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Sunday, 26 April 2009

Tuesday 14 April 2009

We drive from Montesilvano to the town of Loreto Aprutino, and with the sun high in the sky we take a leisurely stroll around this very pretty town, I buy some fruit and the local pecorino cheese, which is very good indeed. We make friends with a scruffy little dog that follows us around, or maybe it’s the anticipation of a morsel of the cheese that makes him our travelling companion. An hour and half later we are driving towards Penne, the only effects of the earthquake here, we’re told is a burst pipe and the tragic loss of one young man, 24 year old Alessio who was a student at L’Aquila. Every public notice board has messages of condolence printed and pasted upon them. We sit in a pretty piazza and eat our lunch, bread and the delicious cheese purchased earlier, then a short walk finds us inside Bar La Vestina on via Martiri Pennesi, standing at the bar we enjoy a coffee and a dolce. How decadent and all for just two euros each. The drive to Villa Collina is made joyous not just by the glorious landscapes of Abruzzo or the warm sunshine but by the sight of row upon row of classic Fiat 550’s outside a garage en route. Each of these little bubbles of machinery are in various states of disrepair, but I find it hard to contain my joy at seeing them and leap; or rather stumble out of Pamela Pram and begin photographing them. Villa Collina is a traditional Italian farmhouse, lovingly restored into a bed and breakfast, with spectacular 300-degree views over the Teramo countryside. We arrive and at once are warmly greeted, within minutes were sat sipping wine on the terrace in the sunshine, with a wonderful view of Calanchi, (natural erosion furrows) in the distance. The others feel a mild aftershock, however myself I feel nothing. The evening is taken up with a wonderful gathering of friends, good wine and great food. What could be better? Very little.

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