GESSOPALENA – Day Two – pt 2

DSCN3864DSCN3866Standing in the piazza, at the entrance of the castle, you have a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside.  Of course, you also realize that, in a few minutes, you have to begin the journey down, back to the heart of the town, and your vehicle.  It is easy to forget when you are there, looking at the wonderful scenery, but if it took you twenty minutes to walk up — it is going to take twenty minutes to walk back down!  And depending on the grade of the slope, stone roads can get pretty slippery at times.DSCN3869DSCN3871DSCN3873DSCN3874DSCN3877DSCN3876DSCN3878We made it back to the car, and since it was now approaching lunchtime, we met a friend of Neda’s.  Now, this friend was waiting for us in a parking lot, on the outskirts of another town, about thirty minutes away from Roccascalegna.   Neda had no problem finding the town, but once there, it did take us a few minutes to locate the exact parking lot, and thus, her friend.  Once we did, we all piled into his car, and headed for lunch.  Since where we were in Abruzzo was very close to the border of Molise, another Italian region, we actually went for lunch in Molise.   DSCN3880We had a wonderful meal, and two hours later, left the restaurant, completely content, with full bellies and ready to explore some more.DSCN3883DSCN3885DSCN3887DSCN3890Near the restaurant was a lookout, from which it was possible to see practically all of Molise!  This was our next destination.DSCN3891We arrived at the spot, parked the car, and then made our way to the top of the little hill.DSCN3892DSCN3895DSCN3896We headed next to another town in Abruzzo, where there was a chapel that Neda wanted us to see.  It had been arranged through her friend, to have the caretaker of the chapel meet us, so that he could unlock the chapel, and we could go inside.  Again, we parked below, in the town, and walked up the hill to where the chapel sat, overlooking the countryside.  DSCN3901DSCN3900DSCN3902DSCN3903After about fifteen minutes of uphill walking, we arrived at the chapel.DSCN3910DSCN3911DSCN3912DSCN3915DSCN3916DSCN3918DSCN3933The chapel was lovely, and worth the climb to see.  On the back wall, behind the altar, glass sat in front of bullet holes that dotted the wall, a result of World War II.DSCN3922DSCN3925DSCN3935DSCN3941DSCN3943DSCN3946We had a few more stops to make before returning to the house, and calling it a day.  Next up was the town of Fara San Martino.DSCN3963Now, most people know this town as the home of DeCecco Pasta.  You can find their products on any supermarket shelf in the USA, and most likely, around the world.  DSCN3964But, we were not going to waste our time and money on DeCecco (which, by the way, I happen to like!).  No, we were headed right down the road, to the much smaller producer, Cocco.  This was the best dry pasta in Abruzzo!  At least according to my travel companions, it was!DSCN3967We couldn’t take a tour of the factory, but we did buy some pasta.  That accomplished, we got back into the car, and headed back to Gessopalena, stopping for dinner along the way.  We ate in the town of Guardiagrele, and while the meal was nice, it was the dessert that I will always remember.  We stopped at a pastry shop to pick up some “Sise delle Monache”, or “Nun’s Breasts”.  This delightful pastries are pure heaven to eat!  Dough filled with luscious pastry creme never tasted so good!  DSCN4004


Next up: a trip to a local winery, and an afternoon by the sea!

Note: this blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear.  If you have enjoyed this post, please check out our archives for more adventures in Gessopalena, as well as other Italian destinations.  Grazie!

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