Tag Archives: Central Italy

Back roads beauty…

This hillside speckled with wildflowers could perhaps be out of Little House on the Prairie but is in Abruzzo (where, incidentally, many spaghetti westerns were filmed in the 1960s and 70s).

Took this photograph near the farmhouse where I stayed after the 2009 earthquake (as my family’s village of Fossa was evacuated). This was just outside the village of Sant’ Eusanio Forconese, population around 400, with the hilltop castle (pictured) of the same name.

At the time, I was too overwhelmed by the earthquake to take it in much but later found out this castle was built in the 12th century with walls around a metre thick, up to seven metres high and also a moat, enabling it to retain its defenses for nearly 600 years.

Such a quiet, tucked away spot, easy to rush past, yet as always, the landscape in Abruzzo’s Aterno Valley never ceases to amaze me in its history, varying beauty and terrain.


Feb 2, 2018 · 11:55 am

Sitting still…

Sometimes it’s those little slivers in a day that you remember and miss most when you are far away… like stepping onto the balcony of my family’s house in Italy in late afternoon to sit overlooking the laneway seeing people stroll by below, hearing a Vespa buzz past and with the only thing to think about perhaps cooking dinner.



Filed under italy

Maremma sheepdogs and penguins…

Abruzzo postcard picturing Maremma SheepdogThe Maremma Sheepdog is indigenous to central Italy, particularly Abruzzo and the Maremma area in Tuscany and Lazio, and has been used for centuries by Italian shepherds to guard sheep from wolves.

Recently I discovered a project in Australia where Maremma Sheepdogs are protecting a penguin colony almost decimated by foxes, and under their protection the penguins are increasing in numbers. {The dogs also guard free-range chickens.} A little mezza italiana/ australiana perhaps.

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Filed under inspiration + history, italy