This is where many of my relatives are from. Ive never been there but what Ive seen on the computer it looks beautiful. I actually used a picture of it for my avatar. Ive tried to find books about it but it seems no one is interested in writing about the Abruzzo region. The library is chock filled with Florence, Milan and Rome, which I understand. But Id like to know more about my family's region. Has anyone been there or familiar with the region? Any book recommendations?
Nineteenth Century: Edward Lear Illustrated excursions in Italy â€“ 1846 (includes the Abruzzi)
1842 Visits Sicily, April-May, and the Abruzzi, July-October. 1843 Returns to the Abruzzi, September-October.
Twentieth Century: The Abruzzo Trilogy, by Ignazio Silone
Set in the 1930s, the books describe the hardships and struggles of the farm workers of the Marsica region, where Silone grew up; the first book, Fontamara, is the best novel about the beginnings of fascism in any language. Ignazio Silone was one of the early leaders of the communist party but later became a socialist and a christian; the books reflect this evolution.
Second World War: Love And War in the Apennines, by Eric Newby
When Italy made peace in the summer of '43, 50,000 Allied POWs, Eric Newby among them, walked away from their prison camps. But Italy was occupied by the Germans, and the camps were behind those lines. Newby went to the mountains where, with the help of locals, he evaded the retreating enemy. Italian peasants sheltered him for more than three months. In this classic memoir of WW II, Newby recalls these selfless people. . .their unchanging lifestyle, the funny, bizarre and dangerous incidents, his hopes of the local girl who later became his wife. Written by one of the best travel writers ever (even Ignazio Silone was impressed by this book). Set further north in the mountains than Abruzzo, but the life described is very similar.
Modern: The Miracle of Castel di Sangro, by Joe McGinnis
The small town of Castel di Sangro is in the mountains in the south of Abruzzo. In 1996 their football team made it through to the national second division, and miraculously managed to stay there. American journalist and football fan Joe McGinniss decided to go and live in Castel di Sangro for a year to follow the team. He walked into a year of unexpected deaths, cocaine smuggling, corruption, friendship, despair and exhilaration. A football book with a sad ending.
Food: Food and Memories of Abruzzo, by Anna Teresa Callen
The distinctive cuisine of Abruzzo, passed down through generations, is unveiled in this landmark cookbook... Author and teacher Anna Teresa Callen grew up in Abruzzo and understands its regional specialties... The book features more than 350 recipes such as Cardoon Soup from Anna Teresaâ€™s grandmother, the savory pie Fiadone Villese traditionally served at Easter, and the dessert La Cicerchiata from Italyâ€™s Jewish heritage. Callenâ€™s experience as a cooking teacher means the recipes are expertly written to ensure the best results every time. Framing the tempting recipes are the authorâ€™s recollections of her bucolic girlhoodâ€“fishing with her father in the Adriatic, hunting for mushrooms in the forests, and rolling out pasta by hand with her motherâ€“immersing you in the patterns of daily life in Abruzzo.
Travel: A Traveller in Southern Italy H.V. Morton
The vivid story of a journey by road through Italy's southern regions, by one of our greatest travel writers. When the Autostrade del Sole extended south from Naples to the Reggio di Calabria, Morton seized the chance to explore a part of Italy comparatively unknown (as it still is) to travellers. From the mountains of Abruzzi he went to the 'heel' and 'toe' of Italy, with their memories of Magna Graecia; and he explored the undeveloped rivieras of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian coastlines. Everywhere he went he found himself - characteristically - fascinated by the people, their folklore and traditions. In Cocullo (Abruzzo) he saw the local saint's statue carried through town, covered with living snakes.
There was an Old Man of th' Abruzzi,
So blind that he couldn't his foot see;
When they said, "That's your toe," he replied, "Is it so?"
That doubtful Old Man of th' Abruzzi.
When I saw the name De Filippis I just thought: that looks familiar, you must be a true Vastese.
