We stayed in Villetta Barrea, this wonderful location, for a week, both in summer and winter, with the aim of taking long walks in nature and it was beautiful!

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Villetta Barrea is an Italian small hamlet of 677 inhabitants in the province of L’Aquila, in the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise. It is part of the mountain community of Alto Sangro and Five Miles Plateau.

Things to know

On the night of April 5th Abruzzo was struck by a violent earthquake with a Richter magnitude of 5.8 and its epicenter in L’Aquila.

Abruzzo is an Italian region noted for its traditional Montepulciano d’Abruzzo red wine and other agricultural products, its beautiful mountains, national parks and pure shores.

Must-eat foods

The pizzonta is made of the same dough as pizza and bread, but it gets fried into boiling oil. Pizzonta can be seasoned with salt or sugar and served with cheese or cold cuts on the top.

The lentils of Santo Stefano (St. Stephen) are smaller than ordinary lentils, furthermore they have a strong taste. They are perfect for soups, one of best recipe against cold days.

Polenta all’abruzzese (classic Abruzzo recipe) is very thick and it is usually served with gravy and meat (pork sausages and bacon).

Pasta all’amatriciana can be cooked with different varieties of pasta like spaghetti, bucatini or rigatoni and served with cheek lard, tomato and pecorino from Abruzzo.

Spaghetti alla chitarra (“guitar” pasta) is a very thin type of spaghetti, usually served with ragù (meat gravy) and pork, beef or lamb meat. You can also add different kinds of game, such as boar meat or hare.

Arrosticini are a traditional lamb or grilled mutton skewers grilled on the coals just with salt. To be served with bread and red wine.

Caciocavallo abruzzese is a typical “noble” cheese, which means it is derived from whole milk of free grazing cows.

The pecorino is a hard Italian cheese derived from raw whole sheep’s milk, with the addition of lamb or pork rennet. The different varities of pecorino are one of the most beloved products from Abruzzo. Among them the semi-matured cream cheese and the pork rennet one, coming from the Ancient Rome tradition.

Confetti the Sulmona sugared almonds that are the most famous in the world, in the classic version consisting of an almond covered with sugar. Used for weddings and all family celebrations. If you want information on Sulmona, be sure to read this article What to see in Sulmona in a weekend, Italy

Worth seeing

When you are here, make sure you visit the ancient 16th – 17th century palaces, full of decorations and ornamental and impressive portals. Don’t miss the chance to see Palazzo del Municipio (the town hall), Chiesetta di San Rocco (Church of St. Roque) both from the 18th century and the charming Cappella della chiesetta di San Michele (Chapel of St. Michael’s Church) in the cemetery, formerly part of the Benedictine Monastery.

Villetta Barrea is not just about art, but also nature. Going hiking in the mountains or just going for a walk in the park is a must-do.

An excursion to the Lake of Barrea will give you the chance to follow its bordering shores on both sides and, for the most fit ones, another breathtaking itinerary is possible: from the mountain to Villetta Barrea via Decontra, reaching then the Camosciara.

The Camosciara, so called due to the presence of many wild Camosci (Chamois) is one of the parts of the National Park of Abruzzo you should really visit. Here you can find the famous waterfalls and fascinating landscapes.

In Villetta Barrea it’s possible to see deer and wolves, that don’t really look like scared of humans. Anyway we have to be respectful, don’t move too close to them and avoid bothering them.

Where to spend the night

Address: Via Virgilio Benedetto, 175, 67030 Villetta Barrea AQ

Phone: +39 0864 89274

Web Site: http://www.ilvecchiopescatore.net/

Alessandro is the owner of the Hotel il Vecchio Pescatore (Old Fisherman Hotel) located in the heart of the National Park on the river bank of Sangro. This place is perfect for a great holiday: the traditional cooking with local food is part of the cultural heritage, quiet and bright rooms with all what is needed (bathroom, TV, phone, Wi-Fi) are provided.

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