi
Heading South together the fabled Adriatic coastline, anticipate to be mesmerized by the attractive extend of shoreline concerning San Salvo and Ortona. It features an remarkable possibility to learn the Trabocchi, wooden constructions after made use of by fishermen.
Soak in the sights from the Punta Aderci Nature Reserve and the Punta Penna Lighthouse. System to dine at one of the dining establishments on the Trabocchi Coastline, lulled by the sea though taking pleasure in the cotton candy sky.
Why is Abruzzo however “undiscovered” by most travelers?
As a indigenous who encourages Italy for a residing, I have frequently questioned myself this similar problem. The answer is complicated.
Based mostly on April 2022 data from the Italian Ministry of Tourism and the Italian Tourist Board, Abruzzo was the tenth most searched Italian area on Google, also rating 3rd most searched in the hotel and lodging group. So we are optimistic.
But Abruzzo’s global fame and tourism growth has been hindered by historical and geographical explanations. Global trade and an enriching historical period of time, this kind of as the Renaissance, for occasion, have experienced a transformative effect on places like Florence.
These searching to working experience Italy by way of an off-the-beaten route adventure, need to search no further more. Identified as Europe’s “green heart” for its three national parks, Abruzzo is outstanding. It is a lesser known, still amazing region where simple traditions in harmony with character develop into incredible.
From parks and guarded regions to the planet-class ski resorts and a 130 km coastline dotted with high-quality sandy beach locations, Abruzzo will earn you in excess of and compel you to return.
Abruzzo provides a wealth of evocative trekking, biking and horseback driving itineraries monitoring back the life of historical and religious figures these as pope Celestine V and San Francis. For those fascinated by the shoreline, the Costa dei Trabocchi is a need to-check out with breathtaking sights about the Adriatic and exciting culinary ordeals for seafood aficionados.
When is the very best time of 12 months to go to? How do I get there?
GN: For me, the very best situations to stop by are in between April and June or in between September (to capture the grape harvest) or early October.
Abruzzo is effortless to arrive at from global airports like Rome’s Fiumicino or Bologna’s Guglielmo Marconi. A few connections are also presented via the Pescara airport, significantly in the summertime.
For those who want to acquire the coach, the Adriatic coastline is very well related through the superior-speed railway companies the excursion from Bologna Centrale to Pescara Central in Abruzzo usually takes just in excess of 3 hrs.
To get all around and examine freely, rent a car and generate (or hire an individual who does it for you!). System your journey well forward. The regional tourism internet site is a good starting position to learn about the location, its concealed treasures and getting itineraries that go well with your interests.
Note: This dialogue has been evenly edited and condensed for clarity.