Thursday, April 20, 2017

April 20, 2017. Snowflakes in the gorge

LOCATION:  Housesitting at a villa outside of Casoli, Italy in the Abruzzo region.   

WEATHER:  Cold, windy and rainy.  Highs in 40s


Even though the weather isn't great today, we decided to get out and take a hike.  We returned to the town where the De Cecco pasta is made.  It is a huge factory.  

Tony, our British friend, had told us about some nice hikes into the gorge near the factory.  We drove up into the mountain, searchng for hiking trails.  Twice I had to get out of the car to guide George as he made tight turns on rocky, steep,  narrow roads.  Even though the town is perched high on a hill, we were even higher in the mountains and looked down upon the town.

As we were descending back into the town, we encountered this shepherd with his goats and sheep.

We finally found the hiking trails on the other side of the pasta factory.  As we climbed up into the gorge, it started snowing on us.  The wind funneled through the rocks and it was really cold.

In parts, it is so narrow you can touch both sides of the gorge.

The stream runs through town, right through the pasta factory.  The water is crystal clear.  This fresh water source flows right through the factory and is the reason the factory is located here.

By this time, it is about 1:30.  We heard the 1:00 whistle at the factory signaling lunch time.  We drove through the town.  It was like a ghost town as everything was closed for siesta.  This is typical in small towns.  All the shops close from about 1:30 - 4:00.  We found one restaurant open.  It turned out to be great.


The waitress came to our table to welcome us.  It is one of those restaurants without printed menus.  It is typical for the staff to just talk about the 4-5 options for first course and 4-5 options for the second course.  Uh-oh.  She was very nice and spoke very slowly.  I could understand almost everything.  For the first course, we got a beautiful antipasti platter with local cheeses and meats.   

I was even able to order a dark beer for George.  He said it is the best one he has had in Italy.
For the second course, we split an order of fettucini.  Again, the waitress asked us if we were sure that is ALL we wanted.  Quite concerned that we didn't order more.  It was more than enough!  

Back home, we rested up for our evening out with our British friends.  They had invited us to go out for arrostinci.  It is a local, typical dish.  Essentially, it is skewered meats.  We had one order of "el clasico" which is lamb, and one order of BBQed beef ones.  They serve them in special jugs to keep them warm.  

We also shared a platter of their roasted potato skins.  All quite yummy!  

It was a tasty and fun evening.  The Brits have lived here for about 5 years and have been so kind and helpful.  It doesn't seem possible that we only have a few more days here.  Today, we booked our bus trip from Pescara to Rome for the day after the homeowners return.  We'll spend two days in Rome before we take a train to France for the next assignment.  Good times!  

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