Inspired by our housesitting experience in France, my parents took on an assignment for 6 months in Italy. Taking care of a house and two dogs in an area they hadn’t heard of before: Abruzzo. Last September they packed their bags and went off south with me promising them to visit soon. To keep my word, I booked my ticket to Rome. During high season you are able to fly from Amsterdam directly to Pescara, one of the bigger towns in Abruzzo. But at the end of November I had to fly to Rome and take a bus. A very early flight put me down in Rome at 9 o’clock in the morning, perfect on time to get my bus at 10 o’clock to the other side of the country.
Already the bustrip was magnificent. As soon as we reached the other side of the first mountain, blue skies with white clouds showed of the high peaks covered in snow. I was perfectly happy enjoying the movie that played by on the other side of my window, while driving through Abruzzo. When we reached Pescara, the bus driver told me I had to hop on another bus to reach my destination San Salvo Marina. A kind Italian driver was already waiting outside with my suitcase to escort me to a small bus before taking off with a high speed.
After a total of 4,5 hours I reached San Salvo Marina where my parents would pick me up. A beachside town, completely empty during wintertime. There we met again and I saw them glowing with good health and bronzed by the Italian sun. Their house was just 30 minutes driving into the hills. While winding up to 450m above sea level, views covered in the glow of the sunset opened up to me. I discovered quickly that the small villages build on top of hills, like a cherry on top of a pie, are the signature of this region.
During the following days I enjoyed my time with my family, getting to know the two crazy dogs they are taking care of and discovering the region. One day we went up to Majella National Park for a hike to the Hermitage of San Bartolomeo. My eyes got a treat that day due to the perfect blue sky and clear views. With white mountain tops on one side and the Adriatic sea on the other, we strolled around by ourselves. The only living beings we saw up there where some sheep guarded by sheepdogs and a horse.
My parents told me that this region is still so unknown, they have to figure out everything by themselves. There isn’t that much tourist information to be found. But the locals are so friendly and helpful, they absolutely love discovering in this way. It is amazing to be so close to the mountains and one the other hand so close to the sea. I guess you have the best of both ways in Abruzzo…