Posts Tagged ‘Pineto’


We left Pineto in the morning, not quite sure how long it would take us  to drive from Abruzzo to Umbria, Pineto to Perugia.  Turns out it was about 227 kilometers and about 15 long tunnels.  I have to say that driving in tunnels is NOT my favorite thing especially the Lincoln Tunnel! BUT the tunnels going through the mountains of  Umbria were something else again;   Mostly they are one way with two lanes and of course speeding and passing are the norm, however the tunnels are wide, well-lit with high ceilings and big vent fans AND along the walls there were places to make an emergency call.  Driving through a tunnel at 94km with cars zipping past you at well over 100 was surreal.

I thought I was through with narrow winding roads, NOT! The road to la volpe e l’uvo (the fox and the grape), the farmhouse where Barbara and I were going to take cooking lessons and go on a couple of tours, was by far the narrowest, steepest, twistiest road I have ever been on, let alone drive on it!  Having driven about 3 hours at speeds I never thought I would,

116 KM omg

I was exhausted and this last leg was killing me.  It looked like we were going nowhere and at one point I stopped the car,  did one of the fifty 9 point K turns I made during this vacation, and said we were going back down the mountain.  Once we were at the bottom,  I asked Barbara to read the directions in the email again; Oh, it’s approximately 3 kilometers up? You didn’t say that before!  So back up we go, white knuckling the steering wheel when cars and even a truck came at us from the opposite direction!

We arrived- it was a beautiful setting and our little apartment was perfect.

The back of the farmhouse
la volpe e l’uvo

I love this kitchen! It is an updated version of the one in Nonna’s House

The pool looked inviting

Greetings and hugs from Raffaella, our hostess and teacher.  She explained that class would begin at 9:30am when we would meet for coffee in the garden.  Even though dinner was on our own, I told Barbara there was no way I was driving off this mountain and back up again. Luckily we had some food that we brought from Pineto and there was a strawberry galette in our apartment as well as apricots, yogurt and eggs.

What I really wanted was a hot shower and to go to bed early.  Good night.

To Be Continued….


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A Little Bit Of This and That

We spent a week in Pineto supposedly at the beach.  However we were disappointed to discover the beach was not around the corner and too far to carry the necessary equipment to avoid sunburn.  We also didn’t have beach towels, probably something we should have remembered to bring!

Barbara broached the subject over dinner one evening and said she really wanted to go to the beach.  She had researched several of the surrounding hotels and found one nearby with a reasonable rate and with the prerequisite chaise lounge chairs and umbrellas.


Now This Was Living the Good Life!


And I got to realize a wish – to see and swim in the Adriatic Sea


View from our window

Parking in Italy is as much a pain in the ass as it is in New York City but one of our best parking spots was at The Abruzzo Hotel when the clerk said, “Just park under the lemon tree”.

Enough sun, it must be time for lunch.  Ah hhh Aperol Spritz, the preferred cocktail in Italy and our new summer favorite!


Sun, Sand, Sea and a Spritz Perfetto!

One morning we went out for coffee at a local Bar and were pleased that we didn’t have to go through elaborate explanations as how to make a Caffe Americano which is very different from ordering either caffe or American coffee.  So that part was great but we went crazy for the spoons!


Made in Italy


Look how clever this is!

So we asked Mr. Good-Looking Italian where did he get these spoons? Unfortunately he said he couldn’t remember because he got them a long time ago and hasn’t been able to find anymore.  Also he only had about 5 left – No wonder since the thought of nicking two of them fleetingly flew through our minds!

Pizza and Pasta are mainstays on the menus of most of the local restaurants in this little seaside town and we indulged in accordance.


Spaghetti Vongole per me


Pasta del’ la Mer per Barbara

And speaking of pasta, we took a trip to Rosetta degli Abruzzo, home to the Verrigni pasta company.  I had done some research on the company before our trip and had written to the firm asking if we could visit the factory.  Unfortunately due to insurance, the answer was no but we would be welcome in the showroom.  The GPS helped us get there along with some directions from a local man;  thankfully I understand destre and sinestre.


The Verrigni Pasta Factory

The Verrigni family has been producing artisanal pasta since 1898. What Barbara and I saw in that showroom was quite spectacular. There were bags and bags of pasta in all sorts of shapes, pasta made with whole wheat flour, pasta made gluten-free, pasta made with durum wheat flour and are bronze cut.  The company also produces a line of government certified organic pasta and a refined line of pasta cut with gold. Yes, gold.  I purchased a bag of chitarra, a unique cut of long pasta associated with Abruzzo.  The nice young man who spoke English tried to draw a picture for showing me the difference between linguine, spaghetti and  chitarra, but I’m still not clear. This year the company  came out with a new shape, calamarata.


