Friday, 17 September 2010

Interailing for Glampackers - September 12th Positano to Pescara

Leaving the Med west coast, and thankfully the bad weather (and mud slides) behind, we drove our car back towards Naples, but continued on a little way to Caserta where we dropped off the car at the station. (It was far better than trying to negotiate the Naples traffic again).
After just one stop at Foggia, we arrived at the Adriatic resort of Pescara in the lovely region of Abruzzo, one of the lesser known regions of Italy but as far as I am concerned a hidden gem, and long may it continue to be so.
Abruzzo is famous throughout Italy for its pure olive oil, fresh saffron, fantastic lentils, sugared almonds and red Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and white Corfinio wines. It’s a spectacular region, on one side there’s the Gran Sasso and the Maiella mountain ranges and on the other, just miles and miles of golden coastline. It’s also probably the cheapest part of Italy with prices some 20% lower than the rest of the country. Pescara is the main resort town and provides the perfect place to base yourself to see all that Abruzzo has to offer.

The Best Western Plaza was a lovely four star hotel very close to the station but also right on the pedestrianised main street leading down to the sea front. It was a gentle 5 minute stroll to the beach where the umbrellas and beds beckoned.

In the quaint mountain town of Bucchianico near Chieti we met olive oil sommelier Francesca Di Nisio, who has an olive oil museum in an old abandoned mill that she had spent years renovating. Learning all about the art of oil making and the difference between good and bad oils was fascinating.
She also produces delicious extra virgin olive oil and wines from her own vineyards in Chieti under the brand name Cantin Arte

The mountains also harbour some historic towns such as L’Aquila so sadly damaged in an earthquake in 2009, Castel de Monte the location for George Clooney’s film The American, and Sulmona, which apart from its impressive roman remains is also the home of the Italian confectionary, almond confetti. These coloured sugar and chocolate coated almonds are made into floral arrangements and used in weddings throughout Italy. Yes you can eat them too!

Pescara is a great place for a weekend break, and we’ll be back one day soon, but for now, it was time to go on to Ancona and catch the overnight ferry across to Croatia.

Best Western Plaza Hotel
Olive Oil Museum
Best apertivo: GTime Bar