Vasto is a great place for a vacation: Vasto Marina (low town on the sea) has lots of hotels and Vasto town (up the hill) has a real history. Underneath Piazza Rossetti is a Roman amphitheatre where Spartacus fought. Rossetti himself left an artistic legacy:
Well, my great grandparents came here from Vasto not even 100 years ago. As I search farther into that family line they stayed in Vasto, so It is a big part of my blood. I cant wait to visit there someday and get back to my roots. The other surname from there that is in my family is Lazzaro. Of all the places in Italy to vacation why do you choose there? So many people I say the name Vasto to, say " never heard of it." How did you come to love it?
I think my family are mostly Irish and I live in the UK but I've never been to Eire (my Mom is a Cassidy) so it's strange that I go to Italy a lot, but it's so seductive (food/wine/history/style/sunshine). We also go there because there are no English tourists and the Italians love wine but they don't get drunk and behave like louts. No-one in England has heard of Vasto but I've never met an Italian who has not heard of it. Most of all I like the way there are no concessions to foreigners: this is it - take it or leave it. In Abruzzo people don't usually speak English, so you have to learn some Italian to get by. I like that too. Also, it's right in the middle so you can drive across to Rome in a couple of hours now there's an autostrada or south to Puglia in one hour. I could go on and on ... I just love it ... the mountains are fantastic too!
I am so happy to talk to you. Ive never met anyone who vacations there. I live in the USA and most people are familiar with the big cities that many tourists go to for art and things like that. Or they are familiar with the southern part of Italy (which I also have family from) being most immigrants came form Southern Italy. Vasto has a population of around 40,000 or something so its not small but not huge. Just perfect. I am biased though. I am a water person and have been my whole life. Its like Vasto is in my genes because most of my life Ive lived at the Jersey Shore right by the beaches and water. I NEED to be by the sun and sea and now I know where it comes from:) I have to say, I looked at your videos on you tube and they are beautiful. I wish I could go there right now after seeing those. Id love to hear more! Its funny your Irish and loving Italy. The two go hand in hand. Matter of fact a lot of Italians in America married Irishmen. Im one of them. My husbands family is Irish and Scottish. The two mix well.
Robert Imust inform you that when Rome pulled out the 10th legion from England (hadrians wall included) after Rome was there for hundred and more years, the replacementl troops were recruited by the local Roman Army officers to replace the original Roman troops who had retired or died inbattle.
The 10th legion was pulled back thru Holland and they recruited Dutcvh legionnaires as well with their resdpective families. Upon arrival in Italy they reconstituted the 10th legion with fresh Italian troops and those legionnaires that were of retirement age, wounded ,sick or otherwise unfit for duty were granted land in ABRUZZO to settle and farm as the Roman Senate opened up huge areas for settlement. The veterans created a capital of AQUILA (after the Roman Eagle)=Eagle and this is why whenyou go to Abruzzo you see the descendants of these English and Dutch troops in the streets today. Just thought you would like to know why you feel comfortable there!!! =Peter=
That's great. I love all that stuff. I have visitied L'Aquila a few times and it's great for the mountains (and the August meteor showers which just about coincides with the big summer holiday all across Italy). Next time I'll take a more closer look at the local DNA.
Some French go there, as do some South Americans, who I guess have family connections and the town is twinned with Perth in Australia, so you do hear the occasional Aussie accent and a there are a few Americans, now and then (and Harvard runs a Summer School there). Abruzzo is considered by many to be where the South of Italy starts and Vasto is near the border with Molise (which everyone agrees is the South). You're right, the town's a perfect size and the tourist industry means there are plenty of restaurants and bars. Interesting that you are living your life by the ocean. I too need sun, sea and sand (one day I must find out where my Dad's family were from). Sweet that you married a Celt - but of course they were in Italy too, way back when! Ryanair opened up Italy for many people (first of all from Dublin) and had they not started flights to Pescara I would not have started my own little adventures there.