It does look like calamari doesn’t it without the sauce?

Our favorite cute place where you could get gelato or an Aperol Spritz, two of life’s greatest pleasures and the owner was a friendly man who liked to practice his English with us.


A Great Little Bar in Pineto


Wine, Beer, Gelato, Caffe, Aperol Spritz -It’s all here

We stopped in the night before we left for a last Aperol Spritz.  When we got back to the apartment we had no lights! No electricity! I called our host, texted her.  We had two candles.  Good thing we had packed during the day.  Of course now the food in the refrigerator would be spoiling and worse of all we couldn’t recharge our phones which I felt would be essential for a 3 hour drive tomorrow.  We went to bed early like what else were we going to do?

By morning as we were packing up the car, the host had contacted the next door neighbor who came over speaking Italian (naturally), and even though we had flipped all the circuit breakers, there was an extra something in the closet that needed to be pushed or pulled.  Nice BUT we were outta here.

We were off on a long journey to Umbria and spent some of that trip deciding what we might write in our review in Airbnb.  If you recall…we had a morning of no gas, a half a day of no water, and a night of no electricity!

Perugia here we come!

To Be Continued…




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YES I drove from Guardia Sanframondi in  Campania to  Pescara in Abruzzo by myself!! It was about 144 miles! I am so proud of myself…. Me who was and still is terrified of the narrow village streets and the winding country roads did okay on the autostradas even though I went through tunnels twice as long as the Lincooln tunnel and at 100km.  Joel if you’re listening, your mom drove as fast as 114km, can you believe it?

When I got to Termoli, I was ecstatic thinking, Pescara was just up the coast a bit but no, it was actually another 75 kilometers away and that part of the trip was horrible.When I arrived in Pescara I had no idea as to where the train station was and was lost for awhile and texting with Barbara who was patiently waiting wasn’t helping.  When I got some directions and found it, it was so big and I was on the other side from where she was, I couldn’t pull in because they wanted me to pay for parking.  I texted her I’m near a big black locomotive and a lot of motorcycles – Barbara thought I must be at another station!

By the time we got to Pineto our Airbnb hostess were wondering what happened to us? One didn’t speak English so she had her sister there to explain, however much was left very vague.  We were not exactly sure where the beach was or the grocery store and I was exhausted and not about to get in the car again.  So we ate a light meal of cheese, olives, sausage, and wine.


Tell me that doesn’t look like an Italian repast?

We had a horrible time with WiFi, only Barb was on because one of the women put the password on Her phone before they left.  The next day we had NO 💦 water , so we called.  The next door neighbor said we would have water tomorrow, oh well isn’t that nice?  Roberta ( the English speaking sister) sent another sister over who also spoke English and as she and Lucia (?) arrived the water came back on, Go figure, this is Italy.  But since she was here maybe she could get me on wifi. Turns out the letter that Barbara and both thought was a q was actually an a!

We spent a day exploring the town, having coffee, found an open air market,


We just happened upon this open air market and bought some apricots.

Barb bought an outfit, we had a pretty good meal at a local pizzeria, went grocery shopping.  Still tired from traveling we went to bed kind of early…at 5:45am a rooster started crowing, I thought I was dreaming. I opened my eyes found my glasses and looked at my phone for the time , Geez God! At about 7am the garbage truck came by, at 7:45am the man next door started up his car outside my window and opened his gate to leave.  At 8:00am the church which is about 100 yards away began ringing their 🔔 s.  The clanging went on for over a minute, and it was a Friday morning?? There was no a/c and no screens so we actually slept with the windows open.  Barbara pulled down the metal shade that has tiny air holes in but my room had French doors and a beautiful full sheer blue curtain, so my doors were open and just the curtain hung – by the way there were no bugs whatsoever coming in! Just noise!


This little church made BIG noise! Those 🔔 Bells! The Church Of San Francisco

Hi We thought we would cook dinner since our hostess left us a lb. of pasta and a ajar of pasata which is like tomato purée/sauce but when we tried to turn the stove on, there was no gas! After a phone call to Peter who suggested the gas was not turned on, I realized I had seen two yellow lever like handles under the sink and sure enough, I turned one and whaadayaknow, we had gas

To Be Continued…


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