Life in Abruzzo shared Porta dei Parchi’s recipe for Shepherd Steak. We ate this wonderful cheese dish at the end of the transhumanza. It is a good way to use day old or dry bread. We were at the shepherd’s hut in the alta plano and ate Shepherd’s Steak and a stew with wild greens. This is truly one of the first times that I had mint and liked it! Maybe I am not allergic after all.
The third day of hiking was much like the the first in length and intensity. We started at Agriturismo Valle Scannese da Gregorio where many stayed for the night. Gregorio’s farm is close to Scanno and features a restaurant, retail shop, and rooms.
We ended the day at 1666 m. (5,466 ft.) at Stazzo Casone Chiarono. Literally this translates as the big sheepfold house of Chiarano. The shepherds will stay at this large shepherd hut with the sheep until the August transhumanza. Mountains and rocky outcroppings ring this high green plain. Brown ski slopes of Monte Pratello crisscross one mountain to the east.
We are treated to traditional shepherd’s steak (bread topped with cheese and mint and baked with milk) and a stew mixture made of a dandelion-like wild greens served over dry bread. After staying to watch the Romanian cheesemaker make fresh ricotta, we pile into his car for the ride back to Anversa. With loud Romanian folk music blasting, we drove down to the National park entrance, through valley towns and back to the restaurant for one more meal as a group.
Excerpts from emails to my husband:
I am at the yoga center. Now I am with a whole new group of people and it takes a while to become a group. Everyone is British as I expected. My ear was just getting used to Italian and now I am hearing a variety of British accents. I can’t understand half of the conversations.
I was sorry to leave the mountains. I did not leave very early. I did more laundry as a preventative against poison ivy or-whatever is making my hands and feet bubble and itch again. Then I had to wait for a ride to Sulmona from someone from the farm. After my clothes dried, I had to wait for the afternoon lunch and rest time to end. Marcello who works there told me 3 o’clock. Manuella told me that he went back to Anversa to eat with his mother. Then I saw Manuella eating with her son Giacomo in an outdoor area at the side of the restaurant. Later, I saw Nunzio eating in the restaurant with his wife, Electra. Eventually Giacomo took me to Sulmona with Bourbonne, his Abruzzo sheep dog/golden retriever mix puppy. The puppy needed shots at the vet in Sulmona. I told him he should call the dog Jack Daniels. I explained cheese heads to Giacomo. He said he had seen the foam hats in American movies.
So here I am at the Shanti Centre until the 26th. I arrived in the dark and was surprised this morning by the landscapes in the hazy sunlight. Each scene seems to be lifted right out of an oil painting.
* * *
I am finally getting into relaxing. It is very hot – 29 or so and it is 10:30. We do yoga at 8 am then breakfast, time to read, swim, sun, or relax. We will have lunch and more free time. On my first day I had a massage. Stephanie’s massage hands found hiking kinks I didn’t know I had. We do another yoga class on the big deck at 5:30, then dinner. There is a sauna and solar hut tub. The other day, I slowly walked to Casoli, a 90 minute walk. They were ready to send out a search party after me. I was fine. We went to Atri yesterday and it was lovely. An old village with beautiful churches. We went out to eat last night. Our day to do yoga at the beach is tomorrow.
* * *
I think I am about ready to leave here and go home. But I have not seen Calascio yet. I have 3 nights to work out. We are having a lazy day today. Yoga this evening and a barbeque. The yoga has been wonderful. Stephanie is a great teacher. I still cannot understand the Brits half the time.
Spent a wonderful day on the beach. Making reservations. Bye for now.
* * *
I will leave this little slice of heaven about 7:30 tonight after a dinner. Rupert is a great cook. You have competition. It is all vegetarian and he serves wonderful food with a variety and balance. I do feel quite healthy. I hope there is internet at tonight’s hotel in Pescara.
This gallery contains 10 photos.
Scanno and its people have been favorite subjects for photographers, such as Henry Cartier-Bresson, Pietro di Rienzo and Mario Giacomelli. After leaving the lake area, we walked the sheep through the crooked and stepped streets of this charming medieval hilltown. Here we became the subject of many photographs by both tourists and towns people . Leaving … Continue reading
This gallery contains 19 photos.
We hiked down a steep hill to Lake Scanno. This was not too vigorous. There was no way to get lost as long as you went down hill. The trick was to avoid branches in your face as you wound down thin paths. When we arrived at Lake Scanno, a band was playing music. Nunzio … Continue reading
This gallery contains 7 photos.
On the second day of hiking, I was up early and ready for another long day. I took early morning pictures of Frattura with one or two sheep dogs following me around the town. The British chap sat on a bench at one end of town looking towards Scanno and painting a landscape in his … Continue reading