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17 April 2014

A Family Weekend in Robur Marsorum Albergo Diffuso, Rovere in Abruzzo, Italy


As soon as I entered the house and dropped my bags, I looked around and re-absorbed as much detail as I could. I had been gone for 10 days and it felt like a month. I had been so busy in my press trip to Georgia that I didn't really have the time to think about what I had been missing back home. Right at that moment, as I was standing in the middle of my kids' room looking at their beds, toys and sweaters hanging on the rack, I suddenly realized how much I missed them and my husband. My family. They had been really great in taking care of each other while I was away. I couldn't ask for anything more. Well maybe one - a weekend getaway with the three of them. We deserved it.


There was the big question of - where. My husband didn't feel like driving so much and we wanted a quiet, relaxing place but also gives ample activities to the kids. My experience - bored kids are the worst company on vacations. And I have two model specimens living under my wing. When boredom sets off, there's no power button to turn them off!


Since our weekend a few weeks ago in Robur Marsorum Albergo Diffuso in Abruzzo had been almost perfect, we headed to that direction again. It's just a short drive from Rome (about an hour and a half), we stay in an apartment with a kitchen for me to cook, there are walking trails everywhere and the view is amazing. The place is the perfect candidate to unwind and spend some time as a family again.


And since the apartments have fireplaces, my husband was more than willing to go back there and enjoy a fire. Fortunately, the temperature was still cool enough to start one.




But.....sometimes, perfection can be tainted. My son had fever a couple of days before leaving. Since we are used to his bouts of high temperature and he is already covered with the medicines that his pediatrician prescribed, we decided not to cancel our trip. He usually shakes off the fever quickly.



There are times when things don't work out like how we hope they would. His fever persisted the whole weekend we were there. The weather also became bad on our second day and the temperature dropped too. It was the perfect opportunity for my husband to start the fire.


We stayed indoors almost the whole time but it had been time well spent. I got to take care of the kids, especially my son, like maybe how I should have been doing before I got very busy with work. I have been feeling like I was failing in the Mommy role lately that plunging into the chance to make him feel better gave me a sense of being needed again. He repeated more than once that he's having one of the best times of his life even if at times his enthusiasm is hampered by fever and he is confined in bed. 
 

Being confined indoors almost the whole time didn't bother me. In fact, I have to say that I welcomed it. I think it had helped a lot in de-stressing me. I came back very tired and stressed from my trip because I had tons of backlog of work. There were recipes to be created, cooked and photographed, articles to be written and over everything, sleep to catch up on.


I've looked out from this particular window in my children's room so many times. My thoughts were always taken with the simplicity of life and how beautiful it can be if we can shed off some of what we don't need. I imagined how life can be for us if we moved to a town like this and adapt a completely different life. It's a wish that I like to dwell on but I know will never work. We are too urbanized (well, semi) that maybe for a holiday, the thought of a quiet, simple life attracts me but for something more permanent, it will probably fail.


Robur Marsorum Albergo Diffuso (Diffused Hotel) has a different kind of concept from the regular accommodations.  It's a company that took over some of the old houses in a 12th-century small town called Rovere in Abruzzo, refurbished them looking like their original state and installing the regular luxury comforts of how hotels should have. The apartments have fully-equipped kitchens (they think of the coffee, tea, milk and water too!), dining rooms, fireplaces, sitting rooms and well-provided bathrooms. There are also TVs, freshly-baked croissants and bread delivered in a basket every morning. In other words, they think of everything while you just take your clothes with you and have a wonderful stay.


I have already stayed in other accommodations with the albergo diffuso (diffused hotel) concept in other towns in Italy and I like the idea. Not only does it give you the chance to see how living inside the local houses is like but it also revives the existing old structures. It also lessens constructions of new buildings which is a relief because some new designs can be hideous nowadays. It's better to go with flow of how old towns look like.


We were staying at the last and topmost apartment of the hotel that is just a very short walk to the ruins of the old castle of the town and the statue of the Madonna. We had to walk more from the parking lot to reach the apartment but the view was amazing. You always have to walk up anyway to get the best view. The view from the sitting room window is the first picture in this post. It was taken late in the morning while the picture below is from the same window at 6:30 in the morning. I don't usually wake up at such an early hour but since I passed this window in between my kids' room and our room, the beautiful orange tones of the mountains woke me up enough to grab the camera, open the window and withstand the freezing early morning temperature.





I had little walks with my daughter towards the ruins of the castle and the statue of the Madonna. Our position was at the peak of the town with breathtaking views at 1,432 meters high. Upon arrival at the statue, with the open space overlooking the valleys, my daughter looked around and said, "Che bello vedere il nostro mondo da qui!" (It's beautiful to see our world from here!) Kids can be surprising sometimes.



On our last day, my son's temperature finally went down and the sun also came out, giving us a beautiful crisp blue sky. The colors were marvelous! I had a few minutes to walk around to capture the town through my lens. I had to rush because there was still the trip back home to think about, making sure our son doesn't get sick along the way. I took some of these pictures with bags hanging from my shoulders and arms. I have gone through days like this in Georgia taking pictures while almost running around so it wasn't new to me.




The town's position gives it a vantage point in breathtaking views and it's small enough to go around to. The place is quite isolated, having a lot of the houses still boarded up because it had been affected by the last big earthquake in the region. I used it to my advantage for its tranquility and silence. There are a couple of restaurants at the foot of the town, a couple of mini markets, a square, a tennis court and a playground. The other towns are just nearby but you would be needing a car to get to them.


If you go back to my old post about this part and this hotel, you will see some of the towns close to Rovere. This area is particularly popular in winter for skiing because of its proximity to Rome. We were able to get the last snow on our last trip.


I hope you enjoyed this post about our weekend trip. I look forward to short breaks from our daily routines. I do work more before and after the trips (and also during) but for what it's worth, I come back home more relaxed and ready to tackle the next episodes of life. 

This weekend, we are heading to Marche for our Easter holiday. I will be sharing photos as always in my Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter. If I don't get to pop in again before Easter, have a joyous Easter with your whole family! 


Buona Pasqua! Happy Easter! 

More hotels in Italy:

La Meridiana Hotel in Garlenda at the Italian Riviera
Residence Chalet Mugun in Corvara, South Tyrol
Castello di Monterone Hotel (Monterone Castle) in Perugia
La Meridiana Hotel in Garlenda at the Italian Riviera - See more at: http://www.apronandsneakers.com/2013/09/la-meridiana-hotel-in-garlenda-at.html#sthash.0R3u4Ehh.dpuf
La Meridiana Hotel in Garlenda at the Italian Riviera - See more at: http://www.apronandsneakers.com/2013/09/la-meridiana-hotel-in-garlenda-at.html#sthash.0R3u4Ehh.dpuf