Mutton Arrosticini

One leads to another. You just can’t say “stop!”

If you come to Abruzzo and look for something really typical, arrosticini are a must for your palate!

The arrosticino (or “rustella” in the eastern part of the region) is a grilled mutton skewer and represents the iconic dish of our regional tradition.

It is not a food improvisation but is the meticulous result of a homemade process that starts from the genius of the shepherds who practiced transhumance.

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Shepherds who left for long pastures used the no longer productive sheep, mutton or lamb meat, which was cut into cubes of about 1 cm and then put on small spiked skewers obtained from the stems of aquatic plants along the banks of the rivers.

The traditional preparation of arrosticini, as it may seem easy, hides instead a wise distribution of lean meat and fat, which is essential to finding the perfect balance and make the meat moist, juicy, tender and tasty while grilling it.

In order to truly appreciate the “rustella”, which is ironically considered a “sacred dish” of the tradition by our people, specific rules need to be followed.

First of all, arrosticini have to be cooked on a skewer grill called “fornacella”, then they have to be devoured hot (as we don’t simply eat them, we devour them!) accompanied by a toasted bread with extra virgin olive oil. The best way to enjoy this moment is to be in a good company and drink our local robust red wine, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

A little advice: If you are caught devouring them with a fork or a knife, it will be considered a sacrilege. The arrosticino, in fact, has to be bitten on the side, in a snapping motion, as to pull off every piece of meat.

If it is true that traditional recipes are an indication of people, the arrosticino is without any doubt our most representative “dish”. Its strong and persistent flavour is obviously a faithful proof of our identity.

Colle Leone Astronomy Observatory

in Mosciano Sant’Angelo there’s a hill that observes the faces of the Moon

Colle Leone is not a simple hill. It’s a special hill, a magical place which has been made extraordinary by an outstanding person. Fausto Marini, astrophile, creative, science and nature artist, who sadly passed away few years ago, chose Colle Leone to allow people to study the Moon, the stars, the depth of the sky and the mysteries of the Universe. Fausto Marini, known as the ”Man of the Moon”, as the people of Mosciano Sant’Angelo and friends used to call him, decided at the beginning of the ‘80s to build on this hill, focusing on every single brick, an astronomy observatory and then a Planetarium.

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Today the Colle Leone Observatory, thanks to the passion and experience of its staff gained in more than 30 years of activity in the fields of astronomy and science, is visited by thousands of visitors and tourists.

A constant flow of astrophiles, fanatics, or simple visitors that, thanks to Fausto Marini’s commitment and passion for stars, has created a real phenomenon of astronomic tourism.

Astronomy and Natural Sciences are characterized by a particular precision which turn them into a “compelling cultural entertainment” that has been adapted and diversified by the trained staff, according to the different types of tourism.

A stable service of guided tours, thematic events and a program always full of initiatives, offer to tourists unique and evocative experiences which have a strong emotional impact.
Awesomeness and substance, cultural entertainment and discovery, wonder and amazement: this is what Colle Leone Observatory proposes.

Furthermore, the staff’s management and attention make it possible to organize private events, that is to say the opportunity to experience astronomical evenings dedicated exclusively to business and tourism.

An original and particular way to enjoy an unforgettable evening among stars and planets. A unique and fantastic experience or, as the staff of the Observatory suggests, “something to talk about for years to come”.

Atri Badlands

Nature is a Misunderstood Genius

Within a 30 minutes drive from our residence there is an ever-changing chameleonic masterpiece entitled “Atri Badlands” created by nature. Atri, also known as “civitas vetusta”, is not only an ancient city in the province of Teramo but is also an eye witness of one of the most bizarre and impressive secular erosion processes nature has ever offered. Badlands, as these majestic natural architectures are defined, are the result of soil erosion due to the run-off on damaged clay rocks.

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Beyond its geomorphologic definition, what characterizes badlands is their impressive aspect.

Not surprisingly Atri Badlands, which are considered a natural reserve since 1995, are better known as “dantesque bedlams” or “devil’s scratches”, metaphoric images that just in part portray the idea of their terrifying aspect.

The European Community, which had already identified a Site of Community Importance (SCI), established in 1999 the ” WWF Oasis of Atri Badlands” with the aim to preserve the more than 600 hectares of nature, flora and fauna.

The Reserve, in which there is a Living Planet Centre, organizes afternoon walks with qualified guides to enjoy and discover the beauty and the secret of the Badlands.

Furthermore, every year the WWF Oasis organizes the “Oasis Fest”, a special occasion for both children and adults where it is possible to take part to a didactic laboratories, guided walks, reintroduction of animals in their habitat and tastings of typical products.

Anyway, what makes this reserve a unique and unusual natural attraction is a particular event dedicated to it: “the Moon and the Badlands”.

This extraordinary event consists of visiting badlands at night, during the moonlight. The nocturnal light and atmosphere give to landscape a lunar aspect. A stunning and thrilling view that year by year is getting extremely popular among tourists and local people.

Abruzzo. Nature is our home.

6 reasons to travel to the greenest Italian region
If you are planning to spend a holiday immersed in nature, Abruzzo will be undoubtedly your next destination!

There you have 6 good reasons to type “Abruzzo” on your internet browser: Choose Abruzzo means traveling to the most protected region of Italy, which offers 3 national parks, 1 regional park and 37 natural reserves. Our people don’t have just a “green thumb”, they have a “green hand”!

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  1. Going to the mountain in the morning and to the beach in the afternoon. Teleportation? No, it’s not science fiction, it’s Abruzzo.
    Relaxing atmospheres, stunning views, fascinating mountain and coastal paths that you can enjoy within the same day.
    Thanks to its particular geographical conformation, where the highest peaks of the Apennine directly face the sea, in Abruzzo it is possible to walk on hiking trails as high as 9.842 ft and then shortly reach the Adriatic coastline.
    Once on the beach, you can relax your legs enjoying a generous sun, a fresh drink and our blue flag beaches.
    Beach or mountain holiday?
    Why choose when I can get both?
  2. When in Abruzzo, eat as our people eat. History and popular tradition are the basic ingredients of our cuisine.
    A land of fishers, farmers and breeders, whose recipes are the faithful representation of their culture and identity.
    The special features of our dishes are tales to taste morsel by morsel.
    Meats, fishes, cold cuts, cheeses, truffles, sweets and local wines, trace a wine and food path that goes through centuries of history and timeless cookbooks
  3. Art, culture, spirituality. Not only mountains to sea or wine and food trails, in Abruzzo there are paths that lead us elsewhere, towards extraordinary places that keep an enormous heritage of art and culture.
    Churches, hermitages, abbeys, basilicas, castles and monasteries, a set and a relevant variety of architectural styles, priceless treasures and masterpieces that are waiting to be discovered.
  4. Sport and nature in their broadest sense: “a sound mind in a sound body … in a sound environment”.
    Mountain biking, skiing, paragliding, pony trekking, snorkeling, climbing, via ferrata, hiking and outdoor activities.
    If you think it is too much, we suggest an easy fishing trip. Sea, rivers and lakes: Do you have any preference?
    Although fishing is not the same as paragliding, it represents a good meditative activity.
  5. Extraordinary hospitality you can’t imagine! The added value of this land.
    Our people are as they stand, proud of their heritage, a specific feature that highlight their authenticity, frankness and veracity.
    They perfectly reflect the genuineness of their land without small talk.
    The people of Abruzzo are unspoiled just like the natural environment that surrounds them.