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26 March 2014

A Weekend in Abruzzo (Celano, Rocca di Cambio, Ovindoli, Rovere & Robur Marsorum Hotel)

Abruzzo is one of the perfect weekend places to go to if you are staying in Rome for its proximity to the capital. Just a little bit over an hour and you can be skiing or just enjoying the snow.  That’s exactly what we did last weekend.

We stayed in Rovere, a very small town in the L’ Aquila region. It’s an old village that is almost completely abandoned because of the last big earthquake that hit the area. As my family and I walked around the alleys, there was a welcoming stillness that was quite relaxing.  With two kids, my family can be quite a big noisemaker so to stay in a peaceful ambiance gave quite a wonderful impact to me and my husband. And yes, I think everyone heard my two kids walking around their once quiet village.

A lot of shutters were closed and the town’s church bell was down, seeing that the church had been damaged by the catastrophe. To keep the town moving, Robur Marsorum bought some old houses and converted them to apartments catering like hotels. They are fully equipped with kitchens, fireplaces, living rooms, dining areas and bedrooms. Practically your home away from home. Simply furnished following the style of the area and with an air of elegance.

Oh, and they also deliver freshly-baked bread, croissants and milk on your doorstep every morning. So open up that door every morning and you will be treated to a homey basket of breakfast goodies before you start your day. It reminded me of my childhood when I would wake up to the wonderful smell of freshly baked bread delivered to us early in the morning.

Just a few minutes from the town is Ovindoli, one of the area’s popular spots for skiing and snow boarding. Take the ski lift and you will be on top of the mountain, enjoying the powdered peaks of the surrounding mountains. With our trip being postponed so many times, we barely made it to the last snow of the season.

Rocca di Cambio is about 20 minutes from Rovere and is much busier, but still keeping its small town ambiance. From the town’s position, you can enjoy beautiful views of the mountains around you.  

There is Rocca di Rovere in the middle of both towns but we were not able to visit it during daytime. I can recommend to you, however, a nice restaurant we went to in the town. The Ristorante Campacavallo serves good, innovative simple food in a cozy, atmosphere that is reminiscent of Sweden with its wooden furniture and furnishings in white and pastel. The service is also relaxed as the owner, goes around explaining the food and taking the orders. 

A bit further down, towards Rome, is the town of Celano. It has the 14th-century Piccolomini Castle dominating the town. I believe it’s already the second time I passed it after some years and also this time, I wasn’t able to go down and visit the castle nor the town because my son came down with the fever and we had to go straight home. Maybe the third time around, it will already be possible for me to go down and explore it.

Our trip was short but it was a much-needed one to have break from our daily routine. Abruzzo is beautiful Italian region with a lot of beautiful small villages scattered about. I guess it’s almost like any other region in this country but every single one has its own characteristic to boast.

In Italy, go south, north, east or west. You will be greeted with a lot of beautiful places with particularities to enjoy, whether it’s wine, food or towns to explore.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of our trip.  I am currently in Tbilisi, Georgia and about to start a new adventure in this part of the world tomorrow. I arrived at 4 in the morning and this post kept me busy throughout my trip from Rome to Munich to Tbilisi. I’m not the most courageous flyer and creating this post kept my mind off flying. I wish you all a wonderful week and do pop in my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+ for pictures of Georgia that I will be posting throughout my journey. My trip will be focused primarily on the different vineyards, restaurants and qvevri (big egg-shaped clay pots underground) winemaking that is uniquely Georgian.  I am with other bloggers and journalists from around the globe focusing on showing you how Georgia is.

Have a good week!