martedì 30 agosto 2011


 It's a chance we made it up to Rocca di Calascio. I had met some time before 2 people from Calascio, where they grow bio-food and live in rock stones in one of the coldest places of Italy. Despite being quite southern, the region of Abruzzo is very mountaineous, so it happens to be as cold as the Alps. In fact, the Appennines reach in Abruzzo the highest peak, with Gran Sasso.

It was getting night when we went through the enormous tunnel under Gran Sasso, where it's also placed the biggest physics laboratory underground in Europe. Or is it in the world? That's how it always goes everywhere you go.. records and such. Well, Abruzzo has a good track of record: wild, rocky, land of emigration, old factories, and some sad stories of gas stored into mountains, earthquakes (the last one destroyed beloved L'Aquila in 2009).
 I'm not making you very curious to see Abruzzo eh? Well, don't get afraid, earthquakes happen just once in a while, and as most hidden places, Abruzzo has treasures which not many find. One of these is Calascio, especially for its Rocca, the castle which you saw in the first pic. From there you have this great view of the valley facing south, while L'Aquila is just a few km's on the right.
 Place of shepherds, emigrants and good hearted people (usually!), Abruzzo goes from one side to the other of the Appennines, from Chieti, Pescara, and all the beach, long, flat cities of the Adriatic, to the mountaineous, bear inhabited woods of the Marsica. If you like climbing, mountains and good air, this is the place for you.
L'Aquila is only about 1 hour away from Rome, making it very linked to the Capital. In the Parco del Gran Sasso, where Calascio is, took place also the big "farce" which followed the capture of Mussolini, who was imprisoned here on top of unreachable mountains, until the German 16th panzerdivision arrived from the sky.. useless to say, legends arose also about this, or whether Benito Mussolini is actually the father of conservative, mundane tv journalist Bruno Vespa, as stated by Mussolini's nephew (who has been in Parliament for quite a few years now, surprisingly enough..) .
Anyway, when you're up in Calascio, just think that that was the place where fantasy movie Ladyhawke was shot, but also parts of "The name of the rose". And if history, work, love or anything might be bothering you, please consider becoming a shepherd of the mountains of Parco del Gran Sasso, or a bio-farmer in Calascio, it might just be the life for you =)

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