It is difficult and frustrating to know that in Australia we cannot travel anywhere outside our country for now. Italy seems so distant but the memories and feelings and sensations are so clear and vivid to me. Here is a little list of what I truly love and miss. I cannot wait to return to my land and my people once more…

  1. The sound of church bells.

Since medieval times,  bells have always had a place in the cultural life of Italy.

They are a call to arms, a call for war, they can be the sound of happiness for weddings, the slow peal for funerals…

In my village of Palombaro I love the daily sound of our church bell either from the church of San Salvatore or from the Madonna dell’Assunta.

I would hear the bells ringing on the quarter hour and the half hour and on the hour.. It gave my day some regularity and sense of calmness. 

On Sunday the bells would sound for longer and call the villagers for the 11.00 am mass.

It is a joyous sound!

Marinelli family Agnone Touring Abruzzo
Visiting Agnone and it’s bells

Villages of Abruzzo Palombaro Touring Abruzzo tours

My village bell tower in Palombaro

Peace bell made in Agnone
Civitella del Tronto peace bell

2) The smiles and faces of my family and friends.

Of course I miss my immediate family there – my cousins and my aunty in Palombaro, Chieti, Ripa Teatina and Villamagna.

I long to see my old friend Dora who is now over 80. She gets around the village and is always busy doing something… from picking walnuts off her trees and selling them to local bakeries to use in their baking to growing the best tomatoes outside her apartment on her balcony. She is always ready with her large smile and always keen to get me in for a mid morning caffe!

I wish I could be near my darling cousin Loredana who loves our weekly shopping trips and in the right season we go foraging for wild asparagus for example which is in the springtime. She calls me up and says  to pop around and make pasta with her and stay on for dinner… no formal invitation needed.  I walk from one end of the village where I am and in 5 mins I am outside her door!

My many friends I have met over the years bring me much joy with their warmth and kindness and always ready to help me out or meet me for a gelato!

Abruzzo foraging tours with Touring Abruzzo
My cousin Loredana and myself foraging for elderberries

 

Walnuts in Abruzzo foraging with Touring Abruzzo
My special friend Dora in my village

3) The smell of coffee and cornetto!

You may be shocked to hear that I don’t drink coffee! However the smell is so wonderful and as soon as I arrive in Rome my senses are stirred up when I smell the Lavazza or Illy coffee from the cafe-bar and the baked cornetti or Italian croissants (which are like a brioche). I know I have arrived back in Italy.

Every village has at least one bar and the sound of the coffee machine and clinking of the espresso coffee cups…aah  (I drink green tea and now decaf coffee by the way!)

Touring Abruzzo cafe places to tour
Coffee time in Abruzzo

 

4) Shopping!!

Of course I do! My wardrobe is mainly from my Italian finds – the lovely pants and dresses and the great shoes and handbags… Oh I do miss that. It is fun going to the sales with my cousin Loredana and we find things for each other. We try dresses on and have a laugh.

Even the mundane grocery shop we do together is fun as we chat and giggle all the way. We find new items to try and exchange recipes for the night’s dinner.

Touring Abruzzo shopping timeWeekly shopping trip with cousin Loredana

5) The Tomatoes and the Olive Oil!

I think many of you will agree on this one! Those of you who remember staying at Loreto Aprutino at the agriturismo and nonna Olga would come out with a plate of bread with home grown sun ripened tomatoes with some dried oregano, a sprinkle of salt and lashings of their extravirgin olive oil.. Oh I can taste that sweetness now and flesh so meaty and it tastes like a real tomato. Do you remember that?

Tastes of Abruzzo with Touring Abruzzo
              Real tomatoes in Italy!

What are your top five things you miss or love about Italy?

Write to me here: luci@touringabruzzo. com

 

 

Our latest e-newsletter is now out and ready to read. Now you can read all our latest travel news to Italy in 2021.

I have written a real heart felt newsletter in these strange and even distressing times for many of us. The world has been shaken up and it is hard to make plans in the foreseeable future. I hope you are all staying safe and healthy too.

We can only continue to keep our dream of travelling to Italy alive each and every day. It is super frustrating for everyone – guests who are itching to travel again and for guests who are saddened with their cancellation or postponement of their Italy travels this year. It is frustrating for us as tour operators to see all our work disappear with the click of a finger, just like that. After 16 years of hard work it is not easy to just close up and fold up just like that.. My team and I will not be beaten but need to rise again and be ready to continue to share our love and passion for Abruzzo and the other central and southern Italy regions we travel to.

 

 

Villetta Barrea lake view Abruzzo
Read all about our Italy News for 2021

In this newsletter – see some great and innovative videos we have put together so you can meet some of my valuation team.

Meet Fabio, Antonella, Barbara, Marta in this newsletter with our fun videos! They are showcasing their villages and towns in Abruzzo, Puglia and Sorrento and are all waiting for you and for me to return.

I am sharing a very easy recipe to make – your very own Italian sponge cake.

Italian sponge cake
Pizza dolce Abruzzese sponge cake

 

You can also make enquiries as to what Abruzzo merchandise you can buy online from me –now selling are the final handmade silver filigree presentosas from Abruzzo.

Silver filigree presentosa Abruzzo
Silver filigree presentosa Abruzzo

Finally you can also shop our range of Abruzzo ceramics – I have mugs and square plates available in a range of styles.

Just ask me for more information and I can email you out the product range.

Enquire here at luci@touringabruzzo.com

italyphotosardiniatours

Read more here to learn all about what Luciana and her team will be offering in 2020.

EXPERIENCE CENTRAL & SOUTHERN ITALY with LUCIANA

Luciana is celebrating 16 years of leading boutique and bespoke tours to Abruzzo in central Italy.
Over the years, Luciana has added several other regions in southern Italy to provide more travel choices for guests.
2020 will see Luciana and her team launch 2 new regions –   Sardinia & Molise! 

A big thank you must go out to the many guests who have supported Touring Abruzzo and loved travelling with the team.   Grazie a tutti. 

ABRUZZO – still has so much to offer!

From Private Day Tours, Retracing your Ancestral Heritage in Abruzzo, to 4 day / 8 day / 10 day fully escorted tours – Luciana always shares her love for her ancestral land and creates a true Italian experience.

 NEW TOUR: SARDINIA 2020
We are super excited to release our new tour:  BACK ROADS OF SARDINIA  (8 days) –  September 3-10, 2020
This is a guaranteed departure with small group only. Be prepared to be immersed in the rich history and culture of Sardinia, see amazing artisans at work and enjoy local regional food.
We will travel from Cagliari then west and north of Sardinia to Alghero and end in Olbia.
Luciana has teamed up with Fabio again (Puglia & Basilicata tours) and they will lead the inaugural tour to bring you the signature Touring Abruzzo style and attention to detail!

Read more here to learn all about what Luciana and her team will be offering in 2020.

MOLISE region launching in 2020!
‘TASTES of MOLISE’ tour: 4 days 
This region is directly below Abruzzo and shares much of its culture and history with Abruzzo until it separated in the early 1960’s and became its own region. We will be based in Termoli on the Adriatic coastline and explore the eastern part of Molise .

Tour dates: May 3; May 28; June 21; September 10;

October 12.
‘BACK ROADS of MOLISE’ tour (8 days): 
Tour dates: June 21 & October 12

Are you excited about that long-awaited trip with family and friends that’s been planned for ages and is now coming together? That vacation is long overdue, and it is time to kick back, relax and enjoy spending time tanning under the sun, getting that wonderful summer glow. However, if children are coming along on the trip, then the itinerary must accommodate them as well. You do not want to be saddled with children moaning about being bored while you’re having a drink at the side of the pool or reading a book under a tree. If you are heading to Italy for your vacation, here are two reasons they will enjoy their trip.

The Number 1 Museum And More!

Italy has a number of museums that will develop your children’s interest in science, history and the environment. However, the most popular for local and international tourists is the MUSE – Science Museum in Trento. It includes dinosaur exhibitions, a model of a real glacier, and human exhibitions that showcase science and nature-related topics using specimens, skeletons, dioramas,  interactive games, graphics and photographs. The museum is massive, stretching over six floors and annually receives more than 600,000 visitors walking through the doors. There are also other smaller museums in Italy such as the Galileo Museum in Florence, the Science and Technology Museum in Milan, the Museum of Rural Life in Berici Hills, and so much more.

Hiking With The Children

Another adventure that is sure to excite the children is experiencing the beauty of Italy’s nature. Achieve this by hiking and seeing the breathtaking hills and mountains, lakes and rivers, and valleys and waterfalls. Hike through the Excalibur Didactic Naturalistic Path, a perfect trail for new hikers. The Painted Caves of Rubbio is also an option to view the four abandoned limestone quarries which have been turned into an open-air art installation. Abruzzo, the hidden gem of Italy, has about 22 hiking trails nestled within that will leave fellow hikers breathless as they immerse themselves within the natural beauty of the region.

Get to know the real Italy that you don’t often see on TV, websites and catwalk commercials. Touring Abruzzo offers affordable tours through the untouched region. Our service for vacations is suited for everyone from first-time travellers to expert explorers. For more information on our services, visit our website, browse through and book a tour date.

 

Related Tags: Italy VacationsItaly Travel Packages